Time Management Strategies

Time Management Strategies by Randy Pausch, Carnegie Mellon University

 Wasting time is a severe problem – people waste two hours a day

  • Messy desk or files
  • Can’t find things
  • Miss appointments or are late or unprepared for class or meetings

Goals, priorities, planning

  • Why am I doing this?
  • What is the goal?
  • Why will I succeed?
  • What happens if I choose not to do it?


  • Failing to plan is planning to fail
  • You can change your plan, but you have to have one to change!
  • The four-quadrant To Do List
  • Break things down into small steps
  • Do the ugliest (or most challenging thing) first
  • Schedule yourself
  • You MAKE time to do important things, you don’t find it.
  • Learn to say no

Seven habits you can adopt now to better manage your time

  • Be proactive
  • Begin with the end in mind
  • Put first things first – remember WIN – What’s Important Now
  • Think win/win
  • Seek first to be understanding, then to be understood
  • Synergize – the whole is greater than the sum of its parts
  • Sharpen the saw – Renew yourself through reading, planning, writing, study and meditation, service, empathy, exercise, good nutrition, and stress management

Exam and Test Preparation Tips

  • Plan ahead.
  • Overprepare
  • Bring several writing implements.
  • Use time wisely, wear a watch.
  • Map out your work.
  • Don’t rush.
  • Don’t panic.
  • Elaborate on your answers where time permits.
  • Refer back to the question to ensure you are answering what was asked.
  • Concentrate on punctuation, grammar, and spelling. Write neatly.
  • Jot an outline of your essay in the margin before beginning.
  • Leave time to review and edit.