Practicing Time Management
Time management is a problem for many people because there are so many distractions in our day-to-day lives that can interfere with whatever goals we have to accomplish that day, week or year. Often we can have a to-do list, but none of the items end up getting done because we get caught up in doing everything but what we are supposed to be doing. Sometimes, when there is too much to do, we feel especially challenged to make the most of our time. When we are short on time and have a lot to do, we must learn to prioritize.
This means cutting off some of the less important things and focusing our energy on accomplishing what is the most important. Making lists that order your tasks from most important to least important is a really good trick that can save time and keep you on track. The worst scenario, when short on time, is wasting your energy worrying about everything that you have to do. What you want to do is get down to work as soon as possible, as soon as you are finished drawing out what it is that you are needing to get done.
If, for example, you have 5 assignments that need to get done, focusing on the assignment that is due next week is more important than focusing on the assignment that is due in two months. You may want to create a short list of the tasks that you want to get done and order them by nearest date to farthest date. Think about how long it will take you to accomplish each one of the tasks, and jot this down next to the due date. Create a schedule for when you will start working on the task and how much time you will devote to it. By doing this, you are assuring that you will not forget about one project in favor of focusing on another or getting distracted entirely.
If you are really crunched for time, you may also want to include what grade you are expecting to get on each one of the assignments so that you can put a little more time and care into the ones that will mean more to get a good mark on. In this way you will not be wasting your time doing too much research on an assignment for which a good grade will not mean much to you, or for which the overall weighting of the assignment is minimal.
One last way of practicing good time management is to avoid procrastinating. Often, if we have a lot to do, we may be tempted to do anything but what it is that we are supposed to be doing. This is a natural tendency and we all do it at some point. The important thing to remember is that facing your challenge head on will actually facilitate the task and make it that much easier to complete. By making a list and prioritizing what is the most important (and the least important), we face the challenge head on and avoid procrastinating.