Effective time management

Effective time management
Dean Bevan

Time management skills


A common feeling among IB students is that there is simply ‘not enough time’ to get everything done. Learning how to manage time is one of the most important skills that students will need to be successful in the diploma programme. It is also a valuable life skill.

But how do we manage our time effectively?


People with poor time management skills tend to fall into one of two categories.

  1. Too often we judge ourselves to be far less capable than we actually are so we think, “What’s the point in studying for X test, I won’t do well anyway”. So instead of studying we do something else.

  2. Too often we judge ourselves as being more capable, than we actually are. In this case we think, “I’ve still got time, studying for X test can wait?”. In this case we postpone what we don’t want to do for something we would prefer to do. 


Which category applies to you and more importantly what can you do about it?


Be realistic. No one is expecting you to work for 24 hours a day. Even if you did you would have to miss school in order to recover resulting in more work piling up.


Chunking. Divide your work and leisure time into chunks. We ‘run out of time’ if we don’t stick to the rules that we set for ourselves. If you commit to thirty minutes of ‘break time’ after dinner before you begin to study, then have exactly that. Likewise be realistic in deciding how much time you spend studying. Be realistic about your goals, but also be ambitious in what you can achieve. If you  ‘run out of time’ it will be because you haven't stuck to the rules you have set for yourselves.


Take ownership. Every time you say "I didn’t have enough time’ to do something  ask yourself if you really cared enough to get it done. For example, is the reason you didn't work on your EE over the summer because you didn't have enough time or because you didn't care enough to do it?


Don’t try to juggle. Try to manage the time that you have and not try to do too many things at the same time. If not otherwise we run the risk of not doing any task to the best of our ability. This is where dividing your day into chunks of time can be useful.


Ask for help. We all get overwhelmed at times so reach out to your parents, friends and teachers for help.


Stay healthy and happy.


Mr Bevan

DP Coordinator


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