Chapter 2 Outline
Chapter 2: Taking Control of Your Time
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Time is a commodity that we must use wisely because it will never be returned. Time cannot be managed but what you can manage is your activity during your time. During college, obligations will pull at you from all different directions. Knowing how to effectively manage productivity each day will help you achieve your goals in your personal, educational and professional life.
I. Personal Time Management
Personal obligations such as bill paying, family time, housekeeping and leisure time can be time demanding. The following strategies will help to effectively manage personal activity.
a. Lists. Make a list of to-do’s for each day and rate the items in importance with the letters A, B and C. This way it will be easy to see which items need to be done and can be deleted or postponed. Remember to be flexible.
b. Master Schedule. Create a master schedule for the week on Sunday night in order to have a big picture of the week. Include appointments, special events and planned outings.
c. POSEC Method. The idea of this method is that when your personal life is in order, you are better able to handle outside responsibilities. It was developed around Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which theorized that humans operated in the same way: taking care of essential needs before less urgent needs.
i. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs:
1. Physiological Needs. The needs that you must have to survive: food, water, oxygen, physical activity, rest, elimination of bodily wastes, avoiding pain and having sex.
2. Safety and Security Needs. The level at which you crave and set up structure and order in your life: job security, maintaining a safe living place and protecting yourself against danger.
3. Love and Belonging Needs. After your other needs have been met, you feel a need to connect with others and gain a sense of community.
4. Esteem Needs. You look to boost your self-esteem by both seeking others respect and appreciation, and seeking activities that help you feel confidence.
5. Self-actualization Needs. At this level, you seek to reach your full potential by seeking truth, justice, wisdom and meaning.
ii. The POSEC Method:
1. Prioritize. Prioritize time according to goals.
2. Organize. Organize things in life that must be done on a regular basis by making folders for each day of the month.
3. Streamline. Finish tasks by completing the like items and set a timer for the amount of time you would like to spend.
4. Economize. Schedule a block of free time to relax around your prioritized list.
5. Contribute. Make contributions to society by volunteering and giving back to the community.
II. Educational Time Management
Most time requirements related to school will be out of your control. By keeping focused on your goals and keeping a positive mindset during time of pressure and stress, you will reach your goals with much more ease. Practice by implementing the following strategies.
a. Master Schedule. Use your syllabus to fill out your master schedule at the beginning of the semester to keep track of schedule, project due dates, test dates and appointments.. Keep it updated as assignments and such are adjusted. Use time management to block out chunks of studying time when you will be most efficient.
b. Lists. Each evening, add the next day’s school obligations to the to-do list. May leisure activities may not fit into a busy schedule but there are ways to stay motivated and focused.
i. Reward Yourself. Take a 10 minute break for every 50 minutes of studying and having something to look forward to after completing a difficult task.
ii. How Do You Eat an Elephant. Break large projects into manageable chunks.
iii. X Marks the Spot. Cross accomplished items off your list and move some items to the next day’s list.
iv. The Lights Are On but Nobody’s Home. Find a quiet time and place to shut yourself away from all distractions.
III. Professional Time Management
Most people need the same activity management skills at work that they used during college, if not more. A main distraction at work is e-mail and conversations. Stay focused and motivated by making two master lists-one for home and one for work. Make your list each evening in order to clear your mind and enjoy the night relaxing. Employ the following strategies.
a. Don’t Be a Jack of All Trades. Focus on the task at hand, complete it and move on in order to save time
b. First Things First. Spend an hour each morning on the most important item on your to-do list even before checking e-mails or voice messages.
c. Do Something. Anything. Just by getting started, the creative juices will start to flow. Starting is difficult, but just do it.
d. I’m So Confused. Don’t confuse activity with results; you can waste a lot of time by organizing your desk or deleting emails. Focus on the task at hand until it is completed.
e. Work Smarter Not Harder. Optimize time in order to achieve the greatest benefits with the least amount of time. 80 percent of unfocused effort generates only 20 percent of results while 80 percent of results can be achieved with only 20 percent of effort.
f. Avoid the Tyranny of the Urgent. Urgent doesn’t necessarily mean important; prioritize your day by importance, not urgency. Flexibility.
g. Don’t Take Responsibility That Isn’t Yours. Avoid letting others pass responsibility to you that you were never meant to take.
The strategies in this chapter are meant to help you achieve your goals with a peace of mind and a balanced life.