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- Self management is the key to making time your ally rather than your enemy.
- If using your time wisely is a problem for you, you probably don't have a very good idea where your time goes. A good start to time "management" is to track where your waking hours go. Keep a schedule for one week and faithfully record everything you do.
- The next step is to try to plan your week. Write a schedule for your whole day. Not just classes. Be sure to allocate time for EVERYTHING (from taking a shower to going to the movies).
- Try to stick to your schedule for one week. This should give you a good idea of where your priorities lay!
- If you have trouble keeping to the schedule the chances are that procrastination is at work. Don't allow yourself to make excuses ("it won't mattter if I'm late, no-one else will be on time") for why you can't begin the task at hand.
- Learn to say NO when your priorities are spoken for. Know what's best for your time. Turning down an invitation now and then doesn't make you a party-pooper.
- Avoid the telephone.
- Plan ahead. Begin setting your weeky schedules a month or even a semester ahead. For example, if your history paper is due in the eighth week of school, calculate the time needed to prepare (four weeks). Allow yourself a week for typing (and unforeseen disasters) and include the start of this paper in your Third Week's schedule. PLAN AHEAD BY WORKING BACKWARDS and stick to the schedule - it works!
- By scheduling like this, you'll find the pressures on yourself are reduced. If you're honest with yourself and your priorities, you'll be able to take time off without feeling guilty.
- At the start of each week update that week's schedule with important items that might otherwise sneak up on you.
- Don't forget to take a break! Schedule in fitness and study breaks (15 minutes out of the hour is a good rule of thumb). Be careful - more than 15 minutes constitutes more than a break.
- This system may sound like enslavement to you! But it actually can lead to a greater sense of freedom and acomplishment, because YOU'RE IN CONTROL. That's all self management is - managing your life more effectively. Give it a try. You'll like it!
- And one last thing: WEAR A WATCH!