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Putting time on your side

Time management for students

by Kory Stone/Business Manager

Making time for life often is not at the top of one’s priorities, yet, should it be? Time and life could be said to be synonymous with one another. The illusion of time can only exist in the conscious observation of life, while to conscious life, time sums up the beginning to the end – an entire life represented by a dash between the day of birth to the date of death. “Time,” is something precious. That is, whether by mere chance or design, time is a gift none less. One day everyone will wake up and will have exhausted that gift and there will be nothing left of it to take from. So, making the most of it should be at the top of the priority list. Speaking of a priority, the next step is deciding what one wants out of life. According to Ned Hallowell, psychiatrist and New York Times bestselling author, one needs to define clear and specific goals.

“If you’re trying to figure out how to stay focused on your goals, break them down into 4 categories: no more than 3 short term goals to accomplish today, 3 medium term goals to accomplish in the next 2-4 weeks, 3 long term goals to meet in the next 6-12 months, and 3 lifetime goals to meet before you die.” One way to help in doing this is by creating ABC lists of things that need to be done. The most important or the things one is most relevant to do get A’s, the next B’s and then C’s. This helps in overcoming procrastination and “busy work.” These are important whether the goal is more family time, work time or school time.

Having the time of your life.  Photo by Kory Stone

Having the time of your life.
Photo by Kory Stone

Another tip that goes along with prioritizing the ABC’s is by keeping a schedule. But one has to know more than just their responsibilities and obligations. Get to know things like “peak times,” the times of day one has the most energy and can be the most efficient. Equally important is the environment. Will there be distractions, is there a better place to carry out the goal, like work, the library or home? Taking things like this into consideration when scheduling helps get the most from ones time.

Taking care of oneself with things like proper exercise, nutrition and sleep helps in staying physically fit and mentally alert to come up with and follow through with intended goals. With this energy though, can come a desire to overreach, so be careful of overcommitting to too much whether it is an overall load or multitasking. This also goes for perfectionism; unless it is called for, do not waste valuable time trying to make every project “perfect.” The perfect life allows for imperfections. Concerning the art of allowing, it is important to make sure in the pursuit of time management mastery that fun time, or “mandatory down time” is allowed so that the batteries can charge. Not only will work be more efficient, but also enjoyable. What’s the point of life if there is no enjoyment in it? Managing one’s time of “life” to best suit what makes them happiest is going to require a balance. Though this balanced life is going to look different from person to person it is worth finding. In doing so, one is not only fully accepting this gift of life, but also giving it back to humanity.

As Howard Thurman said, “Don’t ask what the world needs, ask what makes you come alive and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

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