Organizing Your Time for Success
Your education is definitely a priority, as is your job. Family, friends, hobbies, and religion are also priorities for many people. However, having many competing priorities can be stressful. To tackle this, mapping out deadlines, blocking out time that is “non-negotiable” such as that spent at work, and blocking out time for study and other responsibilities, and then creating a visual reference—a calendar—would be well worth your effort.
In this assignment, you will develop a calendar to highlight key dates, deadlines, and nonnegotiable blocks of time—your work and coursework schedule. For inclusion in your calendar, consider the following activities and appointments:
- Nonnegotiable dates, such as when your rent or mortgage is due
- Healthcare appointments
- Pressing deadlines for work projects
- Deadlines for class assignments
- Deadlines for your FAFSA application, if you need financial aid. Refer to Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). (2010). Retrieved fromhttp://www.fafsa.ed.gov/
- Dates connected with your income such as paydays at work
- Family events and appointments
- Time for sleep, personal hygiene, and relaxation
It may take some revisions to come up with the calendar that works best for you, but once completed, it becomes an effective time management tool. In turn, this becomes a vital part of your learning plan.
This assignment has two parts. Complete both parts.
Part I: Develop Calendar for Four Days
The first step in time management is to find out how you actually use your time. This Time Management exercise will help you discover exactly that.
Here’s how the Time Management exercise works. You will track your time for four days using one of the two calendar templates provided—this Microsoft Word template or the interactive calendar discussed below. You will plan each day in advance based on how you think it will turn out. Then you will track what actually happens in your calendar.
- Using your notes, itemize your calendar with the events from the four-day period that you were tracking. Please make sure to appropriately label each item.
This interactive calendar is a great way to visualize how your time is spent.
Part II: Review and Reflection
Refer to the calendar that you completed in Part I. If you have not yet completed this exercise, please do so before continuing with the questions below.
- What did you learn about how you actually use time compared to how you planned to use your time?
- Did you find places where you tend to ineffectively or inefficiently use your time?
- Did you find some pockets of time that you could use for high priority tasks?
- What can you do to improve the way you manage your daily tasks?
- How do you plan to manage your schoolwork along with your other key priorities?
After a few days, review the calendar and the goals you developed in Part I of this assignment and respond to the following questions:
- Were your daily goals realistic considering the amount of time you gave yourself to fulfill them? Explain your response.
- If you have revised your initial goals after your review, explain why you think this revision is necessary and how your plans have changed as a result.
- If you have not revised your goals, consider what factors you may have failed to identify in your initial goal setting activity.
Summarize your review in a one- to two-page paper.