The Importance of Time Management: How to Effectively Time Manage

Another day, another online class. That’s how it feels, right? With the start of a new semester, and with classes being mostly online, it can be hard balancing all of your zoom meetings and coursework. Many of us would prefer in-person classes; they seem more manageable than having solely online classes. It can be hard to motivate yourself when you technically don’t have to leave your bedroom, let alone your bed. Time management becomes something of the past as it’s easily forgotten. However, with most classes online, it is even more important to effectively time manage so you can keep up with your busy schedules. This article will discuss the importance of time management as well as provide you with some helpful tips.



Why Procrastinate?


One of the biggest struggles college students face is procrastination. It seems to be the root of most college students’ problems! We have all fallen victim to procrastination, so why can’t we all just simply do our work in a timely fashion and not wait until the last minute? Every time we procrastinate, things usually end up ok, so we continue the cycle. Are we simply inclined to push off difficult assignments so we don’t have to think about them? According to the academic article titled “I’ll Do It Tomorrow: The Logic of Procrastination,” by Lisa Zarick and Robert Stonebraker, there are different theories that help explain why we are prone to procrastination. The first explains the concept of salience. The article states that “the cost of studying today is salient and the cost of studying later is pallid” (Zarick and Robert). This is articulating that things that are happening in our lives right now, are more important or pressing than things that will occur later. This theory also discusses that the initial “cost” of starting a task is preventing us from even beginning. Two other theories as to why we procrastinate are uncertainty and the fear of failure. No one likes to fail, so when we are tasked with a difficult assignment, we are more inclined to put it off because we do not want to do it incorrectly, or receive a bad grade. However, despite these reasons why we prolong our assignments or coursework, there are measures we can take to help with this.


Tips to Effectively Time Manage


Now that we have gone over some reasons why we tend to procrastinate, let’s look at some useful tips to help you effectively time manage your coursework. The first and one of the most important things to do in order to be successful with your time management, is to set goals for yourself. It is even suggested to go as far as physically writing your goals down in your agenda or on a piece of paper. This holds you accountable and serves as a reminder that you have taken the time to selectively craft your goals for success.



SMART Goals

One guide to help you formulate your goals is the SMART goal method. This may sound like a familiar term, since numerous business classes at Virginia Tech touch on this subject. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. So, in regards to specific goals, you could narrow it down to daily goals, or weekly goals, this way they will be more specific. You want your goal to be measurable in some way, this will make it easier for you to realize if a goal has been reached. When you set goals for yourself, you want to make sure that they are attainable. For example, an attainable goal could look like reading a chapter of your textbook each night. The next category is relevance. When setting your goals, start with the ones that are most important to you or the most relevant in your life. For the last measure, timeliness is another key factor in creating a successful goal. You might not want to create a goal for yourself that is going to take months to reach. Rather, start with your daily or weekly goals. This way, you are more likely to accomplish them. Little successes along the way add up!


Prioritize and Organize

In terms of time management, we want to prioritize our tasks so we can make better use of our time. For example, if you are writing out your daily to do list, the tasks that are most urgent should get done as soon as you can. If a task is important but not urgent, you should decide when you should accomplish this task next. Lastly, if a task is urgent but not important, try to find a time to complete it. Think about what needs to be done sooner rather than later. Another skill people with good time management skills have is organization. Utilize a calendar to write down important due dates and use your calendar to document daily tasks. If you have all of your due dates and assignments written down it will be easier for you to sort through them and check them off one by one.


While we are all ready to be back to normal, we must be diligent about enduring COVID-19. Our new normal is currently having online classes which can take a toll on our planning skills. It is easy to become overwhelmed, since we do not have the “in-person” experience anymore. However, as smart, adaptable Virginia Tech students, there is no doubt that we have a successful semester. Follow the tips in this article and you’ll be sure to accomplish all you have on your plate!


By: Ashley Mattson

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