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Time Management

An assignment tracker is a tool you can use to break down big or difficult assignments into smaller and more manageable steps.

If a task seems too difficult or you don't know where to start, breaking it down into smaller tasks is a great place to start—this process can make it easier to work through complicated projects, and it can keep you motivated when you see how much you've finished in a given week!

Why Use an Assignment Tracker?

Watch this video to learn why it's useful to break down assignments into smaller pieces.

How to Break Down Assignments

Step 1: Gather Information

  1. If possible, print off a hard copy of your assignment.
  2. Read the entire assignment out loud and annotate the document (e.g. highlight keywords, underline due dates, etc.)
  3. Brainstorm ideas for your topic.


Step 2: Calculate the Assignment Time

Use the chat below to calculate how long you spend on your assignment.

For every 5% the assignment is worth, you should plan to work for two hours:

Grade Percentage Hours to Complete Assignment
5% 2 hours
10% 4 hours
15% 6 hours
20% 8 hours
25% 10 hours
30% 12 hours
35% 14 hours
40% 16 hours

Step 3: Use an Assignment Tracker

Fill out your assignment tracker:

Watch the video and use the steps below to learn how to fill out the template. Make sure to start work at least two weeks before your assignment is due.

Written Intructions for Filling Out the Assignment Tracker

  1. Fill out the beginning of the form with the name of the course, the assignment title and value, the hours of work required, today’s date and the due date.
  2. In the Stages column, create a list of all of the things that you need to do to complete this assignment (e.g. brainstorming ideas, creating an outline, writing a rough draft, etc). Use one line for each stage.
  3. Give yourself a completion deadline for each task.
  4. Check off each task as you finish them.

Tips for Using an Assignment Tracker

  • Plan enough time: Be prepared to invest an average of 2 solid hours for every 5% an assignment is worth.
  • Start planning your time early in the semester: Use good habits early on so you don't fall behind.
  • Start assignments early: Start at least 2 weeks before the due date.
  • Spread out the work: Break your assignment down into smaller pieces and work on it across more days. Avoid doing work at the last minute.
  • Take advantage of Library resources!: If your assignment involves research, contact Sheridan's Library for support.