We all have the same 24 hours, yet, learning to manage time is crucial to our goals, health, and life styles. Every student struggles with managing time, and procrastination has become his biggest enemy. However, every small change in managing time can result in a worthy reward. Time management must become a habit. There are several time management strategies that can help students in becoming successful time managers; however, the same time management strategies may not work for every student. This paper will address 8 Strategies for better time Management that are crucial to my success in this doctorate program”prioritizing tasks, setting realistic daily goals, planning ahead, leaving buffer time in-between, learning to say No, self-caring, delegating tasks, and eliminating time wasters.
The strategy of prioritizing tasks should begin by looking at what I spend my day doing. I have noticed that I easily focus on those things which is believed demand an instant response, like telephone texts, emails, and WhatsApp, and I delay in doing high-level projects which are most important, such as my research papers. Most people who are like me often spend time doing things that are not of a high priority. Of course, without a doubt, this needs to be changed, and prioritizing my time needs to be my main goal. To be successful in this program, prioritizing my daily tasks I consider to be the key of time management strategy I must use. Prioritizing will make sure I realize the most important tasks first. I will begin to identify my priorities by addressing”what my values are, what my goals are, what my responsibilities are, and the impact of each of my activities (Green, 2017).
Another important time management tool is goal setting. Goals setting in the life of a student provides direction which helps him work toward a successful outcome. By setting goals, students know daily where to focus their time and how to prioritize their assignments. When setting goals, I must be mindful that my goals should be realistic, attainable, and challenging (Vanderkam, 2016). Every goal should have a set deadline attached to it. By doing so, the student will be motivated to meet the goal within the assigned period. Additionally, goals setting provide the student with the necessary information to develop his action plan for each goal which in turn will guide his daily tasks (Anthony, n.d.). By setting my goals, I put yourself in control and will not have to wonder what should be done next.
Many times, I find myself being busy all day and did not show any progress on my high-priority tasks and goals. Had I known how to plan my time properly, I believe I would thus make time for my tasks that really matters and still have time for family, friends, and myself. Planning ahead, therefore, is also quite an important strategy and practice to improve time management skills. This strategy allows me to maximize my effectiveness and will birth more progress in less time and with less struggle (Van Eerde, 2015). When planning ahead, I must be fully aware of what I can realistically achieve with my time. For with this strategy of planning ahead, I will be able to anticipate what I will need to know, what I will need to have, and what I will need to do, to attain my personal goals. It will be to my benefit if I were more committed to planning ahead.
Adding buffer time within my planning is another essential tool in managing time. Buffer time allows for a little extra time between tasks. This flexibility in planning will allow me as a scholar-practitioner to be able to account for unanticipated circumstances without having to change direction of my project. Furthermore, time management researchers have found that individuals who rush from one task to another are uncomfortable with the starting of the new task. This discomfort was created since the individuals had not made the necessary mental transition from one task to the next. By implementing more buffer time to my schedule will help avoid burn-out (Purdy, 2010). Annexing and applying a smaller amount of buffer time to my daily schedule will be beneficial to my sanity.
A time management tool I dont use enough is just saying no. Since I work from home, many believe I have time because I am home, so I am available to oblige their requests. By my accepting, I am agreeing to slow myself down and then hurry later to get up to speed. By working on other peopler's priorities, I lose time spent on my priorities. Learning to say No, therefore, is not a choice but a must, especially during this time of working on my doctorate. Saying no is not an easy task to carryout, although to time management, it is essential (Nawrot & Doucet, 2014). Other people will not like my new adjustment of say No, but it must be done.
Another time management strategy that is easily neglected is self-care. When I am healthy it is much easier to get things accomplished and complete my tasks. Being deprived of sleep, rest, and taking the needed breaks will hamper a personr's focus and concentration, and the completion of all task will be laid aside creating counterproductivity. Caring for my healthy with breaks, good night rest, and eating well will resuscitate me and enable me to complete my work more efficiently and effectively (Sharma & Rush, 2014). Poor health habits will someday catch up with the individual, and a sick person is not productive.
This time management tool of delegation requires assigning the accountability for a task to another individual. By putting this tool into action, I will have time for tasks that require my expertise (Dodd and Sundheim, 2005). This is an area I really need help with. It easier for me to do the task than to spend time explaining to someone how to do it. I need to find ways to improve my own delegation skills to truly benefit from this tool.
Eliminating time wasters is also a strategy that will be of great benefit to me. Time wasters cause me to spend much time doing unnecessary things that do not produce any high-level benefit. I believe to be a truly effective scholar-practitioner, I must recognize and eliminate the time wasters which steal my time. If you do not learn to manage these time wasters effectively, they will soon consume the time I have tried to save for focusing on my high-level tasks. Most of my time wasters, which steal so much of my time, revolve around my interaction with others. Once I am able to have this tool perfected, the time saved can be huge (Funk, 2015).
When I adopt more effective processes for my time management, I must train myself to habitually use them. The decision of how I want to invest my time is mine. My goal is to get more things done efficiently and effectively in the same amount of time I am presently spending on getting these things done. To accomplish this goal, I must learn how to manage my time in conjunction with my activities, schoolwork, and my responsibilities. Once my time is managed, I will be eventually successful in earning my doctorate degree. I need, therefore, to decide how I want to invest my time. Additionally, time management strategies will help me maximize the time spent on high value work, things, and people I enjoy in life.