Time Management

Time Management doesn’t TAKE time, it MAKES time

A man who dares to waste one hour of life has not discovered the value of life. — Charles Darwin

Students who don’t use time management think they know what they need to accomplish. They spend a lot of time studying but seem to get further and further behind.A man is running past a giant clock.

They would save a lot of time and worry if they made a good plan and followed it.

The man in the picture seems to be late as usual. I imagine he is also poorly prepared. He thinks he doesn’t have enough time to learn about time management. He doesn’t realize how much time he could save.

Some students shy away from time management because it sounds complicated and difficult. Time Management is NOT hard.  Studying without Time Management: That really is hard.

If you want to make good use of your time, you’ve got to know what’s most important and give it all you’ve got.
— Lee Iacocca

Time Management in 3 SIMPLE steps

Most Students do step two but don’t think about steps one and three. Books on study skills generally don’t list these steps.

Step 1. Set goals :

Set lifetime goals, college goals, and semester goals. You could spend months doing this but that’s not necessary. Start by spending 15-20 minutes. Decide what grades you plan to aim for in each class. You can always revise your goals later.

Step 2. Create and follow a study schedule. This is what most people call time management.

A. Use a calendar for long-term planning.  When you get the syllabus from each class, list the dates for tests, due dates for papers, and any other long-term information. Later, you can add doctor appointments, interviews, parties.  Time:  10 -30 minutes

B. Make a weekly study schedule  Many schools hand out blank weekly schedules at the beginning of the term. They look like one week on a calendar divided into the hours of the day. You can create your own by hand, on your computer (with tables or excel), or  print the Blank Study Schedule

For an idea of what a study schedule might look like, look at  Study Schedule Example
Fill in your study schedule with classes.  You might make several copies to use when you revise your schedule. I highlight classes in color so I’m careful never to miss a class.  Next add your study time.  Schools usually suggest 2-3  hours of study for each hour of class. If you have a three-hour class, plan 6-9 hours of study each week.  Be sure to add Flex-Time, time to finish work you didn’t get done in the scheduled time, and time for working on special projects like term papers.

You will probably need to revise your schedule after the first week or two. You will need more time for some classes and less time for others.

Tape copies of your schedule inside notebooks so you always have one with you or make a small copy  and carry it everywhere. It will help you remember when and where your next class is. It also will help you select materials to carry with you for the day. Time: 20-30 minutes 

C. Some people claim they just can’t follow a schedule. Nonsense. In high school, every minute was scheduled and you followed that schedule. Treat your study schedule as if study periods are classes.

Some people, however,  find it easier to work with a daily “To Do list.”  Develop that list based on your weekly schedule. List 5-10 things you should do that day. Use symbols to show priorities: the “MUST DO”, “SHOULD DO ” and “DO IF  there’s TIME”  items. Include calling Mom to say Happy Birthday,  your appointment to see a professor, paying bills, as well as regular class assignments.Write the list the night before or first thing in the morning. Check off items when completed. Time: 10 minutes a day.

Step 3. Accountability is Crucial.  Keep a record of how you spend your time.. Evaluate your progress. If you aren’t following your schedule, you might need to rethink your goals, revise your schedule, or make some serious decisions about how much and how well you plan to study. To make a schedule and not evaluate progress is like creating a financial budget and then spending money the way you always have. Time: Once a week for 3 – 15 minutes

That’s It.  Create your plan in just under an hour –  perhaps a little more your first time. Try it. Use it for 2 or 3 Weeks. Isn’t it Easy? Don’t you get more work done? You should also find that you now have more time for other activities.

Review our priorities, ask the questions; What is the best use of our time right now?                                       —  Alan Lakein

In truth, people can generally make time for what they choose to do; it is not really the time but the will that is lacking.   —  Sir John Lubbock

You need to read  Study Schedule Example  for suggestions on what to include in your schedule.

To Print a Blank  Study Schedule

For other areas of organization: Organize Space       Organize Materials  

Budget your Money

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