Time management skills are essential for all college students. In order to effectively manage courses, extracurricular activities, and social life, students should be able to create and maintain effective schedules. Often, creating a schedule and sticking with it is easier said than done. This page will give an overview of how college students can effectively manage their time, show examples of how to schedule various activities, and suggest different apps to stay organized.

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The Basics

Managing your time well can not only ensure success at UGA, it can also help you live a balanced and whole life as a college student. How well you manage your time over each semester will determine how well you will perform academically at UGA, so don’t hesitate to spend some time each day/week/semester working on this essential skill.

If you’re ready to reach all of your goals at the University of Georgia, think about attending college as a full time job, which is typically 40 hours/week. This means you should be devoting 40 hours each week to attending class and completing schoolwork.

8-8-8 Rule

When thinking about a typical 24 hour day, we recommend using the 8-8-8 rule.

  • 8 hours towards academics (both inside and outside of the classroom)
  • 8 hours towards living (activities for fun or to take care of yourself)
  • 8 hours towards sleeping (at least five days/week)

Let’s look at an example. A standard full time workload is 40/week – so if you are enrolled in 14 credit hours this semester, then you should be dedicating at least 26 hours to your academics outside of class (40 hours total – 14 hours in class = 26 hours outside of class). Keep in mind, this estimate isn’t an exact science. Depending on your classes and if it’s during midterms/finals, you may have to spend more time to be successful in your classes. Some of the academic tasks you’ll spend outside of the classroom can include planning, reading, working on projects / problem sets / homework, and preparing for tests and exams.

Creating a Balanced Calendar

When building your personal calendar, there are a few things that are important to consider. Ask yourself the questions below:

  • Am I more likely to look at (and keep up with) a digital calendar or a paper planner?
  • Do I want to get my classes and academic work completed earlier in the day or later in the day?
  • Beyond classes, what other commitments do I have?

Picking the type of calendar that works best for you is the most important first step. Many students prefer using a digital calendar like Google Calendar, the iPhone Calendar app, or Microsoft Outlook. These calendars typically sync between devices and have features like notifications, recurring meetings, and are easily edited. Paper planners that can be purchased at most box stores like Wal-Mart, Target, and Amazon are also frequently used by UGA students. The DAE team has even created a 24 hour calendar template that has become a favorite with coaching students. Whichever type of calendar you choose is completely up to you!

Once you’ve chosen your calendar, it’s time to start filling it in. We recommend completing it in the order below:

  1. Classes and meals: Mark when all of your classes are and include important details like the location. Be sure to hold time for three meals/day as eating enough throughout the day is important to stay focused and energized.
  2. Work, internships, student organization meetings, etc.: Add all of your other scheduled commitments to your calendar. This might look different week-to-week depending on how frequently you meet or if your work schedule changes.
  3. Study times for each class: Use the study cycle to understand when the best times to study and complete class work are. Remember that you will need to schedule multiple study sessions for each class/week. It’s also good to note where you will be studying and if you’ll be studying with anyone else.

In addition to keeping up with your daily calendar, you can use our master semester calendar for a bird’s eye view of the semester. On this calendar, you can add all of your significant tests, papers, presentations, and projects for each class, as well as other large commitments of your time. Once this is complete, place it somewhere you’ll see it everyday so you can understand what the coming weeks will look like.

Using Your Calendar Effectively

You’ve gotten your calendar completed, now what? It’s important to set aside some time at the beginning of each week to plan out the week. We’ve found that many students like to do this on Sunday evenings before the school week begins. When you’re planning out the week, feel free to make adjustments based on what assignments are due and what commitments you have that week. You can break down larger tasks and projects into smaller, easier tasks. You can also set weekly goals in the form of to-do lists for each course. These strategies will help keep you on track and allow you to adapt your calendar as needed.

If you need help and or if you would like some feedback and insights from an expert, schedule an Academic Coaching appointment.

Recommended Apps


Improve your organization and time management with an intuitive homework planner that helps students organize their homework and exams.

Note: This app is only available for iOS.

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Turn your browser into the ultimate to-do list and project manager.

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Google Calendar

Sync multiple calendars, plan events, and create to-do lists…all on the go.

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