I cannot profess to be a top notch student or manager of my time. I get distracted, I waste time and I procrastinate. I have told myself “TODAY will be the day I get it done” and the day has come and gone.
I’ve tried and failed BUT I have also gotten back up to try again and again. Although self-awareness has been a big key in my growing success with time management there have also been a few things I have learned to value over time (pun intended).
THREE PROCESSES that have helped me grow in time management skills.
Benjamin Franklin is attributed with the saying: “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”
I have goals for my week, my term, my year and I have found it extremely helpful to map out my “Ideal Week” in accordance with these goals. The ideal week is a concept I learned from time management specialist Michael Hyatt. Mapping out my ideal week helps me to put my main priorities in first and learn to say no to what isn’t a priority. Check out this article for more information on mapping out your ideal week - https://michaelhyatt.com/ideal-week/
(If you’re a Segue UofM student let’s get together and talk about getting started on your “ideal week”)
Goals and a plan are great but if you are not tracking then you don’t know if your goals are being reached. You can do this simply by writing out a daily or weekly to do list for your goals and ticking the boxes as you get them done in the time you’ve set aside to reach your goals.
Learning how to evaluate is an ongoing process. When you’re setting your goals it is a good idea to decide what you would consider a “win” and what is a loss. Remember that it is okay to say “that plan did not work.” It is also okay to keep something going if it IS working. Maybe it needs a small adjustment. I know from personal experience that some goal setting, planning and tracking styles work better for me during the school year than in the spring and summer.
CELEBRATE YOUR WINS, even if that win is just that you learned something new about what works for your style of time management.
Don’t give up. Keep trying. Maybe you want to consider getting a life coach or friend to help you get started and keep you on track. You can do this!
For more pro tips on how to manage your time, especially for students, check out this time management article put together by the University of Waterloo. https://uwaterloo.ca/beyond-ideas/stories/tips-advice/5-time-management-tips-busy-students
Remember, time management is a skill. Keep trying. Keep learning. Ask questions. Dig deep to discover what keeps you from succeeding and what is truly life giving.
Do you struggle with time management? What have you tried? Has it worked?
Written by Tammy Junghans