Timely Time Management for Students


Students have been back to school for a while. How are you managing?

One of the keys to successful study habits is the ability to concentrate with all of the distractions around you.  Here are some time management principles that apply to schoolwork.

Have a purpose when studying.

Know the objective of each class and each chapter in the textbook.  This allows your student to use active listening and focused read actively.  If  they know the purpose of the class to start with, it is easier to recognize the information and get it into their notes.

Study in chunks.

Whether a student’s attention span is two hours or forty-five minutes, don’t push them further than their limit. Take a brief five or ten-minute break and resume refreshed.

Take advantage of prime time.

What ever period of the day that is your student is at peak mentally is their best study hour.  Concentration is easier and energy is higher during this time.  Schedule their more difficult tasks to coincide with their peak performance time.

Plan students study time.

By structuring students study time, it will be easier for then to concentrate on the task at hand. Without a plan, distractions come easy.

Develop the power of concentration.

Success depends on a lot of hard work and self-discipline makes it easier. Even the smartest student, with no discipline will fail.

Get your students organized.

Keeping your study space organized is important to helping students concentrate, think clearly and finish tasks quickly.

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Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization. She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client. Janet is a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and was voted 2016 Organizer of the Year by the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO.


  1. Sabrina Quairoli on September 21, 2020 at 8:22 am

    I found for me working in the morning till about 1:30 PM works best for me. So, I go to bed early and work till 1:30 PM if there is something else for me to do. I start up again from 6 PM to 9 PM. Thanks for sharing these productivity tips for students.

    • Janet Schiesl on September 21, 2020 at 12:40 pm

      I’m similar in that I am most productive in the morning. So I start early, don’t eat anything until 11 am or noon. I find that once I eat, I slow down. I do more social things, like networking and one-to-ones in the afternoons.

  2. Seana Turner on September 21, 2020 at 9:35 am

    I read somewhere to do your hardest work during daylight hours. That stuck with me. Of course, this isn’t easy in the dead of winter, but even if you can duck into a library and work between classes, you may find you are more productive. Come December, I am pretty useless after 5:00… I just want to crash under a blanket:)

    • Janet Schiesl on September 21, 2020 at 12:43 pm

      Yes. When I was a student I did my best work during the day. Even now, I still am most productive in the morning. The key is figuring out what works for you.

  3. Diane N. Quintana on September 21, 2020 at 10:13 am

    These are wonderful tips, Janet. I think some of them apply to all of us – not just students.

  4. Melanie on September 21, 2020 at 1:03 pm

    I’m definitely going to share this post. Now is the perfect time to assess how systems are working BEFORE bad habits form. Great reminders, thank you.

    • Janet Schiesl on September 21, 2020 at 6:30 pm

      Yes Melanie. Students have been working their plan for a few weeks. They should be able to see what’s working and what’s not working and make changes before it’s too late. The fact that this year is so different makes if even more important to evalute.

  5. Linda Samuels on September 21, 2020 at 6:18 pm

    One of the challenges many students have is that they are so busy with afterschool activities that their prime study time isn’t available. They end up doing their homework and studying late at night. For the night owls, that’s great. But for those that lose steam as the evening progresses, it can be challenging. Maybe things are different during the pandemic in that there are fewer activities. Even if that is so, eventually life will go back to be being overfull. That is a challenge for students. Boundary setting and making choices about what is important is key to do.

  6. Janet Schiesl on September 21, 2020 at 6:38 pm

    Linda, I think a new challenge for students (this year) is to separate their school life from their personal life. Since everything is happening at home this year, students need to learn how to separate the two.

  7. Amy on September 24, 2020 at 1:51 pm

    Working in productive chunks of time is wise. I use the Pomodoro Technique for myself and often suggest that my teenager use a timer too. It helps you to be more efficient with your time. The technique is 25 minutes of focused time on a single task. Then, a 5-minute break away from the screen. Then 25 minutes again. After 4 rounds, you take a long break. I like the timer because it creates guardrails that keep me from getting distracted.

    • Janet Schiesl on September 25, 2020 at 7:02 am

      I like the Pomodoro Technique, but find it does work for me. Everyone needs to find what works for them. I have wondered how students are managing their time and resources with online learning. I imagine that every teacher is doing things differently. Also so much screen time!

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