Time Management

One of the most requested workshops for many student leader and organizations is Time Management. Wasting the potential of time is like wasting the potential of the mind. Time is invaluable. You can't get it back once it is gone. Here are a few brief professional and personal tips for managing your time. You can use these tips in your organization to plan for the year or on your job to increase your productivity. You can even use them to regain control of your life.

Tips on How to Beat Procrastination

Procrastination is a real obstacle to managing time well. It is one of the worst enemies of success. But here are ways to combat it. The first step is to determine whether you postpone tasks that are unpleasant of difficult.

If you postpone unpleasant tasks the following tips may be helpful:
1. Try doing the most unpleasant task in your day or weekend first.
2. IF you are the kind of person who works better under pressure of a deadline, then impose one for your most unpleasant tasks.
3. Divide the task into small pieces.
4. Promise yourself a reward for completing an unpleasant task.
5. Convince yourself that choosing the easy way out and avoiding unpleasant tasks is detrimental to your ability to achieve the goals you have set for yourself.

If your procrastination problem stems primarily from postponing difficult tasks the following tips may be helpful:
1. Difficult tasks feel overwhelming so try breaking down a task into small units that can be tackled individually.
2. Write out all the separate tasks that are a part of the project.
3. Once you have divided a big project into small units, you can reserve some time every day to work on one of these.
4. Don't be fooled into thinking you always need large, uninterrupted blocks of time to make progress on an important project.
5. Use "to do" lists and put them in order of priority.
6. Do what you can for the day and don't criticize yourself when the lowest priority items have not been completed.
7. The trick is to complete the highest priorities first.
8. Don't get misled into thinking that you have really had a productive day when all you have done is a series of activities from the bottom of your priority list.

Davis, Sandra How to Overcome Procrastination. New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc. 1986.

Time Management Baby Steps

1. Set a goal use a planner for one month. Stick to your plan.
2. Identify your biggest time-wasters. (i.e., telephone interruptions, drop-in visitors, bad habits, watching television, video/computer games, etc.)
3. Are you are "pleaser," someone who says "yes" to everything and everyone? If so, have the courage to say "not today" when it's the right thing to do.
4. If you have an important test in one week, don't procrastinate and wait until the day before to study. Suck it up, stop whining and study a little each day.
5. Think of something you've procrastinated for a long time but that's very important to you. Block out time this week to get it done.
6. Note your ten most important Big Rocks (the most important priorities) for the upcoming week. Now, block out time on your schedule to accomplish each one.
7. Identify a fear that is holding you back from reaching your goals. Decide right now to jump outside your comfort zone and stop letting that fear get the best of you.
8. How much impact does peer pressure have on you? Identify the person or people who have the most influence upon you. Ask yourself, "Am I doing what I want to do or what they want me to do?" and "Why or why not?"
9. Pick up a planner and plan weekly. Identify your Big Rocks for the week (those things you need to do right away.) Block out time for your Big Rocks. Schedule your pebbles, all your other little "to-dos", daily task, and appointments. And adapt daily as needed.

Excerpts: Covey, Sean The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens. 1998


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