Time management

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The list below represents what a group of experienced UVic Teaching Assistants (TAs) have identified as important aspects of how to manage your time as a TA and graduate student. Not all suggestions below may be applicable in all departments on campus. Please use the list as a guide only as this list is not exhaustive but encompasses a diverse array of techniques.

To manage your time effectively, try some of the following techniques:



  • Start small, break larger projects into smaller chunks
  • Identify tasks and organize
  • To the best of your ability, block out distractions
  • Have an organized plan for outcomes
  • Have an outline for students for class and course
  • Use calendars and make lists
  • Plan ahead to know what other tasks or projects are coming up


  • Take personal time, even if it is only a few moments each day
  • Learn to say “no” when appropriate
  • Talk to your peers, your Teaching Assistant Consultant (TAC), or your course instructors, and ask for support or feedback
  • Do not procrastinate
  • Prioritize and divide responsibilities
  • Allow for balance
  • Stay focused; do not multitask

Managing Expectations

  • Respect your deadlines and boundaries
  • Do not blame yourself
  • Know your own ability to balance tasks, workloads, time required
  • Upon completing a task, reward yourself
  • Avoid off-topic discussions; focus on your main point
  • If you become overwhelmed, re-negotiate your workload

This guide was developed during the Teaching Assistant Consultants’ (TACs) seminars for the academic year 2009-2010 and updated in 2020-2021.

About this post

This post was last updated:

August 11, 2022

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