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Time management is a crucial skill to live a proactive life that helps to achieve goals and avoid frustration from procrastination. Effective time management is an ability to analyze, define, and prioritize everyday activities. Even though I try to have a daily schedule, my planning skills lack crucial features to be effective.
Defining Time Management
Time management is an ability to find a balance between all the obligations and needs and fit them into one’s daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly routine. According to Burchard (2016), time management should start with setting life goals and working down towards hourly schedule, as every action is supposed to be a step to achieving one’s objectives. In simpler words, it is creating a plan where every point is viewed as an opportunity to progress in life. Therefore, time management is an ability to analyze the use of time, acknowledge the responsibilities, set the priorities, and act without procrastination.
Effective time management involves creating plans for periods of different length. Strategic planning for any action should include long-range, mid-range, and short-range steps (Cuseo, Thompson, Campagna, & Fecas, 2016). A good time-management plan includes transforming intention into action and provides flexibility to accommodate unforeseen opportunities (Cuseo et al., 2016). Moreover, it allows time to take care of unexpected outcomes and offers opportunities for both work and play (Cuseo et al., 2016). According to Burchard (2016), even free time and leisure activities should be planned to achieve a higher goal in life. In short, effective time-management is creating a plan of all the macro and micro steps that correlate with one’s life’s purpose.
Measuring My Time-Management Skills
My time-management skills are relatively poor, as I have not had enough time to develop my planning proficiency. Most of my life, my schedule was decided by others, including my parents, teachers, and school authorities. When I started my higher education, I was caught amidst a variety of new obligations and expectations, such as cooking, doing laundry, managing money, managing free time, and completing my assignments. Even though I usually have short-term plans, they do not correlate with a bigger picture, as I have never had a plan for a year or a month. I always have my daily schedules, but most of the time I do not think of my weeks.
In my schedule, I always find time for work and play, and I have no problems in transforming intentions into actions. However, my plans are not flexible enough, as I tend to overlook the possibility of unforeseen events. For example, I usually go to sleep around 11 p.m.; therefore, I started working on the current essay three hours before going to bed. However, I did not expect that I would have to include a scholarly article into my reference list. For this reason, I am forced to stay up late that ruins my plans for the next day, as I will not have enough sleep. In short, my time-management skills are poor due to an inability to provide time for unexpected events.
I am also prone to procrastination, which interferes with the ability to control the time spent on the critical task. According to Häfner, Oberst, and Stock (2014), to procrastinate is to “voluntarily delay an intended course of action despite expecting to be worse off for the delay” (p. 352). Even though the problem is demonstrated by 60% of students, I should use effective prevention techniques to develop efficient time-management skills (Häfner et al., 2014). In short, while procrastination is a common feature for students, it should be avoided with the help of every accessible tool.
Time is a valuable resource that requires careful management, as it can help to get better control over one’s life. However, understanding is not enough to acquire full control over time; information and intentions should be transformed into action. While there is enough time available to improve my planning skills, I still have a long way to go to master the art of time-management.
Burchard, B., (2016). Simple time management rules [Video file]. Web.
Cuseo, J., Thompson, A., Campagna M., & Fecas, V. (2016). Thriving in college and beyond: Research-based strategies for academic success and personal development (4th ed.). Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt Publishing.
Häfner, A., Oberst, V., & Stock, A. (2014). Avoiding procrastination through time management: An experimental intervention study. Educational Studies, 40(3), 352-360. Web.