Skip to Main Content

Time Management

A task list is a prioritized list of items that need to completed in a specific amount of time. For students, this list will include a mix of academic tasks (e.g. readings, homework, assignments, etc.) and personal tasks (e.g. appointments, errands, etc.).

You could create a daily task list to help you stay organized each day, or you could create a list of all your tasks and chip away at it in your own time.

Why Use a Task List?

Task lists help you keep track of what you need to do and prioritize the most important tasks. Watch this video to learn more about the value of task lists.

How to Create a Task List

Creating a task list is more than just writing down everything you need to do. Watch the video or read the instructions below to find out how to create a task list.

How to Prioritize Items on a Task List

  1. Figure out what needs to go on your list. Check your semester plan, SLATE, your agenda, Sheridan email, and calendars at home for this information. Be sure to include personal tasks on your list.
  2. Write the items in a list and estimate how long each task will take. If a task will take longer than two hours, break it down into smaller chunks.
  3. Divide the tasks into three categories. Write A, B, or C beside each task. Label tasks that must be finished today as A items, tasks that should be finished today as B items, and tasks that could wait until tomorrow as C items. For school tasks, consider how much each item is worth and when it is due. After the tasks are labelled, divide them by category.
  4. Prioritize each category. Look at each category (A, B, and C) and number the items according to the order that they need to be finished (1, 2, and 3). Each item will have a different letter and number combination, guiding the order in which all tasks should be completed (eg. - A1, A2, B1, B2, B3, C1, etc.)
  5. Re-write the list so that the items are in order of priority. This could be done in an app, on a post-it, or in an agenda. Make sure that your list is within reach.

Tips for Creating Task Lists

  • Think about all your tasks: You task list should include academic tasks and anything else you need to do in your personal life.
  • Think about urgency and importance: If a task is urgent (must be done soon) or important (e.g. worth a large percentage of your grade), it should be a higher priority than tasks that aren't urgent or important.
  • Divide tasks by how soon they need to be done: Using the labels A, B, and C, split up tasks into things that need to be done today (A), should be done today (B), or could be done tomorrow (C).
  • Prioritize the ABCs: Number the tasks in each category based or urgency and importance.
  • Tackle your list by priority: Don’t get distracted by low-priority tasks. Use your list to guide you so you can work on the highest priority tasks.