Time ManagementUnfortunately, hurdles sometimes rise when students attempt to use time effectively. Whether planning time to complete school assignments or allotting time to complete tasks at work, you may wonder if there will ever be enough time in the day. That being the case, the ability to effectively manage your time is a critical skill for both professional and academic success.Challenges to Time Management Time demands??”Commitments related to work, family, and school means that everyone has to do more in less time. Information explosion??”Cost-effective technology has inundated everyone with easily accessible information in the workplace, in the home, and in school. Although there are many advantages to having adequate information prior to making important decisions, too much information can cause analysis paralysis and interfere with our ability to get things done. Increase in the speed of operations??”Technology has increased the speed at which everything is done, and rapid responses are no longer just nice, they are expected. Influence of other people??”Time is also difficult to manage because it is influenced by other people. Co-workers, supervisors, family, and friends may all have conflicting ideas, goals, and objectives that can steal a person??™s time.Strategies for Improving Time Management Prioritize tasks and create a time-management plan.
Create a task list
List every task that needs to be done??”be sure to include routine tasks and family time. Delegate what can be delegated.
Examine each task. If it is not your responsibility, give it to someone else.
If the task is your responsibility, can someone else do it Eliminate what can be eliminated??”If you are spending 15 minutes a day waiting in line at your favorite coffee shop, this may be an opportunity to change this pattern. Save some time by making the coffee at home or grabbing it at the office. Enjoy visiting your coffee shop maybe once a week instead. Not only will you save time, but you will save some money, too. Prioritize what is left. List tasks in a logical sequence??”Just because a task is considered a priority task does not mean that it should be the first task of the day. If you are not at your best in the morning, save your important tasks until you are at your best. Also, there may be some reason that a task cannot be done until the afternoon??”perhaps it depends upon someone else??™s schedule. Set realistic completion time estimates??”A good rule for those who do not manage their time wisely is to double their original estimate. This builds in some extra time for other unscheduled occurrences. Plan today for tomorrow??”Identifying and prioritizing tasks for the next day increases productivity at the start of the following day.Your goal for school is to do the best you can do and by analyzing how you spend your time and developing time management strategies for getting your schoolwork done, you will be on the road to success.ProcrastinationWhat is ProcrastinationYour personal habits and attitudes have a great impact on how you use your time. The first step in improving time management is deciding that change is needed and having the willingness to make the effort.It is important you avoid procrastination while in school. Some people believe procrastination results from poor time management. In a few cases, that may be true. However, the reverse is true in most cases. Procrastination causes poor time-management habits. Factors commonly associated with procrastination are over-scheduling, laziness, and apathy. However, procrastination that is consistent and problematic may have a subconscious cause, such as Fear of failure or success
Low self-esteem or lack of confidence
Thrill of ???last minute rush???
Resentment of authority
Desire for perfectionProcrastination creates anxiety when things are not accomplished as planned. As stress increases, relationships are strained, and it becomes more difficult to find time for others. Procrastinators live in constant ???firefighting??? mode and, sadly, seldom reach their potential. It is easy for others to say, ???Just do it!??? or ???Don??™t try to be perfect,??? or ???You have to learn to say no.??? Procrastinators keep trying to master the art of planning and time management but often end up struggling over and over again. Chronic procrastination, however, is not a time-management issue; the subconscious causes of procrastination, therefore, need to be explored before time management can be successful. Practically everyone procrastinates once in awhile. Sometimes it is a conscious approach to managing one??™s time, but chronic procrastinators suffer from their procrastination in many ways.Strategies for Overcoming Procrastination (Student Affairs??”University of Buffalo, 2006) Recognize self-defeating problems such as fear and anxiety, difficulty concentrating, poor time management, indecisiveness, and perfectionism. Identify your own goals, strengths, weaknesses, values, and priorities. Compare your actions with the values you hold. Are your values consistent with your actions Discipline yourself to use time wisely. Study in small blocks instead of long time periods. You will accomplish more, for example if you work in 60-minute blocks and take frequent 10-minute breaks in between, than if you work for two to three hours straight with no breaks. Motivate yourself to study; dwell on success, not on failure. Try to study in small groups. Break large assignments into small tasks. Keep a reminder schedule and checklist. Reward yourself after you complete a task.
Set realistic goals. Modify your environment. Eliminate or minimize noises and distractions, and ensure you have adequate lighting. Have necessary equipment immediately available. Study at a desk with a straight-backed chair. Be neat! Take a few minutes to straighten your desk. This can help to reduce daydreaming.ReferencesStudent Affairs??”University of Buffalo (2006). Overcoming procrastination.
Retrieved on August 7, 2006, from
http://ub-counseling.buffalo.edu/stressprocrast.shtml

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