Time Management

Not sure how your time adds up? Time flies - how is your time spent? The following tips may enable you to create a schedule that works for you - not against you.

General tips for time management

  • Write it down - make paper reminders so you can't forget.
  • Never dwell on failures as you can do nothing about them and they use up valuable time.
  • Never feel guilty about those things that you did not do or accomplish.
  • Have a light lunch so you don't get sleepy in the afternoon and be non-productive.
  • If you have to wait, use the time to relax, plan or do something that you would have had to use other time for, i.e., reading a page or two from a good book. Always have something in your possession to read.

Create a flexible schedule

  • Get satisfaction from every minute of the day, since all time is crucial.
  • Seek new techniques each day that can be used to gain time. Use other people's ideas - try it - you may like it.
  • Evaluate all habits and eliminate those you don't need.
  • Eliminate non-productive activities as soon as you realize them.
  • Reserve "open time" for targets of opportunity, last minute decisions, etc.
  • Allow yourself diversity in your schedule so you will not get tired of your list of activities and reduce your efficiency or effectiveness.

Plan daily activities ahead of time

  • Plan in the evening so you can get a good start on the next day's activities. (Make a schedule for your entire day.) I have lost years - one minute at a time.
  • Prioritize your activity list each day and do your best to complete them quickly.
  • Use your time allotted for work wisely.
  • Get up early each day and get a head start on the day before other people begin.

Make goals that can be attained

  • Review goal statements daily and identify those activities necessary to accomplish each and do them.
  • Keep your long-term goals in mind even when doing the most insignificant tasks. Never lose sight of your goals.
  • Revise your goal statements monthly to eliminate outdated ones and add new ones.
  • Remember – time passes, will you?

Organizing your time - make a schedule

  • Put in a set of daily activities, including eating and sleeping.
  • Put in time for classes, labs, etc.
  • Put in time you set aside for study.
  • Put in time you set aside for recreation.
  • Examine your present schedule and note the amount of time actually expended in study and classwork.
  • Note the unused - "wasted" hours in each day (hours between classes, etc.)
  • Make up a new schedule, setting aside an adequate amount of study time. A general rule for a study schedule is two hours out of class study time per week for each hour carried. For example, a student carrying 15 hours should schedule 30 hours of outside study time per week.
  • In setting up your new study schedule, be sure to utilize those between class hours during the day.
  • Be realistic and set aside adequate amounts of time for sleep, meals, and recreation.

Implementing your schedule

  • Determine ahead of time a realistic amount of time to spend on an assignment and them make every effort to complete the assignment within those limits. Make deadlines realistic.
  • Make allowances for interruptions. Make every effort to keep interruptions to a minimum.
  • A person's supply of energy will fluctuate from day to day - allow for this.
  • Take short breaks during long study periods (10 minutes per hour is realistic.)
  • Attempt to study in each subject every day - this promotes learning and retention.
  • Study in a particular area until the material is mastered - but take breaks.
  • Apply the schedule. Be flexible and make temporary or permanent changes in the schedule as needed.
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In a nutshell

  • Have a definite place where you study (preferably inaccessible). This should not be the same place you use for bull sessions, for writing letters, or for recreation.
  • Have all study materials handy.
  • Be ready to study when you sit down at your desk.
  • Be firm, let friends and associates know that certain hours are off-limits for idle conversations, etc.
  • Clamp down on idle conversation.
  • Beware of telephonists.
  • Learn to say no.
  • Get rid of paper confusions in your workspace.
  • Reward oneself for good effort.