Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Isn't it about...Time?

Because it's the end of the semester, all I do all day long is read and write. That's what I get for choosing to major in English. Don't misunderstand me, I love reading and writing. I am simply looking forward to the day when I'm not going to be told what I need to read and write.

However, being a slow reader, I find that it is nearly impossible to finish everything I need to do in one day.I just read a classmate's blog on time management and found it very interesting and helpful.

One of the suggestions he gave that I've never thought about before was:

Physically Order Projects
Sitting on my desk is a stack of folder dedicated to each project. After assessing priorities, I physically organize the files accordingly. This ensures that I being working on the project with the next highest priority, without having to consult a to-do list. I simply grab the next folder and begin working.
Benefit: Quickly move from project to project according to priorities.
 For me, I don't think I'd be working with a file folder, but rather a stack of books. Nonetheless, I find this to be a very good tip, considering how much time I waste moving around, gathering up my books that are strewn across four rooms in my apartment.

One suggestion that my classmate did not address that I have found most useful is this:

Treat your classes and homework like a job.

Why so much emphasis?

To treat your schooling like a job, you must get up at the same time every morning, start working at the same time, and end working at the same time. You must take into account what time your classes are at, and work accordingly, but generally, you should be working from 8 or 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For example:
I have class from 9-10 a.m. and 11:30-12:30 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. So I work on homework in that break between classes and then I go home or to the library and continue to work until 5 p.m. Within that time, I prioritize my assignments and allow myself an hour for eating.

However, on Tuesdays and Thursday, I have class from 9:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. with only one hour of breaks. During that hour, I eat and relax, or sometimes do more homework. But as you can guess, I don't get much else done on Tuesdays and Thursdays than actually being in class. It sounds scary, but it's actually ok, because if I work consistently on every other day of the week, I don't need to get much done on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The benefit of this is that
  1. I get things accomplished because I don't allow for distractions.
  2. I give myself the evening to use energy and have a social life.
This strategy has changed my undergraduate career and might be the single answer to how I get anything done. I hope you can implement an equally effective plan in your life to manage your time.


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