Instructions for the time management exercise

Site: MyCourses
Course: SCI-A1010 - Introduction Course for Bachelor's students, Lecture, 8.9.2022-16.2.2023
Book: Instructions for the time management exercise
Printed by: Guest user
Date: Tuesday, 3 October 2023, 7:57 PM


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

1. Preparation

In this exercise, you will look at your time use during a typical week.

First watch the video below (4 minutes):

Have the pen and post-it notes (or doodling paper that you can cut) ready at hand.


To move forward in the instructions, use the arrow key below.

2. List the things on which you spend time weekly

Using the post-it notes, list things on which you spend time weekly. Write only one thing per note (as needed, you can cut the post-it notes into smaller pieces to save paper).


•Consider all areas of life

  • Studying - List all the courses you are taking now, writing each of them on a separate post-it.
  • Interests
  • People (time for friends, etc.)
  • Chores
  • Eating
  • Rest, time to recover
  • Work
  • Other


3. ABC: categorise the tasks

Watch the following introductory video (3 min):

Now that you have listed all the tasks of a single week on post-it notes, sort them according to the ABC system:


•Group A tasks


The key tasks that help you reach the results, goals and future you are aspiring to. Use your prime time and energy on these with an effort level of 80–100%

 (For instance, crucial courses towards your major, an important project at work, a major match in a sport you are doing, etc.)

Tip: Choose four to six things to which you will devote the most energy and your prime time, these are ‘your things’.


•Group B tasks


Necessary, often routine tasks, with less impact on your goals. Use only a moderate amount of time and energy on these with an effort level of 60–80%. (E.g. a course you can drop if it gets too difficult)



•Group C tasks:


These are unimportant tasks, which you may not have to do at all. You should do these at the effort level of 0–60%, because these are things to do only if you have time. In other words, there will be no consequences for not doing them right now.


Take a picture of all the post-it notes for future reference (if you have a lot of notes, take a picture of the A, B and C groups separately). This way you will remember what you had written even if you happen to lose the notes.

Kori A

4. Focus on the Group A tasks

Now focus on the Group A tasks. Pick out all tasks related to studying (courses, etc.).

List on the post-it notes all the things you must do before the course (preparation, etc.), during the course, and after the course. Do this for each ongoing or upcoming course separately.

Break these goals down into weekly tasks by asking yourself: what do I have to do to meet this goal?

  • For example, if your goal is to pass a mathematics course, your weekly tasks will include going to lectures, getting the study materials, doing the homework, going to math exercise classes, practising with your friends, asking for advice, finding any missing pieces of information online, and going over the areas you don’t know well enough yet.
  • If your goal is to get fit, your weekly task is to exercise 4 times per week.
  • A 5-credit course studied at a steady pace over a period of six weeks has a fairly high weekly workload. It will take a total of 135 working hours to pass the course. This divided over a period of six weeks equals more than 20 working hours per week.

Break these tasks down into small enough parts to make sure you get them done. A reasonably sized task would be, for instance, one hour of work at a time. This way, you will get positive experiences as you get things done.

Now focus your attention on the coming week. What should you do during it? Organise the post-it notes to find the tasks that you need to do in the coming week.

Look here for an example of how you should and should not do this exercise.


When you are ready, make sure you have saved what you did. You can now move on to Part 2: Well planned is half done.