by Oleg Ignatenko 
        Our life revolves around time.  Each day we are given twenty-four hours to accomplish small tasks and duties that will enable us to achieve our life goals and in the process meet new people and discover more about ourselves.  Twenty-four hours may seem like a lot but for people who have a hard time managing their schedule, it may seem like they never have enough time for anything.  It is especially difficult for college students who sometimes have to juggle many things at once, such as school projects, activities, different organizations, work, and in some cases kids and families.  We all wish we had more time during the day to accomplish what we set out to do.  But how?  Hopefully this blog will answer this question and help you determine a way to prioritize your schedule. 
Here are 3 of the biggest mistakes that can occur when trying to accomplish daily tasks 
  • Targeting too many areas at once  

    When trying to develop a schedule, the first thing you want to do is determine a specific task that you will want to finish by the end of that dayThis should be your primary objective for the day and the task that should come before every other one.  Try to focus on this task and feel free to take time  away from your other interests in order to accomplish it.  That way, as long as you achieve this particular goal, you will not feel like your day went to waste.   By keeping yourself on track and finishing the important aspects of your daily schedule, you will be able to accomplish so much more with your time as well as maintain a sense of purpose and fulfillment. 

  • Being busy just to be busy  

    This is usually referred to as busy work.  Busy work is something that keeps you occupied without being constructive or productive.  A good example of busy work is assignments you had to complete that were given to you in high school or middle school when you had a substitute teacher whose sole purpose was to make sure you were working on something/anything.  Other examples of busy work are completing a project with no clear purpose, word searches   which do not actually reinforce vocabulary and anything that is there just for the purpose of keeping someone busy with no prominent objective.  This type of work can cause students or employees much frustration because even though they remain busy for the moment, later on they feel a complete sense of lack of accomplishment  as well as no purposeful progress. 

  • Allowing yourself to get distracted
    First of, lets be honest with ourselves.  We live in Miami where the sun is always bright, the ocean is always inviting and there are an unlimited amount of activities to do for fun.  But instead of looking at those things as distractions, lets view them as incentives or as rewards that you can present yourself with after finishing the things that should come first.  There are of course other distractions, such as the ones that are present during your study hours.  Nowadays the majority of students use a computer when working on their homework or conducting research.  That gives us the opportunity to consistently disrupt our concentration by allowing ourselves to wander to other sites such as Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube where you might start of watching a video on math tutorials and two hours later you are somehow watching videos of cats doing backflips.  A great way to avoid this is to download a program called FocalFilter.  This program is designed to allow you to block certain websites and the length of time that they will remain blocked for, resulting in keeping you more focused at the task at hand and allowing you to get more work done. 
The Eisenhower Method of Time Management was proposed by Dwight D. Eisenhower.  For those of you who do not know who he is, here is a quick history lesson.  He is not the guy from “The Office”.  Dwight David Eisenhower was the thirty-fourth President of the United States who priorly served in WWII as the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe and held the responsibility for planning and supervising the invasion of France and Germany.   Now that I’m sure you guys are very accepting of this man, lets get to his method.  The Eisenhower Method of Time Management is based on the prioritization matrix which consists of areas of importance and areas of urgency. 

There are 4 priority blocks and they are: 

  1. Urgent and Important 
  1. Important yet not Urgent 
  1. Urgent yet not Important 
  1. Not Important as well as Not Urgent 
Whether reacting to or creating  our environment, Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Method of Time Management makes a lot of sense.  If our work is dependent, this method prioritizes our work tasks. 
By applying these simple time management methods to your life, it can help you become more effective as a professional as well as bringing yourself into greater awareness of time.  Increasing your own consciousness of a thing is the basis of improvement. 
  • Have an organized workplace 
  • Create an appointment calendar and follow it as best as you can 
  • Take short breaks during study and work periods  
  • Learn to say “no” to other activities when important deadlines are coming up 
  • Try to be punctual and prepared for your classes 
  • Know who to ask for help incase you might need it 
  • At last, Have a positive attitude! 
Remember, we live in a very complex world and should not take the time to gather all the information when we frequently use our own intuition.  Ultimately, we need to give equal priority to our family and friends, leisure or pleasure as we do toward work.  An important thing to remember is that even when spending the majority of time thinking strategically and planning things out, we can still get overwhelmed with our day to day lives.  A great way to avoid some of the daily stress is to take a step back, take a break and allow your mind to clear.  Even though it may seem like you are wasting time, in reality, you are giving yourself a chance to think clearly and more distinctively about the important aspects in your life. 

For extra help feel free to visit or contact the Camner Academic Resource Center (ARC) which offers a multitude of resources for every constituent of the University of Miami community.  Currently the ARC houses 7 primary services: Tutoring Services, Office of Disability Services, Learning Specialist, UMX, Academic Workshops, Faculty Support and Independent Learning Initiative.

The ARC is located at the Whitten University Center, Suite N-201; 2nd floor, by the elevator 
Phone (305) 284-2800