Online College Courses for Credit

Time Management

Time Management

Author: Sophia Tutorial

Describe principles of effective time management.

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what's covered
In this lesson you will explore two ways to look at your time and how digital tools can assist in that effort. You will consider both quantities of time and the quality of time. You will learn how to better estimate the time needed for tasks and to make sure you focus on time for yourself when needed. Finally, you will learn how managing your time and using your technology skill can make you more productive and improve your initiative skill. Specifically, this lesson will cover:
  1. Quantity of Time
    1. Estimate Time
    2. Include Time for You
  2. Quality of Time
  3. Quantity and Quality Working Together

1. Quantity of Time

Between our personal obligations, school work, and jobs, it can be hard to find the time to do it all. Luckily, there are digital tools you can use to make time work for YOU! Before you begin to use those tools, it is important to understand two basic elements of time: quantity and quality.

Any task on your plate requires an amount (quantity) of time to complete it. People who consistently achieve their desired results, are realistic about the time needed to get the job done. As they plan, they take into account their regular, daily responsibilities. They are realistic about what they can and cannot shift or what can wait for another day.

Woman at Desk on Computer Looking at Calendar

1a. Estimate Time
It is critical to success that you are realistic about the time needed to accomplish everyday tasks. This can be challenging since it is not something many people think of as they go throughout the day. The nice thing is, most of their daily tasks take roughly the same amount of time each time you do them. Once you have the quantity of time calculated, you can use that same time each time you need to plan for a new task.

There are several digital tools you can use to help you estimate your time. These time management calculators are easy to use and a helpful tool in your productivity tool box. Take a few minutes to explore this calculator to see how much free time you have every week.

1b. Include Time for You
Did you add any time for yourself when you explored the calculator above? Things like exercise, meditation, time for reading and the all important sleep are critical to leading a balanced life. It can be easy to fill your days (and some nights), with activities. That, coupled with inefficient work to complete those activities, can lead to burn out and stress. Make sure you take time to take care of yourself. Your productivity will increase and you will see yourself achieving more of your goals.

Watch this short video to better understand how scheduling important tasks can help you stay motivated and on track.

Add video(Strayer Week 6) : Importance of scheduling work time to keep you motivated to get the job done.

2. Quality of Time

Many people feel they can accomplish more if they multitask. Working on more than one thing at a time may sound like a good idea, but it is not. Our brains were not made to focus effectively on several things at once. Have you ever tried to do your homework while cooking dinner? What about working on a project at work while chatting with a coworker. You may have completed the tasks, but chances are you made errors or find you need to go back and review things. The more quality time you spend on a task, the greater the chance you are successful.

Initiative: Why Employers Care
Employers want to know you can get the job done. It is up to you to take the initiative to set boundaries at work so you can focus on important tasks. If a co-worker is continually distracting you with conversations or instant messages, you need to be proactive and find a professional way to change your circumstances.

3. Quantity and Quality Working Together

While you should try to avoid multitasking, there are times when it cannot be avoided or it can actually work in your favor. The key is determining the quantity and quality of time needed for any given task. Some tasks don’t require a high level of concentration, while others do. Considering factors like this can help you plan if and when you can do more than one thing at the same time.

What tasks can you complete effectively and efficiently while doing something else? For example, can you walk for 30 minutes to get some exercise while also talking on the phone to set up a vet appointment? What other situations come to mind?

As you thought about multi-tasking, were some of the activities you thought of those that can be done quickly? Typically, tasks that take a short amount of time require less deep thinking. For example, a call to the vet just to make an appointment could take 5 minutes. Conversely, writing a paper for your english class may require 3 hours along with more focus. Understanding how quantity of time can relate to quality of time is one important element of achieving your goals. It can lead to an increase in your productivity skill and that is something that can help you at home and at work.

Technology: Skill Reflect
Now that you understand more about critical elements of time management, do you already use a digital tool that helps you be more productive? If so, what do you like about it? If not, are you open to trying something like the calculator shared in this lesson? Why or why not?

In this lesson, you focused on gaining a better understanding of the two aspects of time….quantity and quality. You explored the importance of making sure you estimate the time for tasks accurately and always build in time for yourself. You learned you can manage your time wisely by understanding how these two elements of quantity and quality of time work together. You considered how your technology skill can help you along the way and how using your initiative can improve your productivity at home and at work.

Enjoy the last lesson of this challenge!