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Texas State University

Are You Struggling with Time Managament?

By: Michelle Redepenning

time management graphic

“How do I cope? How do I do what I’m supposed to do in the middle of a pandemic? How do I juggle my (now) online classes, work at my job or internship, take care of my family and myself – all while searching for a new job?”

Does this sound familiar? Are you having trouble managing your time right now?
According to Erich C. Dierdorff, professor of management and entrepreneurship at DePaul University, there are a number of evidence-based tactics for enhancing time management skills. Below are some examples:

  1. Use a calendar app like Trello to organize and prioritize projects in a fun, flexible and rewarding way. Record due dates for tasks and appointments — and do this immediately when they are planned or requested. Label or color-code entries (e.g., work, school, life, etc.). Make calendar appointments with yourself to ensure uninterrupted time to dedicate to your most important projects.

  2. Use the PomoDoneApp to stay on task by scheduling 25 minutes of work + 5 minutes of break time. The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method that can be used for any task. When tasks seem overwhelming, put forth maximum effort for 25-minute intervals to help avoid procrastination.

  3. Create a time budget that details how you spend your hours during a typical week. Categorize time into fixed time (“must do’s”) and discretionary time (“want to do’s”).
  4. Avoid the “urgency effect.” Urgency and importance are related but distinct concepts; urgent tasks require immediate action, whereas as important tasks have more significant and long-term consequences. Tasks that are both urgent and important should be done first.
  5. Reduce time wasters. Create do-not-disturb time slots and block social media sites during critical work time.

Effective time management will help you to meet deadlines, minimize stress, improve your productivity & efficiency, and help you maintain work-life balance.