5 Ways to Develop Time Management Skills
I often have my students tell me they find it challenging to manage their time wisely. We all have the same amount of time in our day to accomplish things. Why do some people seem to be able to do so much more than others? Some of it is genetics. I know I am on the hyperactive side so I tend to do a lot. Other people might find what I do to be overly stressful. For me, I find that the more I do, the better I feel. You don’t have to be hyperactive to get things done. A lot is based on how organized you are. Here are some tips that may help you:
1. Put activities you need to do into your planner or calendar. Plan for studying just like you would any other appointment. Mark out time that you will read, write papers, etc.
2. Set goals for the things you want to accomplish. If you need to write a paper by Friday, have that set up in your calendar, but also have smaller tasks set up as well. For example, you might want to spend an hour on Monday writing the outline, spend an hour on Tuesday researching the topic, spend an hour on Wednesday writing the initial draft, spend an hour on Thursday proofreading and rewriting. By breaking down what needs to be done like this it makes it easier to accomplish your goal. Remember goals need to be measurable. By writing down the due dates for each task, your final goal becomes more easily attainable.
3. Recognize your roadblocks to success. Are you afraid of criticism? Do you thrive on last minute stress? Are you a perfectionist that may avoid doing things for fear of it not being perfect? These are some of the things that hold people back from completing tasks on time. Try to keep in mind that no one is perfect. If you try hard to write a good paper that is much more important than if the paper is perfect. No paper is perfect. That is too subjective. Worry less about getting perfect grades and spend more time focused on learning. If you thrive on last minute stress, perhaps you need to schedule your time closer to the due date. But be reasonable with time expectations that it may take to complete your assignment.
4. Are you lacking motivation? Often, people really do have enough time to do the work but they lack motivation. Find ways to reward yourself for doing a good job on your work. If you really want to see a movie or do something fun, have that be a reward for finishing an assignment.
5. Are you taking advantage of multi-tasking? This is something I do a lot! You can multi-task at work and home in order to create more time in your day. When I exercise, I watch my television shows at the same time. When I have work conversations on the phone, I can type my notes about what we are talking about at the same time to remind me for later. Often times, people do one thing at a time, when they can be doing multiple things to free up more time.