In reading my husband’s Psychology* textbook a few weeks ago (I wrote about that here), I came across a section about “Time Management” which I thought was interesting. It is found at the very end of the chapter titled “Stress and Adjustment.” The introduction to this section stated:
For most people, in school as well as out, time management is the most difficult aspect of adjustment. Most of us have problems managing our time. We tend to put things off (procrastination) and wait until the last minute to do them. We often miss deadlines and then have to hurry to get back on schedule. We spend much of our time on unimportant things. We don’t have a schedule and we don’t know what goals are most important. In this last section, we discuss how to improve adjustment by learning how to manage time effectively.
Wow, I can definitely identify with the author’s description! One thing that I found interesting was the idea that stress is reduced by good time management (and increased by the lack there-of!). This has definitely been my motivation recently to gain better control of my own use of time. So, I took some notes from the Psychology textbook. Here they are!
Problems Most People Have With Time Management
- Missing deadlines, then hurrying to get back on schedule
- Spending too much time on unimportant things
- No schedule
- Don’t know which goals are most important
Why Worry About Time Management?
- We all have the same amount of time
- We cannot acquire any more time than we already have
- Using time wisely helps stress to be low
Steps to Better Time Management
- Be motivated to manage our time. Commitment is essential!
- Be fully aware of how we currently use our time (maybe track every half hour for a week)
- Establish daily goals, write them down, and check them off when complete
- Examine the behavior that will lead to our goals
- Group similar tasks
- Use spare time in between tasks to study, read, or relax rather than worry
- Learn how to say “no” when we can’t adequately fill a request b/c of lack of time
- Learn how to delegate when appropriate
- Reasons include: fear, lack of motivation, interruptions, and general stress
- Divide a large task into small steps and begin with the easiest one. Continue to complete small tasks until the large one is manageable.
Evaluate our Time Management Program
- Are we spending too much time on low priority goals?
- Be flexible and ready to modify our goals
- The main goal is effective time management
- “Efficiency is doing things right and effectiveness is doing the right things”
- Give self lots of reinforcement
- Leave time for relaxation
*Information taken from Psychology: A Concise Introduction 2nd edition by Terry F. Pettijohn pg 297