It’s on the course outline. It’s been there all term. You haven’t ignored it. In fact, you’ve thought about it a lot! Yet somehow other things just kept getting in the way. That deadline used to be so far in the future, yet there it is—tomorrow. As you prep yourself for another all-nighter, you wonder, “Where did I go wrong?”

According to Capilano University Learning Specialist Alison Parry, time management skills are especially crucial at the beginning of term. “If you get left behind early, sometimes you never get caught up and are scrambling and stressed all the way to the end,” she says.

According to experts like Alison, one of the first steps to take once you’ve chosen your classes and collected your course outlines is to make a term calendar. Depending on how you process information best (a.k.a. your learning style), this can take many forms.

What’s your style?

For mainly visual learners—and that would be about 65 percent of us—transforming those deadlines from numbers on a page into a visually comprehensible calendar is a major key to success.

There are endless ways to do it too! Here are a few:

  • A laminated wall calendar. These give you four months at a glance and can be re-used from term to term. Available at the Cap U Bookstore

  • A common month-by-month calendar. Put that Secret Santa gift or freebie from your bank to good use, or go out and find your personal inspiration from that kiosk in the mall. Kittens? Beaches? Goats with mullets? You choose!
  • A student planner. Designed just for university. They often combine month and day calendars in really useful formats. Provided free by the Capilano Students’ Union.
  • Go digital. The beauty of software like Google Calendar and iCal is that you can sync them across all the devices you use on a daily basis. Color-code, add notes, share it with group members, and best of all: set reminders!


  • Get a head start in the business world by familiarizing yourself with professional task management or note-taking software.
  • Create your own. Need to fit it in your binder, hang it on your closet door or maybe glue it to your travel mug? Grab a ruler and make it happen! Just be sure to double-check all the dates.

Fill ‘er up!

It’s actually a really satisfying experience to step back and admire your fully populated calendar. All your projects, events, commitments, deadlines, reading lists, right there in one place. And wait, what’s that? A 3-day gap with absolutely nothing due? Maybe you could work ahead! Or then again, there’s always Whistler…

It may be difficult to spend a few hours on a calendar when you’ve got a fresh mountain of assignments staring you in the face, but the confidence and peace of mind it brings will be worth the effort. In the end, time management skills like these help you balance not only school assignments but also work, family and personal life.

Master the art

For more about what kinds of things to actually put in your calendar, how to schedule study time and what to do about large and longer-term assignments, attend the Time Management workshop on January 7 at 11:00 a.m. in LB119, part of the spring term Study Skills Workshop series provided by Counselling and Learning Support. Other workshops this term include Giving an Oral Presentation, Making Mind Maps and even Strategies for Succeeding at Math. Check them out!

Individual appointments are also available for help with these and other skills. Just drop by the Counselling & Learning Support office (BR 267) or call Alison at 604-984-1744.

Submitted by Marketing & Communications