Be a Time WarriorCredit: Steve Chandler

Key 1 The need to heed
When you go away to study, suddenly the world is different. Whether something happens or not is now up to you. You have assignments and deadlines, and in the absence of a family environment you may be faced with lots of opportunities to play rather than work ( and you should definitely take some of them).

You are at a crossroads in your life, and quite frankly, some people make bad choices. This may be more true if the individual has not been encouraged to take responsibility for themselves; but whatever the reason,  if you blow your time on beer and fun you will live the consequences of that - but only for the rest of your life!

So you need to pay heed to the time you have available, the tasks you have to complete, together with the need to kick back and relax sometimes.  

Key 2 Work and life balance
It is important to find a balance between study (which is your job now) and downtime to relax on your own or with friends. Remember that study is your priority. Whatever your main goal is sets your overall direction. Make sure you do what you need to do before you 'play'. Notice what seems to stress you out and change that activity or pattern so that your mind is quieter and clearer. Good time management comes from a clear mind that can intuitively decide what needs doing when (as does enjoyable downtime).

Key 3 Practical technique

This is a brilliant time management technique that sorts out the priorities from 'the rest' and gives you a system for getting the important things done first.

Take a piece of paper and rule a line from top to bottom, down the middle. On the left of the line write down everything and anything you can think of that you need to do. On the right of the line write down the fewer things that must be done today.

The rule is that you do the items on the right of the line first and keep going until they are done. It's very simple! Another rule is that once you have decided on the items on the right of the list, that list is now closed. You can make another one when all the items you wrote down on the right of the line have been completed. You can do what ever takes your fancy on the left of the line ONLY when the items on the right have been completed. It is simple and it works if you follow the rules.

 Key 4 The inner game of time

Time management is a combination of very simple technique and psychology. You have exactly the same amount of time in your day as the most successful person you can think of. How you 'see' that time may be different. One of the most common time management errors is worry. Some people think they are dealing with a problem seriously if they worry about it. This could not be further from the truth. Worry is not cool, it doesn't mean you are a sensitive person. It means you are not taking the action you need to take in order to solve your problem. Worry is not a strategy and if you indulge in worrying, you will drive yourself crazy and you still will not have done what needs doing!

You are intelligent enough to follow a simple system and decide what needs to be done today. Make your list and get to it! Trust that you can prioritise and follow through. The rest is up to the gods! You can do what you do. Most people, when they do not accomplish what they want to do, are either unlucky or stupid! At least with this simple system we can avoid stupid! 


The moving pen writes and doesn't go back for an edit. Time flies whether you are having fun or not and you can never have it back. Especially if you are a student starting a new course away from home, you are in a position to establish positive habits that will serve you for a lifetime. Take the time to plan your days and find out just how much more you can achieve and enjoy than you might have thought possible.