Purun Yeo

Purun Yeo
International Relations
North Africa

Time Management 101

It’s 3 a.m. It’s 3 a.m. and you have a paper due tomorrow at 9 a.m. that you haven’t started andan exam that you feel half-prepared for. Unsurprisingly and unfortunately, this might be a common occurrence in your life.

Time management. The beautiful topic that college students so often talk about yet fail to master completely. People consider it to be an art instead of science, because it is so unfathomable. Perhaps because to many people, surviving is good enough for them. However, is surviving truly acceptable?

So, how can time be managed? There are 24 hours each day in the seven days of a week. This is a constant. The variables, believe it or not, are your actions. It goes without saying, then, that time management is essentially controlling and modifying your actions. The assumption here is that you understand the importance of time management, and you wish to improve your time management skills and take control of how you use time.

The classification and prioritization of your actions are two central points of time management. Classification of actions is necessary to determine what kind of tasks are at hand. According to president Eisenhower’s time management principle, there are two criteria for determining a task: importance and urgency. Many people equate importance with urgency, but a crucial step in making progress with time management is recognizing that urgency does not entail importance, and vice versa. Setting long-term goals for yourself is not urgent, but it is important for your growth in the future. Social phone calls are not as important, but are urgent due to the nature of phone calls. Again, to reiterate what I have already said, do not equate importance with urgency.

After classifying the tasks you are responsible for, then it is important to prioritize these tasks. Without prioritization, you will have an unordered list of a jumble of tasks you need to do. This will not only decrease your effectiveness, but will also increase stress levels unnecessarily. The human mind works well with structure and organization, therefore with a prioritized list of tasks to do, your overall efficiency will increase vastly. According to the Eisenhower principle, the order of prioritization should be as follows: urgent and important, important but not urgent, urgent but not important, and, finally, neither urgent nor important. For example, reading the Bible every day is important. However, you might have a paper due the next day. Which do you do first? If you begin with the urgent, there is a high likelihood that you end up not doing the important. However, if you begin with the important, you will do the urgent right afterwards.

Time management is a constant struggle. However, it is important to strive to control time rather than it controlling you. 



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