By: Gittan Alicia | Contributing AOJ Journalist
Time management, it’s one of those things everyone is aware of, but most don’t pay attention to or seriously consider. Most think time management isn’t a problem they have, because they think only seriously disorganized people struggle with it, however, this is a false assumption. Anyone who has ever felt overwhelmed with what they need to do, stressed about a deadline coming up soon, or worried about a test the next day, has struggled with time management. If one were to break down all the things in the list I just mentioned, one would notice that all of them are related to being unprepared, and the reason for being unprepared would be not setting aside time to prepare. For instance, if one is worried about a test one has the next day, the odds are that person feels he/she didn’t study enough, and the reason for this would be that he/she didn’t set aside enough time to study. Problems like these could be significantly reduced if one set aside enough time for everything they did and planned everything out so one wouldn’t miss anything while setting aside extra time in case something does come up.
There are several reasons people tend to struggle with time management. One of these reasons is that, people tend to underestimate the time it will take them to complete a task. For instance, one might think writing a paper for a class will only take 2 hours, so he/she plans to hang out with a friend after those two hours they planned, but in actuality, the person had struggled with the first paragraph and didn’t finish the essay in the time given. Another reason people struggle with time management is due to time perception and control. Those who don’t plan out their activities and make lists and reminders, feel more overwhelmed and stressed about what needs to get done. This is because these people don’t feel like they have control over the time and because of this don’t know how to fit in what needs to get done. Someone who plans his/her activities does feel like he/she has control over the time because he/she knows exactly when to complete each activity and have planned to fit the activities to be finished in time.
Despite the fact that time management can seem overwhelming and impossible to deal with, there are several ways to deal with it and each person is different, so trying several different methods may be necessary to find what works. One method to deal with time management is to make a to-do list. This list should include everything that needs to be done with certain things marked as prioritized more than others. Deadlines should also be included in the list to ensure the item is completed by the necessary time and once the item is completed, it should be checked off. Another way to help deal with time management is to reduce multitasking. While multitasking may seem more productive because more than one thing is getting done at once, it’s not. The human mind works better when it can completely concentrate on one thing. One other method to help with time management is to make a plan for distractions. While one can have a perfect plan to get everything done, it’s no use if one becomes distracted or is thrown off by an unexpected event. To solve this, one should add extra time in one’s plan in case something comes up, and one should try to minimize the distractions around oneself. For instance, while studying phones can be distracting, so one could power of one’s phone before studying to avoid these distractions. One could also avoid doing homework near a television someone else is watching so one isn’t drawn into the movie. These are just a few of many methods to help with time management.
As one can tell, time management is more of an issue than most people think. There are several reasons for poor time management, and lack of good time management can lead to being overwhelmed, anxiety, and stress. However, these problems can all be avoided if time management methods like creating a to-do list and avoiding distractions are put into practice. One could even ask others to for help if one struggles with time management skills on one’s own. For instance, a friend could send a reminder to remind one to do something. It’s very important for everyone, to have good time management skills to lead a healthy life, and therefore people should try different methods to find a time management method that is suitable for them.
- Harman, J. J. (2014, March 13). Time Management for Students: a Psychological Explanation of Why We Struggle. Retrieved from http://blog.online.colostate.edu/blog/online-education/time-management-for-students-a-psychological-explanation-of-why-we-struggle/
- White, D. M. (2018, October 8). 6 Tips to Improve Your Time Management Skills. Retrieved February 24, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/lib/6-tips-to-improve-your-time-management-skills/
Top 3 Time Management Techniques for Students | europace.org. (2016, July 10). Retrieved from https://www.europace.org/top-3-time-management-techniques-for-students/