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Time Management Tips

Finding the time and managing it

At Penn Foster, we know school is important to you, but it's not the only thing you care about. Handling all the responsibilities that life throws your way isn't easy. That's why we've created tools and tips designed to help you find the time to study and keep your dreams alive.

Take Advantage of Penn Foster's goal-setting and progress-tracking tools

Penn Foster's suite of helpful tools can help you stay organized and on track with your studies. Use it to create a customized study plan so you can finish your program when you want to, sync your study times into your calendars, track your progress, and set alerts for when your next exam is due. Use the tools to set a study plan that works with your schedule and stick to it to reach your graduation goal!

Use a Calendar

Stop relying on your memory to remember your schedule. Get a schedule book or set up an online calendar. No matter what you plan to do (even meals and TV viewing), put it in your schedule.

Use The Time You Have Available

You may find that you don't have large blocks of time to work. Learn how to use smaller time blocks. If you have an hour, study hard for 40 minutes and then stop. You have given yourself 20 minutes of leisure time and you finished 40 minutes of work. The Penn Foster program is available on your mobile device, so you can study and take exams while waiting at the DMV, the doctor’s office, or while waiting for your child's soccer practice to end.

Set Priorities

Prioritize what you need to do or want to accomplish. Identify how much time is required to realistically accomplish those tasks. Make sure that you don't work on low priority items until you have finished or can no longer work on the higher priority items.

Another idea is to do your least favorite work first and your most favorite work last. That way you always have something to look forward to that will keep you going.

Know Your Attention Span

How long can you really concentrate? Some students can concentrate for 3-4 hours without taking a break. Others can only concentrate for 30-50 minutes at a time. This also depends on the kind of work you are doing and how tired you are feeling.

Remember, it's not just how long you spend studying, it is also what you do with that time. If you are not concentrating and using effective learning strategies, you are not really studying.

Know Your Body and Your Biological Rhythms

Study when you are at your best. Don't study when it's convenient. "morning people" work better in the morning. "night people" work better at night.

Know which you are and use your best times for study times. Do other tasks (e.g., laundry, TV, errands) during your "down" times.

Adapted from the work of Claire Ellen Weinstein