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Time is one of your most valuable and precious resources; your responsibility and potential for success lie in how you use yours. You cannot change how time passes, but you can spend it wisely. To manage your time better follow these strategies:
Build a Schedule
A schedule is a time-and-activity map that helps you get from the beginning of the day (or week, or month) to the end as smoothly as possible. The following strategies will help you start building a schedule right away.
- Keep a planner - Time management experts agree that rule number one in a thoughtful planning process is to use some form of planner where you can write things down. There are two major types of planners: the day-at-a-glance version, which devotes a page to each day, and the week-at-a-glance version, which gives you a view of the week's plans. Writing things down will help you realize your goals and keep track of important events like due dates for papers and tests.
- Link Daily and Weekly Goals with Long-Term Goals - After you evaluate what you need to accomplish in the coming year, semester, month, week, and day to reach your long-term goals, use your schedule to record those steps. Write down the short-term goals that will enable you to stay on track. Start with the most immediate goals and work your way up.
- Indicate Priority Levels - Prioritizing enables you to use your planner with maximum efficiency. Record your goals first, and then label them according to their level of importance using these categories:
- Priority 1 activities being the most important and pressing
- Priority 2 activities are part of your routine, and
- Priority 3 activities are those you would like to do but don't consider urgent.
Take Responsibility for How You Spend Your Time
Spend your time wisely, planning your activities with your most important goals in mind. Use the following strategies:
- Plan your schedule each week - Before each week starts, note events, goals and priorities.
- Make and use to-do lists - Use a to-do list to record things you want to accomplish.
- Post monthly and yearly calendars at home - Keeping a calendar on the wall helps you stay aware of important events.
- Schedule down time - When you're wiped out from too much activity, you don't have the energy to accomplish as much.
- Don't procrastinate - Avoid time traps like saying "yes" when you don't have the time.
Information obtained from:
Bishop, J., Carter, C. & Kravits, S. (2003). Keys to success in college, career, and life. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall