We are now into our 7th week of the “Take the Challenge” wellness program. This week we are striving to establish stress free time management.
The following are a few key words that have been mentioned in various articles on time management: categorize, organize, prioritize, recognize and delegate.
We were fortunate when Carole Basak, Associate Director of Academic Support, could take the time out of her busy schedule to advise us on the topic of time management. It was very easy to catch Carole’s enthusiasm during her dynamic presentation.
The handout, Time Management, includes this quote from Rita Emmett: “How do you spend your time? Time management doesn’t mean running around like a nut doing twenty things at once. True time management means actually spending as much of your time as you can doing those things you want to do rather than activities you don’t care about. It involves clarifying your values, deciding what is important, and working to spend your time doing that.”
Carole also recommends this book by David Allen, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity.
In Getting Things Done Allen shows how to: “Apply the “do it, delegate it, defer it, drop it” rule to get your in-box to empty” (Amazon.com).
In addition to Carole’s presentation, you may like to consider these two straight-forward articles, “How to Manage Time” and “How to Improve Time Management Skills as a College Student.”
How to Manage Time
Stress and disorganization go hand in hand. Lower your stress levels and become more productive by taking control of your time. Effective time management will not only help you accomplish your goals, but also improve your health by diminishing stress-related headaches, shoulder pain and digestive issues.
1. Start your day early enough to exercise and eat breakfast. Breakfast improves your concentration and productivity. Include milk, fruit and grains. Avoid sugary foods, such as donuts, biscuits and sodas. Eat protein snacks throughout the day to refuel your mind and body.
2. Think positively on the day. Empower yourself by not allowing negative thoughts to drain your energy. Shift your state of awareness when negativity strikes by getting out of your chair and moving around. Look at difficulties as challenges rather than roadblocks.
3. Plan long-term goals and break them down into short-term goals. Set aside time each week to review your goals and adjust your schedule.
4. Plan out your day, prioritizing tasks in order of importance. Focus on the most important tasks first — don’t be distracted by small tasks on the list. Allow sufficient time to do quality work for each task. Avoid committing to nonessential tasks and delegate chores that don’t necessitate you being there.
5. Break large, intimidating tasks into doable 10-minute sections. This may give you the momentum you need to finish the task.
6. Take small breaks throughout the day to recharge your energy. De-stress by deep breathing, stretching or taking a walk.
7. Check your progress in the middle of the day. Evaluate your list to ensure you complete the most important tasks remaining. For positive reinforcement, look at the progress you have made throughout the day.
8. Review the time tasks took you to complete throughout the day. Underestimating your time leaves you stressed. Overestimating your time creates gaps in time that you could use more constructively.
9. Get sufficient sleep. Lack of sleep depletes memory and concentration, thereby decreasing productivity (Elaine Bolen).
How to Improve Time Management Skills as a College Student
Developing effective time management skills as a college student is critical to your academic and social success in college. Your success or failure in college is greatly affected by your effective use of time. But being a college student is also a very time consuming job. Therefore it is important to learn good time management skills and habits that will not only help you on the road to academic success in college, but will transfer into other areas of your professional and personal life. The steps in this article will help you manage your time effectively, improve time management, and practice effective time management skills.
1. Plan enough time for study. As a general rule, in college, you should study at least two hours outside of the classroom for every hour that you’re in a class.
2. Develop the habit of studying at the same time each day. This creates stronger study habits.
3. Get a weekly or monthly planner – depending on your preferences – and write all due dates for assignments and test dates. Then, two weeks before the assignment due date, write “start on the particular assignment”. One week prior to the due date, write “finish such and such assignment”. This will allow for weekly reminders leading up to the actual deadline.
4. Use your free time immediately after class wisely for copying notes and reviewing the material.
5. Study for 20 to 25 minute intervals and then take a short break. Research shows that studying in shorter blocks or intervals of time and then taking a break is more beneficial than studying constantly for hours. Therefore, review material in smaller blocks of time.
6. Schedule a one hour weekly review and use weekends if possible.
7. Remember to have some unscheduled time and be flexible. This will allow you time to do things you want to do.
8. Participate in extracurricular activities. Plan to have some fun in college. You need a balance of both academic and social life to be a well-rounded individual (eHow Contributor)