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Complex Thoughts

Time Management

What is time management and why should I care about it? Managing time means investing your time to get what you decide you want out of life, including what you want out of being a member of a student organization. This concept of managing time assumes that you have clearly focused values and goals for your work, family, studies, social activities, other people, and most importantly, yourself.

HOW WELL DO YOU MANAGE YOUR TIME?

  • I do things in priority order.
  • I accomplish what needs to get done during each day.
  • I am always on time with assignments.
  • I use my free time efficiently.
  • I tackle difficult and unpleasant tasks without procrastinating.
  • I am working up to my potential.
  • I spend enough time planning.
  • I prepare a daily “To Do” list.

THINK ABOUT YOUR BEHAVIORS WITH REGARD TO THE STATEMENTS BELOW

  • I prioritize my “To Do” list.
  • I keep an up-to-date schedule book. 
  • I meet deadlines without rushing at the last minute. 
  • I am up-to-date on personal paperwork.
  • I don’t let interruptions sidetrack me from my daily tasks.
  • I don’t spend too much time on trivial matters.
  • I wake up in the morning ready to tackle the tasks of the day.

TEN TIPS TO HELP MANAGE YOUR TIME

  1. Plan — Start each day by making a general schedule with specific emphasis on one or two things you would like to accomplish - including things that will achieve long-term goals. The more time we spend planning a project, the less time is required for it. Use a calendar. Analyze tasks and break them down into manageable parts.
  2. Concentrate — The amount of time spent on a project is not what counts; it’s the amount of uninterrupted time.
  3. Take breaks — To work for long periods of time can decrease energy, as well as increase stress, tension, and boredom. Switching from a mental task to a physical task can provide relief. Merely resting can also increase your efficiency, reduce tension, and most importantly, benefit your health.
  4. Avoid clutter — In most cases, clutter can hinder concentration and cause frustration and tension. When you find your desk becoming chaotic, take time to organize. Remember you can only effectively work on one thing at a time, so concentrate all of your efforts on the most important one. Clearing or organizing your desk nightly should be standard practice.
  5. Avoid perfectionism — There is a difference between striving for excellence and for perfection; the first being attainable, gratifying and healthy,while the second is often unattainable, frustrating, and neurotic.
  6. Learn to say No — Learn to decline, tactfully yet firmly, requests that do not fit with your goals. If you explain that your motivation is not to get out of work, but to save time to do a better job on the really important things, you’ll have a good chance of avoiding unproductive tasks.
  7. Don't’T Procrastinate — Decide to change habits immediately, but don’t take on too much too quickly.
  8. Delete time-wasting activities and habits — If you are wasting your time in activities that bore you, divert you from your real goals, and sap your energy, make changes in a positive direction or delete them from your schedule.
  9. Delegate — Learn to delegate the challenging and rewarding tasks, along with sufficient authority to make necessary decisions.
  10. Avoid THE WORKAHOLIC SYNDROME — Don’t let work interfere with the really important things such as family, friends, and enjoyment.

COMMON CAUSES OF PROCRASTINATION

  • Low tolerance for frustration
  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of success
  • Perfectionist tendencies
  • Distaste for a particular task
  • Self doubt
  • Feelings of being overwhelmed by “the whole task”
  • ”I find this task easier to do when I’m under pressure”
  • Waiting to “get into the mood”
  • Loss of desire to complete the task

“TO DO” LIST TRICKS


The Charles Schwab Priority List Method

  1. Write down your upcoming duties.
  2. Write down a number beside each duty to indicate which is more important.
  3. Do each duty in order of its assigned importance.
  4. Do not go on to the next one until the preceding duty is completed or when you have done as much as you could for the present period of time. Both are personal values, with “importance”
  5. Any uncompleted duties at the end of the concerning degree of value and “urgency” with timing. day become top priority for the next day.
  6. Add to the list.

A B C D Method

Rank your "To Do" list as follows:
   A.  Important and urgent 
   B.  Important, but not urgent 
   C.  Urgent, but not important
   D.  Neither urgent nor important

TIME BUDGET FORMULA

The following is a formula for budgeting the number of hours in a week against the amount of predictable uses of your time. There are 168 hours in a week. Here is a sample of how you spend you time:

Number of hours for sleep/week @ 8/night for 7 nights 56 hours
Number of hours for meals/week @ 3/day for 7 days 21 hours
Number of hours for classes/week 16 hours
Number of hours for home work @ 4/class for 6 classes 24 hours
Number of hours for job/week 8 hours
Number of hours for travel time 2 hours
Number of hours for personal hygiene 7 hours
Total number of hours used 134 hours


Subtract the total number of hours/week used for predictable activities (134) from the total number in a week (168). There are still 34 hours to be budgeted towards discretionary activities. Everyone’s schedule is different, so take a few minutes to figure out where your time goes. There are two rewards you can expect from effective time management. A decreased amount of stress and accomplished goals!

ADAPTED FROM LEADER BITS, THE UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS AND GETTING THINGS DONE, EDWARD C. BLISS

Excellence. Our Measure. Our Motto. Our Goal.