Time management: how to make the most of your work life

Friday, March 13, 2015

By Matthew Pellegrini

Several students attended a “Time Management” workshop, hosted by Kathy Soltani, a professional tutor in the Learning Commons, Feb. 12 at Marple Campus.

Soltani covered time management tips and techniques that students could utilize in their academic careers. She emphasized that time management is important because all of the academic commitments that students make are mandatory, and time management skills are critical for obtaining a job.

“Successful people do not waste time,” Soltani said.  “Learn to manage time effectively now.  Poor time management could cost you your job.”

Soltani believes budgeting time is very important. “Time management helps you keep the ways in which you are moving towards achieving your goals in clear perspective,” she said.

Before moving on to specific steps regarding time management, Soltani talked about the nature of time management itself.

According    to    Soltani,    time management boils down to selfishness, because it is required for students to make enough time to work. In fact, she said, “A certain amount of selfishness is required to be happy.”

Soltani said that it is important to avoid distractions, especially for the current generation and it’s stimulating technology. She explained that distractions are everywhere.

“Cell phones alone keep us connected 24 hours a day,” she added.

Throughout the workshop, Soltani offered specific techniques for time management.

First, Soltani suggested making a to- do list every day. “Make it a ritual just like brushing your teeth,” she said.

To make a to-do list, students can use apps on their phones such as the DCCC college app, Soltani added.

New York University’s Learning Center also suggests using to-do lists. They recommend that students choose between a daily to-do list and one that is being continuously updated.

Next, Soltani suggested using a big calendar. She said students should add all of their syllabi’s events on a calendar immediately at the beginning of classes. “If you do that, you will be on top of it,” she said.

Dartmouth’s Academic Skills Center also suggests that students use a big calendar and jot down notes to themselves.

Soltani said students should bring homework and study materials with them at all times. She specifically emphasized using index cards because they can allow a student to study during any moments of free time, such as on the bus or in between classes.

“We learn through repeated exposure to something rather than cramming for a while,” Soltani said.

According to Soltani, students should also learn to say “no” so that they can be assertive enough to make time for school work. Saying “no” applies to family, work, and friends. “When you make a commitment to school, you cannot go to a party,” Soltani said.

Soltani then stressed that students need to find their own productive time. “If you’re a morning person, then the morning is your working time,” she said. However, she emphasized cramming the night before is deadly.

Once students find their productive times, Soltani suggested students create a designated study time. “This is where the power of routine comes in,” she added. “You have to start treating yourself like a business.”

According to Soltani, students’ study areas should be viewed as their offices, or if it helps to think of school as a military commitment, students should do that.

Soltani closed by reviewing handouts on time management and discussing an included time management chart.

“I just have to try something new,” said Michelle Coston, a nursing major who attended the workshop. “So I am trying to implement time management into my routine. I am trying to bring balance into my life.”

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