Time management is the key to success

Time management is the key to success

DH Photo/Pushkar V

This academic year has been variously challenged due to the pandemic — reduced offline classes, introduction of online classes and a curtailed syllabus. Although classes have just begun for the academic year, students will face examinations in just a few months. Time management has never been as crucial as it is in this academic year.

The process of time management eliminates unwanted activities and provides more time for important activities, while assisting the smooth progress in academic pursuits.

So how do we manage time efficiently?

List all routine activities such as attending classes, studying, homework, sports and recreation, commuting, household chores, family time.

List all activities that you are not able to pursue due to paucity of time, such as a new hobby, sport or an additional course etc.

Classify all your activities/tasks into four quadrants, as described below:

Important and urgent: This will include all activities which are important and cannot be postponed, like classes, tuitions, homework, etc.

Here, you need to be more efficient at carrying out the activities. So you need to focus on improving listening skills, attention and speed.

Important and not urgent: Here, you can include activities such as plans for examinations, career planning, preparing for competitive exams, sports.?

The activities listed here are crucial for your academic and professional success. Things like career planning are not something you do everyday but they need a lot of thinking, creativity and time.?

Obviously, such activities also demand a relaxed mind and maximum time must be spent on activities in this quadrant.

Urgent and not important: During a given day, there are a lot of routine activities which cannot be postponed to another day — sharing household chores, commuting, helping parents, personal time etc.?

Whether we like it or not, we end up spending a good amount of time on these chores quadrant and they simply cannot be postponed to another day. Hence, doing the activities faster and efficiently should be your focus.?

Neither urgent nor important: The activities listed in this section offer the maximum scope of time management, which you will realise the moment you start identifying and classifying activities which are neither urgent nor important.?

However, activities like unusually long study breaks, television time, social media, long phone calls, internet browsing, shopping sites take away a substantial amount of time.?

While needed in limited amount, these activities also end up eating into your time.

Therefore, critically evaluate the items listed here and you will be pleasantly surprised to see the amount of time that can be saved by limiting these activities.?

The time saved can now be utilised for
pursuits for which you didn’t have the time for earlier.?

Time management tips

Set attainable goals related to your career and courses.

Classify all activities needed to pursue those goals and classify them into quadrants.

Be an active listener in classes and tuitions.?

Pursue effective studying techniques like?SQ3R (survey, question, read, recite and?review) which enhances learning and?increases memory.

Focus on difficult subjects, when you are at?your best.

Take effective, short breaks periodically.

Michael Altshuler, the well-known motivational speaker, expressed the essence of time management beautifully, by saying “The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.”?

Every one of us is blessed with the same amount of time every day.?

By understanding and implementing the concept of time management, you will find adequate time for studying, planning and implementing your career plans and for sports and recreation, giving you a balance of academic and personal life, which is so essential for your well-being.

(The author is a management and career consultant based in Bengaluru)

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