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Accomplishing More in Less Time: Principles of Time Management

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By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 0




You are not born for fame if you don't know the value of time

Marquis De Vauvenargues


How often do you feel that time is passing by and you've still done nothing? This is a common problem for many people these days. You've probably felt great pressure as well when preparing for exams, writing projects, reading necessary literature. All this has to be done in due time, according to requirements, in a way that will be rewarded with high score. How to find time for all this stuff?

Time management is a necessary skill for an ambitious student. By learning few principles you can make time work for you instead of against you. While some of us enjoy living in a creative mess and chaos, this may not be the best practice when it comes to structureing your time. Sometimes, when you feel that you are overwhelmed with projects, plans, and unfinished work, only good organization and discipline will help you to restore control.

First of all, you should stop and take a deep breath. There are a few time management techniques that will help you to gain more confidence. The basic principle of time management is the so called Dwight D. Eisenhower matrix. Most modern time management techniques are derived from it.

Divide all your plans and goals according to the following scheme:

1.     Important and Urgent – close to deadline projects and critical situations

2.     Important and Non-Urgent – Tasks that were planned to be fulfilled up to certain time (scheduled projects, regular meetings and reports etc.)

3.     Unimportant and Urgent – spontaneous requests that appear in the process of work, or assignments that do not belong to your responsibilities

4.     Unimportant and Non-Urgent – Things like chatting on Facebook


Important and Urgent

  • deadline projects
  • last-minute preparations
  • crisis
  • emergencies

Important and Non-Urgent

  • preparation for scheduled activities
  • planning and scheduling
  • improving your health
  • rest

Unimportant and Urgent

  • phone calls, e-mails
  • some meetings, reports
  • helping colleagues
  • public activities

Unimportant and Non-Urgent

  • social networks
  • TV
  • chatting
  • some routine work


If all your plans, projects, activities are organized into these four squares, you will be able to concentrate on most important things: first complete all first-square tasks, then move to the second square, and so on. Of course, this requires a good deal of self-control and organization, but make an effort and you will see how it helps. This simple strategy works best when it comes to managing your time.

One more useful technique is timing. Timing means that you are using diary and you are noting all your plans accurate to 50 minutes. This helps you to find “black holes” in your schedule and avoid wasting time. Keep in mind that you should note and fulfill difficult and the most unpleasant tasks first and only then move on to less complicated tasks. If you have to write a project which is complicated or uninteresting, plan it for Saturday morning, for instance. This way you will have a good stimulus: I will fulfill this unpleasant work, and I'm free for weekend.

One more time management method suggests you should organize your businesses as the work of a PC hard drive. This technique is tightly connected with the above mentioned. If we have too many things to do, we cannot remember everything, we start to panic. As a result something is forgotten, something is done at the wrong time. How can this method be used?Write down your plans on the paper or file, structure them according to urgency, and then record the progress. This way you won't forget anything.

These techniques can be hard to follow every day, and for some creative personalities they are almost impossible to fulfill. However, when you feel that you cannot cope with all of the tasks on hand, this is the best way to return to normal rhythm. Use time management techniques in case of urgency, and you will stay calm and confident, no matter what is happening around you.







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