Time Management Tips
A Personal Time Survey
To begin managing your time
you first need a clearer idea of how you now use your time. The Personal
Time Survey will help you to estimate how much time you currently spend
in typical activities. To get a more accurate estimate, you might keep
track of how you spend your time for a week. This will help you get a
better idea of how much time you need to prepare for each subject. It
will also help you identify your time wasters. But for now complete the
Personal Time Survey to get an estimate.
The following survey shows
the amount of time you spend on various activities. When taking the survey,
estimate the amount of time spent on each item. Once you have this amount,
multiply it by seven. This will give you the total time spent on the activity
in one week. After each item's weekly time has been calculated, add all
these times for the grand total. Subtract this from 168, the total possible
hours per week. Here We Go:
X 7 = _______Number of hours of sleep each night
X 7 = _______Number of grooming hours per day
X 7 = _______Number of hours for meals/snacks per day - include preparation
X 5 = _______Total travel time weekdays
Total travel time weekends
Number of hours per week for regularly scheduled functions (clubs, church,
X 7 = _______Number of hours per day for chores, errands, extra grooming,
Number of hours of work per week
Number of hours in class per week
Number of average hours per week socializing, dates, etc. Be honest!
Now add up the totals
the above number from 168 - _______ = _______
The remaining hours are the hours you have allowed yourself
Study Hour Formula
To determine how many hours
you need to study each week to get A's, use the following rule of thumb.
Study two hours per hour in class for an easy class, three hours per hour
in class for an average class, and four hours per hour in class for a
difficult class. For example, basket weaving 101 is a relatively easy
3 hour course. Usually, a person would not do more than 6 hours of work
outside of class per week. Advanced calculus is usually considered a difficult
course, so it might be best to study the proposed 12 hours a week. If
more hours are needed, take away some hours from easier courses, i.e.,
basket weaving. Figure out the time that you need to study by using the
above formula for each of your classes.
________ x 2 = _______ Easy class credit hours
________ x 3 = _______ Average class credit hours
________ x 4 = _______ Difficult class credit hours
Total Study Hours: _________
Compare this number to your
time left from the survey. Now is the time when many students might find
themselves a bit stressed. Just a note to ease your anxieties. It is not
only the quantity of study time but also it's quality. This formula is
a general guideline. Try it for a week, and make adjustments as needed.
There are a variety of time
schedules that can fit your personality. These include engagement books,
a piece of poster board tacked to a wall, or 3 x 5 cards. Once you decide
upon the style, the next step is construction. It is best to allow spaces
for each hour, half-hours for a busy schedule. First, put down all of
the necessities; classes, work, meals, etc.
Now block in your study time
(remember the study time formula presented earlier). Schedule it for a
time when you are energized.
Also, it's best to review
class notes soon after class. Make sure to schedule in study breaks, about
10 minutes each hour. Be realistic on how many courses to take. To succeed
in your courses you need to have the time to study. If you find you don't
have time to study and you're not socializing to an extreme, you might
want to consider lightening your load.
Tips for Saving Time
Now that you know how you
spend most of your time, take a look at it. Think about what your most
important things are. Do you have enough time? Chances are that you do
not. Below are some tips on how to schedule and budget your time when
it seems you just don't have enough.
Don't be a perfectionist
Trying to be a perfect person
sets you up for defeat. Nobody can be perfect. Difficult tasks usually
result in avoidance and procrastination. You need to set achievable goals,
but they should also be challenging. There will always be people both
weaker and stronger than you.
Learn to say no
For example, an acquaintance
of yours would like you to see a movie with him tonight. You made social
plans for tomorrow with your friends and tonight you were going to study
and do laundry. You really are not interested. You want to say no, but
you hate turning people down. Politely saying no should become a habit.
Saying no frees up time for the things that are most important.
Learn to Prioritize
Prioritizing your responsibilities
and engagements is very important. Some people do not know how to prioritize
and become procrastinators. A "to do list" places items in order of importance.
One method is the ABC list. This list is divided into three sections;
a, b, or c. The items placed in the A section are those needed to be done
that day. The items placed in the B section need completion within the
week. The C section items are those things that need to be done within
the month. As the B, C items become more pertinent they are bumped up
to the A or B list. Try it or come up with your own method, but do it.
Combine several activities
Another suggestion is to combine
several activities into one time spot. While commuting to school, listen
to taped notes. This allows up to an hour or two a day of good study review.
While showering make a mental list of the things that need to be done.
When you watch a sit-com, laugh as you pay your bills. These are just
suggestions of what you can do to combine your time, but there are many
others, above all be creative, and let it work for you.
After scheduling becomes a
habit, then you can adjust it. It's better to be precise at first. It
is easier to find something to do with extra time then to find extra time
to do something. Most importantly, make it work for you. A time schedule
that is not personalized and honest is not a time schedule at all.