Module on Time Management


By

Margaret Francis
Faculty
SCMS
Cochin
 


INTRODUCTION

Time Management is an important aspect of an individual's life. If s/he is able to manage the time, s/he will succeed in his/her life. Most of the people are finding difficulty to manage time and so that they cannot achieve their goal as they wish. They will procrastinate their work and complaining, "I don't have time to do what I want to do". Managing all the activities, which a person expected to do, is overwhelming. So we need to try out some new approaches.

This program will help you to assess where your time goes and make some decisions about changes you would like to make use of your time effectively.  We all have 168 hours in a week to use as we wish; however, some people make better use of this time than others do.  Throughout the program, you will learn ways to use your time more effectively. You can gain time by organizing the activates in a more suitable way to fit for you. You can complete all the activities more effectively and to identify the time that is normally wasted.

 Purpose of Activity.

* To high light the importance of Managing Time.
* To illustrate the necessary technique to manage the time effectively.

Duration

4 Sessions –Individual basis.

Preparation

To begin this program, on a piece of paper make a list of the top five ways you waste your time.

Methodology

* TIME MANAGEMENT QUIZ
* STEPS TO IMPROVED TIME MANAGEMENT
* RECAP
* GOAL SETTING
* FEED BACK

TIME MANAGEMENT QUIZ

Answer each of the following questions:

Do you estimate how many hours you will need to study each week?    

Do you meet assignment deadlines?

Do you begin working on semester long projects early in the semester?

Do you write a daily "to do" list? 

Do you prevent social activities from interfering with your study time?

Do you have a job that requires fewer than 10 hours a week?

Do you set specific goals for each study period?

Do you begin your study time with your most difficult assignment?

Do you complete most of your studying during your most productive hours each day? 

Do you think of being a full-time student as you would a full-time job?

When you have answered all questions. If you have a high total score (10 is the maximum score possible), this indicates that you are using effective time management techniques.  If your total score is low, it may be helpful to learn some techniques for using your study time more effectively.


How to Overcome Procrastination:

Step 1: Recognize that you're Procrastinating due to

* Filling your day with low priority tasks from your To Do List;
* Sitting down to start a high-priority task, Leaving an item on your To Do list for a long time, even though you know it's important;
* Regularly saying "Yes" to unimportant tasks that others ask you to do, and filling your time with these instead of getting on with the important tasks already on your list.
* Pay attention to how others misuse your time.
* Attend to your attention: If you find yourself consistently losing concentration, notice what are the internal and external factors that might be affecting this.
* Learn how to say" No"

Step 2: Work out WHY you are Procrastinating

Common causes of procrastination is due to two main reasons:

* Unpleasant task; or
* Overwhelming task.

Step 3: Get over it!

* Make up your own rewards.
* Ask someone else to check up on you.
* Identify the unpleasant consequences of NOT doing the task.
* Break the project into a set of smaller, more manageable tasks.
* Start with some quick, small tasks if you can, even if these aren't the logical first actions.

STEPS TO IMPROVED TIME MANAGEMENT

Following strategies will be useful for managing time more effectively. 

* Create a semester schedule.
* Assess and plan your workload each week, broken down hour by hour. Be sure you are included all the activities in your schedule like: sleeping, eating, time in class, work, travel, breaks, regular commitments, exercise, recreation, daydreaming etc.
* Record known class assignments including quizzes, tests, projects and papers.
* Record co-curricular activities including work hours, meetings, social commitments and out-of-town weekends
* Recording co-curricular activities allows you to have a more accurate picture of how full or open your schedule will be throughout the semester.  These activities are important for providing balance in your schedule.
* Adjust your plan each day. Plug your study times into your schedule using your most alert times of the day.
* Schedule flexibility into your schedule. Plan for the unexpected events.
* Evaluate your schedule. Revise the schedule to fit your actual life.

ASSESSING AND PLANNING YOUR WEEKLY SCHEDULE

* Identify the task, which you want to accomplish during the coming week.
* Include college activities that must be done for the week like reading a chapter, working problems, or writing an outline for a project.
* Include co-curricular activities, work hours, exercise, meals and time with friends on your list of things to do for the week.
* Daily living activities and co-curricular activities are important and provide balance in your schedule but take time away from study time.  Preparing dinner and cleaning up afterwards or attending a student organization meeting can take as much time as reading a chapter in a textbook.
* Estimate how long each task will take.
* Activities take different amounts of time so to effectively use your time,
* Identify the day on which you will accomplish each task, keeping in mind the amount of time the task will take and other things you must also do that day.
* This facilitates the next step of this process, making a daily schedule.  By looking at your whole week and realizing everything you need to accomplish during that week, you are more likely to avoid missing deadlines. You can make adjustments throughout the week instead of finding that you have a 6-hour task with only three hours remaining before the deadline.  Making your schedule for the next week is a good activity for Friday afternoon or evening, before beginning your weekend.  Weekends provide the largest blocks of time for study so if you will have a very full week ahead, it may be helpful to complete some of the tasks on the weekend to decrease the time crunch during the coming week.

When to study

* Schedule manageable study session-Never study more than an hour with out taking a break.
* Figure out your best time for the day to study-When you are able to concentrate well and to tackle the most difficult subject.
* Priorities should given to the most important activities.

ADJUST YOUR SCHEDULE EVERY DAY

* Write out a daily schedule at the beginning of each day.  Include uncompleted tasks from the previous day as well as new tasks.
* This should only take a few minutes because you can use your weekly schedule to create it quickly.  Use an index card or a daily planner.  Carry your schedule with you so you can refer to it as needed and cross items off once they are completed.  This last step provides a sense of accomplishment.
* As you write out your daily schedule, assess your priorities.
* Some activities must be done on a particular day while others may be optional for that day.   You can use the A, B, C system of prioritizing your tasks.  A's must be done that day and C's are optional.  B's are important but not as important as A's.   Try to accomplish all your A tasks before moving on to the B tasks and finally the C tasks.  This can reduce your stress level.

EVALUATE YOUR SCHEDULE

* Evaluate your schedule in the morning.
* Ask yourself whether the schedule for the day is realistic, given the amount of time each of the tasks
* Evaluate your schedule in the evening.
* Did you accomplish everything on your list?  If not, why not?  Was the schedule unrealistic or was your time management ineffective?  What adjustments can you make in the future to make your schedule work better for you?

To assess where your time goes, complete the inventory below.  Be as honest with yourself as you can.  Some of the items are done every day so those will need to be multiplied by 7 to arrive at a weekly total.  One item may be done any number of times a week so you will need to multiply that one by the number of times each week you do it.  After you have responded to all the questions, you will have an opportunity to see how many hours remain during the week for studying.

Check ,how many hours remain for studying

Average Time you spend for your Major Activities

Number of Hours per Day

Complete the Calculation

Number of Days Per Week

Number of Hours per week

How many hours do you sleep in each 24 hour period, including those after noon

 

Multiply

7

 

How many hours a day do you engage in grooming activities

 

Multiply

7

 

How many hours a day do you spend on meals, including preparation and clean-up time?

 

Multiply

7

 

How much time do you spend for traveling to and from campus and how many times do you do this during a week?  Include the total amount of time you spent for this

 

Multiply

7

 

How many hours a day do you spend doing your work?

 

Multiply

7

 

On the average, how many hours do you spend each week doing co-curricular activities (student organizations, working out, church, etc.)?

 

On the average, how many hours a week do you work at a job?

 

How many hours do you spend in class each week?

 

On the average, how many hours per week do you spend with friends, going out, watching TV, going to parties, etc?

 

Add to compute the number of hours you are spending each week engaged in daily living activities and school activities.

 

There are 168 hours in a week. Now you can Subtract to find out how many hours remain for studying, since this is not one of the activities included above.

 

It is important to practice it regularly and to practice it long enough that you have a way of evaluating whether or not it is helping.  Try to identify a new strategy until you receive the results and to get an idea whether the new strategy is working for you.

* Identify your best time of the day
* Studying at your best time of the day will enable you to complete your task in less time.  Study difficult or boring subjects first.
* Study subjects that are more of a challenge to you first when you are less fatigued.  Save subjects, you like to study for later, when you are; feeling more tired but need to continue to study to keep up with your work
* Use the same place to study every time
* Studying in the same place each day is like going to class in the same room.  You begin to associate a particular activity with a particular location so when you are in that location, you and able to focus on the task at hand more quickly.  
* Use the library
* Libraries are good places to study because this is the only activity we do in this environment. If not possible, you try to find another location outside of your room that provides a good study environment and is relatively free of distractions.
* Avoid distractions like turn off your phone ringer, close your room etc.
* Many things can provide a distraction to studying if we are looking for ways to procrastinate.  
* Use waiting time
* Try to accomplish as many of your college tasks as possible within a concentrated period of time, such as 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.  If you use these hours either for attending class or for studying, you'll have much more free time in the evenings and on the weekends to spend time with friends.  Your classes are likely to get the amount of attention they require as well.  It does not mean that you will never need to study in the evenings or on the weekends because there will still be crunch times and you probably will.  However, treating school, as a full-time job and adopting the hours of a full-time job will probably result in better, more efficient management of your time.

Give rewards for you, if you manage Time Effectively.

* Try to give rewards (gift) for you, if you are able to do the planned activities in time.

RECAP

So far, in this program, you have had the opportunity to:

1. Identify your top five time wasters;
2. Identify strengths and weaknesses in your time management practices;
3. Learn strategies for making a daily, weekly and semester schedule;
4. Learn how to evaluate your time schedule;
5. Assess where your time goes; and
6. Learn some strategies for improving your time management.

You need to setup goals to improve your time management skills. 

GOAL SETTING

From the above specified time management strategies, you can improve your skill in managing time. If still you need to improve it, you need to set up specific goal which you want to work on during the next few weeks. Keep them in a place where you will be reminded of your goals frequently and practice them every day.

Know your value

View your life as a whole. Write a short mission statement about you life-a paragraph that describes your values and the kind of life you wanted to lead. An effective time manager is the person who is productive and relaxed at the same time.

Feed Back

Time Management Strategies for Improving Academic Performance

This Exercise meets my expectations

Strongly Agree                    Moderately Agree                     Strongly Disagree

I have identified at least one time management strategy that I plan to incorporate into my study routine

Strongly Agree                    Moderately Agree                     Strongly Disagree

Ref:

1. www.ucc.vt.edu/studysk/htimesug.html.
1. Cook counseling center  at Virginia tech,
2. www, bsc.harvard.edu/PDFs/time_mgmt.pdf.
3. www.ctl.stanford.edu/Student/Study skills/time-manage.pdf.
4. www.lsc.sas.cornell.edu/LSC_resources/Timemanagement
 


Margaret Francis
Faculty
SCMS
Cochin
 

Source: E-mail December 18, 2008

          

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