Using Time Blocking For Homework Efficiency

In college, it often feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish all that needs to be done. There are lectures to attend, books to read and projects to complete, not to mention part-time jobs or your social life. Finding ways to work more efficiently is important — and one great tool to do that is time blocking.

Time blocking is the practice of dedicating chunks of time to specific tasks. In other words, it’s the opposite of multitasking. When you time block, you allocate short amounts of time, say 15 to 30 minutes to focus on one goal. Proponents of time blocking say it is completely game-changing for getting more done.

Here are a few benefits that come from time blocking your homework:

  1. Gets you started. Whenever you face an overwhelming workload, one of the biggest challenges is starting. You have so much to do, you aren’t sure where to begin. Time blocking breaks your long to-do list into manageable chunks. You focus on one assignment or one paper for a certain block, and that’s much more manageable than trying to think about everything at once.
  2. It helps you complete important tasks. A principle of time blocking is prioritization. This means the work that is most challenging, due first or otherwise significant gets your immediate attention. 
  3. Provides motivation. Because time blocking clarifies your to-do list, it’s motivating. You know what to do and for how long, and that means you experience the satisfaction of knocking out tasks on your list.
  4. It makes you efficient. Time blocking improves your efficiency. Working on one project enables you to give it your complete attention. You aren’t shifting from one type of work to another — from reading to emailing, flashcards to writing a paper. It allows you to be more productive.

Because time blocking gives you clarity in approaching homework, it offers a wide variety of benefits — even beyond those listed above. Organizing your tasks into dedicated chunks of time may also relieve stress, keep you from burnout, and get you through challenges you’re facing in this semester. If you’re looking for a better way to manage your weekly homework, try this trick. Schedule your study time, prioritize tasks from most to least important, and set a timer as you check off each one.