Time can be categorized into three general types:
- Predictable Time: Such activities as classes, organization meetings, team practice, eating and sleeping. If you know the cafeteria is open between 7:00am and 7:30 pm you should plan to eat sometime between that block of time.
- Discretionary Time: This is uncommitted time that should be planned in a manner consistent with your lifestyle and to accomplish the priorities in your life.
- Other-imposed Time: It is unpredictable time. Activities including emergencies, job or school related assignments and people dropping by to visit.
How to Manage your Time:
- Assess Your Own Situation. The first step in determining a schedule is to know yourself. People function differently. Some people are very active in the early morning and can accomplish much at that time. Others find that their peak intellectual time is later in the day.<//li>
- Get Organized. Purchase or make some type of scheduling notebook. This may seem simple but you would be surprised how many people do not use this necessary instrument. The Revelle Calendar/Handbook is a good example.
- Prepare a To-Do List. Consider all that you wish to accomplish and make a list. Put the list on one sheet of paper, preferably in the organizer/notebook that you bought. Do not put items on separate sheets of paper. Prioritize these items using three criteria A, B, C:
- A= Most important goal that needs to be accomplished
- B= Next important goal or an item that does not have immediate urgency
- C= Finally, give all other items. Example:
- Turn in financial aid forms to Bursar's Office. A
- Study for midterm exam. B
- Sign up to play intramural water polo team in your building. C
- Schedule Your Time. Fill in any spaces purposely left blank, and block out time to sleep. Be realistic, most college students don't go to bed at 9pm. Select time for recreation each day.
- Schedule Study Time! Students should study 2-3 hours for every unit, for a total of 25-35 hours per week. Don't forget to also schedule time for fun.
Time Management is a system of learning to assign priorities to the tasks you wish to accomplish, maximizing discretionary time by minimizing predictable time and other-imposed time, planning the use of discretionary time, and learning to be more efficient. The key to being an efficient time manager is to learn to maximize discretionary time and use it efficiently.