Time management workshop stresses organization

By: Brittany McDaniel, feature editor

Amber Mitchell, director of student support services, hosted the Time Management workshop Tues., Feb. 24, helping students to learn the basic principles of managing a busy schedule.

Mitchell started out by giving attendees a tangible example. “Imagine there is a back that credits your account with $86,400 each morning, but doesn’t carry the balance over the next day. What would you do if that happened?”

“You’d spend it all,” Mitchell rationalized. In the scenario, the account balance represents the 86,400 seconds people are allotted in one day.

“The first step,” Mitchell said, “is knowing if you manage your time well.”

Setting priorities is the next step. Mitchell suggested pinpointing the things that are important, and decide what needs to be accomplished, adding that writing priorities and goals down can make them seem more real. “Once you identify your priorities, you need to make a plan to reach those goals.”

When planning tasks, consider three types of objectives: not important but urgent, important but not urgent and important and urgent. “This may seem a little strange because as a society, when something is urgent we consider it important,” Mitchell said.

She used a ringing phone as an example of something that is urgent, but not necessarily important. Tasks that are important but not urgent are items like final exams or tests. They are planned in advance, but are not in the immediate future, and may be put off until they become more urgent.

Knowing when you are the most productive during the day can be a helpful tool in setting up a schedule. Mitchell discussed how to allocate time in a schedule for different tasks. . “Evaluate how much time you spend doing each thing. Determine how long you are going to study,” Mitchell explained.

She advised trying not to cram too much into one activity. “Allow yourself to take small breaks. Study for one hour, then take a quick break, and then go back to studying. This will make your studying more efficient.”

Mitchell provided a list of “timewasters” to avoid. Things like poor planning, television and the Internet were the main sources of time wasting Mitchell discussed, saying the Internet is one activity where people lose a significant amount of time.

Learning how to organize daily activities is paramount to successful time management. Mitchell ended the workshop saying, “Organization is key. It really comes down to being organized and committing yourself to the things you planned.”

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