• Welcome to ‘Time to Get Cracking’ – Self-study material on time management

    You can start by thanking yourself for taking this step and taking the time to develop this crucial skill.


    Time management and learning to use a calendar sound boring and tedious and are often seen as being in the same category as managing your personal finances. Why spend time learning something like that? Do these sound familiar to you: ‘I know how to plan, but the problem is putting the plans into action!’ ‘I do make plans, but I just don’t have enough time to do all I should!’ This self-study material focusses on these two common issues: having too much to do and having trouble getting things done.

    Time management is not just about taking care of responsibilities. It helps you see what you really spend your time on and why. The underlying question is a fundamental one, maybe the most important question for us as human beings: how do you spend your limited time on this Earth? Your calendar says a great deal about what you actually spend your time on. Does your calendar reflect your values and the things you hold dear? Does it take you towards something meaningful? If not, what do you think should change? 

    See this (6 minutes) clip:

    This self-study material offers you opportunities to:

    - look at your time use as a self-management skill

    - learn to make schedules and stay on them

    - learn new skills and review what you already know.

    Going through this self-study material and doing the related tasks will take you about 3–5 hours. To make the most of it, you should spread the tasks over several days. Reading on time management without taking any action is the same as reading a healthy eating guidebook without changing your diet at all or talking to a personal trainer on a regular basis without ever going to the gym to try out the programme. Please take time to also do the exercises included in this material.

    You can now take the voluntary time management test below and/or move on to the self-study material.

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    • Part 1: ABC of time management

      The exercises in this section will take up about 1.5 – 2 hours. Before you start doing them, read this page through carefully. As necessary, spread them over a period of a few days.

      "Being successful doesn’t make you manage your time well. Managing your time well makes you successful!"

      Randy Pausch, Time Management, 2007

      See this 2 minutes video:

      Stop for a second to think about how your study year has been so far. Make a list, either in your mind or on paper, of the time management challenges related to your life as a student. What would a four-quadrant model of your time use look like?

      Watch the following video (in English) Ask yourself how many of the tips given in the video are familiar to you and how many of them do you follow in your everyday life.

      You can now move on to do the first exercise. You can open the instructions below.

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      For instructions, click this page. You will need a pen and post-it notes (or doodling paper that you can tear into smaller pieces).

    • Part 2: Well planned is half done

      This section will take you about 2–3 hours. If needed, you can spread this task over a few days.


      ’Failing to plan is planning to fail. Plan Each Day, Each Week, Each Semester. You can always change your plan, but only once you have one!’

      Randy Pausch, Time Management, 2007


      In the last section, you had a chance to look at time management challenges and to prioritise your tasks (following the ABC system).

      The next section includes practical tips on time management. Please do the actual task only after you have studied the theory part.

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      Let's start with some theory!

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    • Part 3: Evaluate the schedule!

      The exercises in this section take 1 to 2 hours. They should be done 5 to 7 days after you began following the weekly schedule that you designed in Section 2.

      Section 3 gives you tips about how to evaluate your weekly plan and make adjustments to it as you continue.

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    • Extra: More tips on making schedules in the future

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      Instructions on time management with the help of a timeline