Time Management there's only 24 hours in a day!!

Right away, I knew this experiment was going to be a fun one. My time management skills are terrible. Honestly, out of all the different factors of maintaining a successful life, time management might be my worst one. Out of everything we discussed in class and all the experiments done, learning about effective time management has been the most useful for me because I know how terrible I am at it. So, when I set up this experiment, I knew my results were not going to be good.

Towards the beginning of the semester in this class, we all created planning systems. For my monthly one, I used a calendar template in Excel. I noticed a trend when I was setting it up: I would have three or so "light" weeks, followed by one "heavy" week. Most of my weeks would have a "regular" workload, and then I would have one week where all my exams, etc. would fall. It really opened my eyes, as I would not have seen this had I not looked at my semester as a whole like I did. I would have started the semester, breezed through for about a month, and then that one heavy week would sneak up on me. For this, I only recorded things on my schedule that weren't "normal".

For my weekly planner, I used the sheet we were given in class. I'll admit, I didn't follow the instructions to the letter in including EVERYTHING like bathing, sleeping, eating. etc. I don't think I'll have to schedule that, I've been pretty good about remembering to do it so far! And I didn't put in anything for the weekends, either. Instead, I wanted to make it not another assignment, but a tool I will ACTUALLY use. SO, I used it to plan out my school schedule. It does follow the Covey quadrants somewhat, although if it's a time waster or a distraction, it's not in there because it's really not important. I pretty much turned the Covey quadrants into the Covey halves, important and not important. I only put the important things in there. I did differentiate between important and urgent, and important but not urgent, so maybe it's more like the Covey thirds. The color code system I used was pretty basic because I forgot to bring colored pencils the day we did it. The time chunks outlined in red are class. That's to signify non-flexible time, I have to be there no matter what. That takes the highest priority. This is "important, but urgent". The time chunks outlined in highlighter are for studying and school work and anything "important, but not urgent". I can learn a lot in a short time, so I don't need a whole lot of study time compared to most students. Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30-12 is tutoring for Calculus. Those same days from 3:30 to 5 or so are for Physics. And Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 11:15 to 12:20 is more calculus study time, if I need it. Calculus and Physics are the only two classes for which I scheduled predetermined study time, just for those classes since those are my two toughest ones. My other classes don't require much studying, so from 6-8:00, Monday through Thursday, I made "general study time". That's time spent in the library, but for whatever I want. If I need more time for calculus or physics, I study then. I usually don't, so that time is for my other two classes or for getting ahead. I did remember the curve of forgetting, so another use for this general study time is spending a little time reviewing what I learned in class each day. Since it's every day, I'm getting exposed to material from all my classes every day. My system may not follow the instructions given to us to the letter, but I can stick with it and it works for me.

For the other things I have to take care of in a day, I use a to-do list on the Notes app in my phone. I write the time next to things that need it. If it's important, I just put stars next to it

I performed this experiment over April 2-4th, which was a Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. Throughout all three days, I recorded my activities in my phone and wrote them down at the end of the day. 

Obviously, I was going to look like a big slacker on Sunday, but that's what Sundays are for. Except for church and one lawn mowing job, I didn't really have anything planned. Which actually turned out to be a good thing, because one of my buddies tried to take his jeep through a very low creek and discovered he couldn't make it back up the bank without a little tug. Other than that, I only had to finish working on my lawn equipment and do my first lawn job of the season.

I ended up spending the night at my house Sunday and driving back to Tiger Town Monday morning. I arrived at my apartment, unloaded, and left for class. So, I didn't use my built in calculus study time. I went to class as usual, and of course class for this class was canceled that day, so I used that time to work on calculus homework. I got done by 5, left and went home. Lately, I haven't been doing my general study time at the library. Once I'm home, I'm home. I usually take care of what I need to before I go home, and once I'm done eating, all I have to do is review my notes for the day, which is honestly not worth a trip to the library. But I do use the time. So, for Monday, most of my time during the day was spent in Quadrants 1 or 2. I didn't follow my planner exactly, but it was still a productive day.

Tuesday, I managed to follow my schedule a little better. I have a lot more structured time Tuesday than I do Monday, so it was a little tougher to deviate. I went to Materials Science at 8AM, then to calculus tutoring right after that. Afterwards, I had lunch and a little downtime, and then on to calculus. Next, I studied physics in the library and had a little snack, then went home afterwards. I had a good bit of downtime from 8-11:00. I did a much better job of following my schedule on Tuesday.

This represents how much time I spent in each Covey quadrant. I didn't count Sunday in this representation, but during school days I was actually pretty productive. Most of my time was spent in quadrant 2, doing schoolwork, studying, or other stuff falling under "Important, not urgent". I obviously spent some time in quadrant 1 in class, and I managed to limit the amount of time spent in 3 and 4. Obviously, at the end of the day, there was going to be some time spent watching TV, and I like to have a mid-day break, so I spent a little time in 4. I didn't spend much time in 3, which was surprising considering how easily I get distracted.


Created with images by lulek41 - "male watch wrist watch packshot"

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