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Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering | Resources for Online Students

Time is the most valuable asset we have, but time management is one of the most common issues impacting productivity. With the onset of the Covid 19 pandemic it may seem that there are more demands on our time and we are asked to do more with less.

In a previous blog, I focused on the areas of behavioral and perceptual coaching. This blog is a continuous series on coaching and focuses on time management.

If you answer yes to one or more of the following statements, you may benefit from time management coaching:

  • I feel overwhelmed
  • I’m spending too much time at work
  • I’m disorganized
  • I have too many meetings and interruptions
  • I want to be more productive

Some common approaches to handle time management include:

Modify your environment

Is your desk a catch all for everything “important”, but it’s nearly impossible to find what you’re looking for? Maybe it’s time to clean off your desk. Eliminate all the sticky notes with your numerous to do tasks. Take the time to properly file all your paperwork so that you can easily find what you’re looking for. Remove all the items that are a distraction. At the end of each day, make sure everything is in its proper place.

Make a Schedule – and Stick to It

Another approach to time management is tracking your time for a week. This can be done in small increments of 30-minute or 60-minute intervals. You can use this exercise as a way of evaluating how you spend your time. You can improve your time management skills by organizing your days and weeks in advance. There will always be last minute emergencies, but you’ll have an idea about the kinds of tasks and responsibilities you have to deal with every day.

Prioritize

An essential element in time management is learning how to prioritize. To efficiently accomplish any project, you need to decide which tasks are most important and the impact of each. In other words, you must figure out which tasks or activities will deliver the best returns. You can then prioritize these over less important tasks.

Set Boundaries

If you need to have some quiet time to complete an assignment, let your teammates know when you aren’t available. It’s up to you to set boundaries when necessary. Communicate your limits in a polite, but direct, manner.

Never Procrastinate

If it can be done today, do it today. This should be your motto if you want to make the most of your time. If you find yourself with extra time before the end of the day, start on the next day’s tasks. It’s much better to finish your week earlier on Friday than it is to get stuck working on a last-minute project.

When you can manage your time, you can realize and appreciate the benefits:

  • Higher productivity
  • Peace of mind
  • Experience less stress
  • Perceived as more productive and effective
  • More grounded and focused on the most important issues

Coaching can help you get back in control and utilizing your time in a more productive and strategic way. If you would like assistance with your time management, please schedule an appointment with me thru Handshake.

Betty Boza is a career development specialist for the Fulton Schools Career Center. Among her credentials, she is a Certified Executive Coach (CEC) and Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW). Her primary responsibility is assisting online, graduate and doctoral students with all aspects of career development including resume preparation, professional network expansion, effective job search strategies and mock interviews.