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Time Management & Planning

Contrary to what you may believe, you DO have enough time to do the things you want to do.  All it takes is learning to plan.  Approach time as if you are in control.  Sometimes it seems that your friends, or your boss, or your teachers or parents control your time.  But maybe what is actually happening is that you are not spending the time you do have in the way that you want.  Planning involves determining what you want to achieve and how you intend to go about it.  You can state your wants as written goals, then use your time management skills to schedule activities to help meet those goals.  Planning gives you a chance to spend your most valuable resource in the way you choose.

 

Don't Get Lost in the Time Matrix

 matrix image

Follow these examples as a guideline for managing your time and prioritizing your tasks. 

Management expert Stephen Covey created the below time matrix as another way to set and monitor priorities.  Important activities include those linked to your goals and values.  Urgent activities require immediate attention, but might not reflect those things most important to you.

IMPORTANT URGENT

--Math test tomorrow

--Attend the scheduled appointment with your academic advisor

--Chemistry project due today

--Return library book due today

IMPORTANT NOT URGENT 

--Date with a friend

--English paper due in 30 days

--Call Mom

--Schedule dentist appointment

NOT IMPORTANT

--Ringing phone or text alert

--Unnecessary work

--Trivial questions

--Interruptions

NOT IMPORTANT NOT URGENT

--Hanging out at the UC

--Watching Netflix

--Playing video games

--Reading Reddit or playing on Pinterest

Guidelines for using this matrix to manage your time include:

  1. Spending time on important nonurgent things before they become urgent.
  2. Not letting yourself be ruled by urgency.
  3. Never avoiding important work because of tasks that are just urgent (prioritizing important urgent over important but not urgent).
  4. Doing important activities early.  If you want until they are urgent, you will just increase your stress level.
  5. Identifying the most important work that needs to be completed after each class.
  6. Setting priorities for your tasks and completing them in order.

Does the idea of a To-Do List stress you out?

Check out some time-management tips for right-brained people here.

Retrieved from Ellis, D.  (2006).  Becoming a master student (11th ed.).; Wadsworth.  (2000).  College success planner.; Santrock, J. W., & Halonen, J. S. (2006).  Your guide to college success (4th ed.).    

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