Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Time Management

I'm fairly sure all of us are familiar with the fact that IIT has some pretty awesome classes and extra-curriculars to participate in. (If this comes as a surprise you may have been looking for that other college/institute...) But one of the largest challenges, at least for me, has been finding the time to try and ‘report’ all that needs to be ‘reported’, whilst having plenty of time for movie-thons and Counter-Strike. There's a popular saying: "Academics, Friends, Sleep; pick two" and having been here for almost a year and a half I can certainly see how that applies. But it IS possible to balance it all, and in fact that can be part of the challenge that's so exciting. I mean, would you really want to do nothing but study all day? Of course not! And neither would I. So with all these things begging for my attention, it's not surprising that my humanities teacher asked me to write on time management.

As it turns out, managing your time is a fairly easy process.

Let’s begin by defining Time Management.

“Time management is commonly defined as the various means by which people effectively use their time and other closely related resources in order to make the most out of it” (Thank you Wikipedia)

Removing the flashy words, time management is about having confidence in how you use your time in the best possible manner according to you. Feeling comfortable with your routine is basically what time management is all about.

On a scale of 10, I would rate myself as 7. Reasons follow:

· A lot of days, I fail to do any thing, accomplish any target, achieve any goal, or even begin doing anything. I easily get drifted away, and when the deadline is upon me, then only I begin doing it. Same goes for this assignment.

· On other times, I can prioritize things in the order of importance and approach targets confidently, and not feeling bad about low priority activities not getting done.

· Things keep rotating in my head most of the time, and sometimes I have and sometimes I lack a clear vision of what to do next.

· But I am able to find time to do sufficient preparation for the same.

To improve, here are some basic principles of time management I've observed are most important which me and in general everyone should follow:

1) Make a schedule: You really do have more time than you think if you write out all the things you do in a week. You'll see gaping holes of time that you don't know how you wasted. Start by taking a weekly schedule and putting in all the things that don't change from week to week. Like, say, class times, sleep times, breakfast/lunch/dinner times. That way when you go about scheduling your week you don't have to try and remember all the same things, you can focus on the new stuff you have to make time for.

2) Find a method that works for you: Some people are post-it note people. Others are calendars, some using digital calendars like mobile, laptops, alarm clocks and what not. There are still a majority of ‘others’ who prefer using their heads and taking it out when time comes (that’s me!). Your particular system of organization doesn't really matter to anyone but you, but make sure it's working for you. If it isn't don't be afraid to try something else (use it as leverage to get a smartphone from your parents: "mom, you want me to be organized don't you?").

3) Stick to it: By far the hardest part. It's easy to get inspired and motivated from a seminar or a new technology, but you've got to stick with it after the newness fades. Same goes for your time management technique. Make a desperate attachment with your new schedule plan. Take it everywhere, in your words, in your actions. And just do it, no matter what.

If you can manage all that, you'll start reaping the benefits soon enough. Grades will improve, you'll get more sleep, emotionally you'll feel better for being more productive.

Time management can’t be so difficult after all…

1 comment:

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