Essay by Taylor Merritt.
Benjamin Franklin once said, “Lost time is never found” and “You may delay but time will not.” These quotations imply that time can never be saved; undoubtedly time is only spent. People can benefit greatly when they understand that time is precious and irreplaceable. Time must be managed properly because it just keeps on ticking, as the seconds, minutes, days, months, and years pass by without waiting for individuals to take heed that time literally waits for no one.
By now as a college student, you may have already discovered that your coursework demands a great deal of time. You may feel that there is no additional time available after your daily schedule of classes and expected completed assignments. Whether you start by learning to manage your after school hours or your between class breaks, you’ll recognize that being in command of this valuable commodity is a powerful experience. Once learned, time management skills can create positive results in your life.
Gaining control of time begins by discovering how you are currently using your available time. We generally make time for what we personally value as important or identify as a priority. Figure out how you utilize a day’s time by making a time log and charting in it. It is important to make a time log, record notations for every half-hour segment in a twenty-four hour period, and keep the log going for a week or two. Upon completion of the time log, examine the information to see if time is being wasted on unimportant endeavors or tasks.
Giving each day a direction will start with a “to-do” list. This list will need to be prioritized by assigning each item on the list with a code. The code needs to be simple and easily understood by you. An example could be labeling the most pressing items with a number “one,” following with a number “two” for the somewhat urgent items, and finally, a “three” for the least vital tasks. Keep the list simple and short and do not add more than ten deeds to be done for the day. Don’t worry; just stick with the program because tomorrow, you will have a new list. I like to do this at night, so I can intentionally start my day without its normal sleepy-eyed, coffee searching mess. In my personal opinion, every day should be exempt from forced awaking.
After I have my traditional pot of coffee, I try to do the “absolute got to get done” or “your butt is in big trouble” stuff first. When I do the most necessary things first, it helps me avoid those pulling-my-hair-out moments from occurring. Do a little self-talk like, “Now is it really going to be life threatening if I do not cut my toenails today?” If I can truly say no, then I let it go for another day, but when I am tired of hearing my girlfriend giggle and want to paint them to match hers, it then that becomes priority one on my list.
Secondly, I take little naps or rest periods to restore my energy level. I end up spinning my wheels when I am too tired to work. I will do a shabby job if I am too tired and probably have to do it over. I am also notorious for saying “yes” when someone asks me to do “just one more tiny little thing.” Somehow, the word no just does not seem to be in my vocabulary. I believe it is part of my nice guy in shining armor syndrome that will not permit me to say “no” to anyone, especially to a woman who appears as a damsel in distress. However, I often try to use non-verbal language that paints the picture of, “Do I really have to?” This usually works, but when I experience those situations in which the requester does not pick up on my “man code body language,” then I use a prepared response: “I’m sorry. I have an appointment with the podiatrist that I just can’t miss.” Immediately, I whip out my broken-record excuse on the perpetrator; it works like magic, and the person disappears.
Procrastination is my number one enemy and always results in more work, more pressure, loss of sleep, and roller-coaster moods. I have never been able to put my finger on one exact reason for this nasty character trait. When I am dealing with an unpleasant task, I have to decide what to do. When the task is overwhelming, I try to break the job into baby steps, or smaller goals for the day. Fear of failure can be paralyzing and cause one to procrastinate, but when I commit to completing a task, then I have conquered that fear if only for the moment. In addition, I give myself a break and a pep talk that sounds something like this: “Now Taylor, nothing is perfect and remember what your momma says and do your best and that’s good enough.” If that doesn’t do the job, then I flip a coin. If I feel good about how the coin toss turned out, then I am good to go; if not, I will debate whether I should change my mind and follow my original plan. Thus either way, I am a winner when I complete the unpleasant task.
I have exposed my secret methods for learning how to manage your time as a college student with style. If you follow these methods, you can likewise manage your time effectively. In addition, adjust to college’s grueling demands by remembering not only these tidbits of insight, but by taking care of yourself mentally, physically, and spiritually. As a student, remember that life’s race is not always won by the fastest but by a person who makes good use of time.