Well-Being - Time Management


This course introduces participants to ways they can improve their time management skills by reducing time wasting behaviors and thinking patterns, and increasing organization. Participants will explore some of the psychological traps that produce ineffective time management and learn tips and tricks that can quickly save time and effort when trying to complete a packed schedule.

Learning Outcomes


  1. Recognize ways the brain and thinking patterns contribute to/hinder time management.
  2. Critically analyze personal time management effectiveness by creating personal time management tools.
  3. Reflect on what values and priorities you want to spend time cultivating and how this impacts effective planning.

Resources and Materials

Facilitator Instructions

Use this grab-and-go content with any class, organization or group where introducing participants to helpful time management skills is applicable. The course is designed to take approximately 45-50 minutes. The course can be easily divided into a series of shorter segments if needed.

This course was created and developed by the Purdue Recreation and Wellness team.

Below is the deliverable content for the pillar.

Course Outline

Welcome (Time: 1 minute)

  • Welcome the participants and review the agenda.

Perceptions of Time Management (Time: 3 - 5 minutes)

  • Ask “How many of you often wish there was more time in a day?”
  • Ask “How have you been influenced to think about time management, success, and the general busyness of life?”
  • Discuss any negative portrayals of time management in society. (E.g. The CEO that always works 80 hour weeks; no time for self-care; etc.)

Time Management Personal Profile Packet (Time: 25 minutes)

Part 1: Expectations

  • Explain that expectations can be broadly categorized in three forms:
    • Self-imposed – expectations we place on ourselves.
    • Other-imposed – expectations from people who are close to you or who carry significant weight in your life. E.g. Friends, family, teachers, etc.
    • Socially-imposed – expectations from any ideas society holds about how we should operate, think or behave.
  • Encourage students to think about how they manage their own time.
    • Ask “When thinking about good time management, are there any expectations you can cut out that do not align with your own sense of self?”
    • Ask “Are you spending time on certain expectations that do not contribute to personal meaning and satisfaction?”
  • Ask participants to complete “Part 1: Expectations” in the Time Management Personal Profile Packet.

Part 2: Time Management Profile

  • Have participants complete the activity in Part 2 of the Time Management Personal Profile Packet.
    • After participants have had the time to complete the activity ask, “Were you surprised by anything you recorded? Did anything stand out to you as particularly helpful or unhelpful when it comes to your own personal time management?”

Part 3: Priorities and Values

  • Have participants complete the activity in Part 3 of the Time Management Personal Profile Packet. Encourage them to really think and evaluate their top values and priorities. These should be the aspects that best define their sense of self.
    • Ask “How much time do you spend cultivating the aspects you wrote down during a typical day?”
    • Discuss how spending time on values and priorities contributes to an overall greater quality of life.
      • How does your list compare to societal pressures?
      • How can you organize your routine to allow for your values and priorities?
      • What aspects might you need to cut out to make this time?
    • Play the jar of life video to help better explain this concept. Feel free to pause video at 1:42:

Part 4: Eisenhower Decision Matrix

  • Explain the matrix.
    • The Eisenhower Decision Matrix is a tool that is used to help determine what is urgent and important to better help plan tasks.
    • Urgent matters are those that are time sensitive. They have strict deadlines or you have a narrow window of time to complete or participate in the activity.
    • Important matters are those that help you reach a goal, involve people or values you care about, or are asked of you by people of importance.
  • Have participants identify 1-2 items for each of the four quadrants.
    • Examples of the top left quadrant are: crisis and deadline driven tasks.
    • Examples of top right quadrant are: preventative efforts (going in for a routine checkup) and planning ahead.
    • Examples of the bottom left quadrant include: one-time events and interruptions.
    • Examples of the bottom right quadrant include: entertainment and leisure time.
  • Ask “How might using this quadrant help with time management?”

Group Discussion and Reflection (Time: 10 minutes)

  • Encourage participants to engage in a discussion to wrap up the activities and information using the following questions. If participants are hesitant to share in the larger group or if you are facilitating with a very large group, break them into pairs or smaller groups.
  • Ask the group:
    • Were there any “ah-ha” moments or surprises for you in today’s activities?
    • Why is this a useful concept as a student? (Or use a specific role of the participants)
    • What can you do today to begin practicing better time management?
  • Wrap up by sharing the following: good time management is not so much about color coding planners or creating the best calendar. Effective time management is effective self-management. Spend time on things that are important to you and bring you a sense of meaning and purpose. Be disciplined enough to think through all necessary steps of a project to avoid retracing your steps later. Don’t be afraid to say no to things that distract from goals and priorities. If you can do that, then you’ll find that you may have more time in your day!

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