By Bailey Keller and Elizabeth Ellington
As we all know, time is precious. It often feels like there are not enough hours in the day to accomplish everything. Falling behind can easily become overwhelming and lead to stress; however, the reality is that you have just as much time in a day as the next person.
The key to being successful is learning how to effectively and efficiently manage your time.
“Time management is the ability to plan and control how you spend the hours in your day to effectively accomplish your goals,” wrote Kirk Michealson, a University of Arkansas adjust professor.
“Good time management requires an important shift in focus from activities to results: being busy isn’t the same as being effective.”
This means that how you spend your time is more important than how much time you spend.
Michealson explains, “Good time management lets you work smarter – not harder – so you get more done in less time.”
You can’t change how many hours you have in a day, but you can change what you do with the time you have.
These three tips can help you master the art of time management and work towards achieving your goals.
1. Write it down
One of the easiest ways to keep track of your to-dos is simply writing it down. This means different things for different people; We like to use a planner and physically write everything down. However, we all live in a high-tech world, so some might prefer to use their calendar and reminders apps on their phones, tablets or computers. Others might prefer sticky notes or a dry erase board.
Whatever it is, have something that you will consistently use to remind you of what needs to be done. If you are still struggling, CLASS+ is a great resource that offers academic coaching here on campus, including time management!
After you have written down your to-dos, decide which ones are most important and most urgent and do those first.
“Time management not only helps individuals to make the best use of time but also ensures successful accomplishment of tasks within the stipulated time frame. It is essential to do the right thing at the right time to earn respect at work,” Michealson.
This is the golden rule of time management, doing the right thing at the right time.
Whether you star the most important items in your planner or organize your to-do list by level of importance/urgency, it’s important that you know which tasks have the soonest deadlines.
Once you cross off the most urgent items, you can relax a little and focus on getting ahead.
3. Say No
Another huge challenge that many face is not knowing when to say no. What I mean is saying no to friends when they want to hang out or go to a concert or even go to the mall when you have a homework assignment due at midnight or a test the next morning.
We all have a little fear of missing out, but sometimes we have to remember that some tasks take precedence over others. It’s not going to be fun, but chances are your friends also have an assignment due; ask to go to the library or study instead, you can still hang out but also get some work done in the process.
When mastering time management, it’s important to find what strategies work for you. Try using a planner, work on prioritizing, or saying no when you need to. As the saying goes, you have the same number of hours in a day as Beyoncé.
How are you going to spend your time?