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- Revise your goal statements monthly to eliminate outdated ones and add new ones.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.
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.