Time Management

Time-management means taking time to make time-so you can get more done, and have the freedom to do more of the things you want.

Adolescents and adults with learning disabilities frequently have difficulty organizing and using time effectively. Time management is a learned skill that can enhance self-esteem, reduce stress in the classroom and the workplace, in the home, and in life general.

Study Tips

  • Record all homework assignments on the day they are assigned, with a due date, at the end of each class.
  • Create a realistic study schedule for yourself. Allow yourself time for leisure activities and breaks as well; otherwise, you will find it difficult to stick to your schedule. Also, include room for unexpected events.
  • Remove Distractions. Create work or study environment where people won’t distract you.

Set Goals

Goals give your life, and the way you spend your time, direction.

  • First you have to decide what you want.
  • Set goals that are specific, measurable, realistic, and achievable (i.e., Read 5 pages in a chapter today).
  • Goals can give creative people a much needed sense of direction

Plan Ahead

Good planning and saves you time and effort.

  • Use monthly calendars to keep track of important dates and meetings.
  • Plan daily activities by listing everything you have to do, and crossing off items as you do them.
  • Set realistic deadlines, and stick to them.

“Keep a Time Inventory”

  • To figure out where your time goes, log your daily activities on a chart, at 15 minute intervals.
  • Now evaluate the results: Did you do everything you needed to do? At what times of the day were you the most productive? Make optimum use of your peak energy time. how much time could have been used better? Become aware of personal time traps where time is being wasted.

Don’t Procrastinate!

  • Break down large projects into small, manageable parts.
  • Start projects earlier to give yourself extra time.
  • Schedule the most difficult or most important tasks first to get them out of the way.
  • Establish Goals. Set long-term, and short-term goals, and write them down.
  • Develop a strategy to meet your goals. Know your Priorities. Use an ABC priority system, assigning A to tasks that have a high importance, B to not-so-important tasks, and C to things that you will do when you have spare time.
  • Keep your priorities short – 5 or 6 items.

Be Flexible

Allow time for interruptions and distractions. Time management experts often suggest planning for just 50 percent or less of one’s time. With only 50 percent of your time planned, you will have the flexibility to handle interruptions and the unplanned “emergency”.

  • When you expect to be interrupted, schedule routine tasks. Save or make larger blocks of time for your priorities.
  • when interrupted, ask yourself this crucial question, “What is most important thing I can be doing with my time right now?”, to help you get back on track fast.

Consider your Biological Prime Time

That’s the time of the day when you are at your best. Are you a “morning person”, or a “night owl”, or a late afternoon “whiz”? Knowing when your best time is and planning to use that time of the day for your priorities (if possible) is effective time management.

Concentrate on One Thing at a Time

  • Many people today feel like they have to accomplish everything, and they don’t give themselves enough time to do things properly. This leads to half finished projects and no feeling of achievement. So do one thing at a time, and be active in what you are doing at the time.
  • Plan and take breaks, study or work for 30-40 minutes with 5-10 minute breaks.

Eliminate the Urgent

Urgent tasks have short-term consequences while important tasks are those with long-term, goal-related implications. Work towards reducing the urgent things you must do so you’ll have time for your important priorities.

Practice the Art of Intelligent Neglect

Eliminate from your life trivial tasks or those which do not have long-term consequences for you. Can you delegate or eliminate any of your things to do for the day? Work on the tasks which you alone can do.

Avoid Being a Perfectionist

Yes, some things need to be closer to perfect than others, but perfectionism, paying unneccessary attention to detail, is a form of procrastination.

Learn to Say “No”

Such a small word — and yet so hard to say.

  • Focusing on your goals may help.
  • Blocking time for important, but often not scheduled, priorities such as family and friends can also help.
  • But first you must conceive that you and your priorities are important — that seems to be the hardest part in learning to say “no”.
  • Once convinced of their performance, saying “no” to the unimportant in life gets easier.

Reward Yourself

  • Even for small successes, celebrate achievement of goals.
  • Promise yourself a reward for completing each task, or finishing the total job.
  • Then keep your promise to yourself and indulge in your reward.
  • Doing so will help you maintain the necessary balance in life between work and play.
  • If we learn to balance excellence in work with excellence in play, fun, and relaxation, our lives become happier, healthier, and a great deal more creative.

You have to be committed to build time management techniques into your daily routine. If you are not, you will only achieve partial or no results, then you will be making comments such as, “I tried time management once and it doesn’t work for me”. The lesson to learn here is that the more time we spend planning our time and activities, the more time we will have for those activities. By setting goals, eliminating time wasters and doing this everyday, you may find you will have extra time in the week to spend on those people and activities more important to you.