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Time Management

January 15th, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments

Time Management

 

discover-9-good-time-management-skills

Time Management …So much to do, so little time? We all have numerous drains on our time be it coursework, lectures, sports, part-time jobs and a hectic social life – unless you learn to manage your time you will not be able to do everything and feel the strain of stress. Once you are working as hard as you can, you must learn to work more effectively to stay on top.

 

Effective working

Everyone has times when they work most productively. The first step to being in control is to identify these times and take advantage of them. Get a routine in place during high stress and stick to it – routines can enable us to cope.

 

Aims and tasks

 

What are your aims? Consider:

  • Long term visions and dreams (ambitions)
  • Medium term goals (while at University)
  • Short term day-to-day items that must be completed to achieve the longer-term aims.

 

  • Make a list of your goals
  • Goals can be divided into tasks hat can be easily achieved
  • Prioritise
  • Divide up you tasks into categories:

URGENT/NOT URGENT

IMPORTANT/UNIMPORTANT

 

Put them into a grid like the one below

Category

URGENT

NOT URGENT
IMPORTANT A B/C
UNIMPORTANT B/C D

 

 

A = High Priority

D = Low priority, do you really need to do them? If not, forget about them!

 

Deadlines – one of the most important points of time management!time_management

Set yourself deadlines to do your task, according to your priorities. If a piece of work is due in at the end of term set the deadline a week or so in advance in case another urgent item crops up nearer the time.

 

Look at how long each task will take to do, be realistic and remember if it involves another person it may take twice as long! You can make another time plan, called a Gantt chart, where all your tasks are out into your diary according to how long they will take and how important each one is to the success of the other tasks

 

A         is a high priority, but needs a lot of time allocated to it, e.g. a group project for the semester

B         is medium priority, like an assignment with a deadline at the end of week 2

C         is a medium priority, but is an individual essay related to you group work

 

Timetable

 

Devise a timetable for your work. Put in all commitments, include social and relaxation time. Once it is written stick to it, but review from time to time. This gives a visual overview and can be a satisfying record of all you have done.

 

Be Organised

 

  • When you sit down to work make sure you have all the equipment, materials and researched information you need. Stopping to find a book can be a major drain on your time
  • Tidy your desk of distractions
  • Use a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on your door. If someone calls you think ‘is it really urgent or can you call back?’
  • Take regular breaks to keep your mind fresh. After each break review the work you have done to keep yourself focused
  • Concentrate on one task at a time. Do not start one task then leave it to pick up another. This is called procrastination (putting things off!) and can take up to twice as long to complete each task
  • Once you’ve finished a task, congratulate yourself, take a break, call your friend and relax…

 

All work and no play…

 

Some activities may seem like a waste of valuable time, e.g. sleeping, eating balanced meals, sports or meeting with friends. In fact continuing with your interests will help you to keep working productively and are an important part of managing your time. You do have more than just your studies in your life – keep a balance between work and play. Remember we need sleep for a reason – to recharge ourselves! If you deprive yourself of sleep your brain functions slow down and you will make mistakes. Save yourself the trouble by getting regular sleep.

 

Be positive

 

Try not to worry too much. Feel good about the work you have done and not what you haven’t. Use your tick list to see the jobs you have completed. Try not to compare yourself to others. It is about your capabilities and limits, not theirs. This way your motivation will increase and you will be able to tackle your jobs more effectively.

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