William E Hamilton,
CPLP, PhD Candidate University of the Rockies,
MBA, B.S., A.A.
Introduction to Time Management Strategies
Time management is an extremely important skill for executives to have, even more so as a doctoral student with so many competing interests and requirements. We’ve been asked to share our current time management (TM) methods and give some new ideas as well. I have also included best TM ideas and priorities.
Current time management methods
My current time management methods include waking up early between 0415-0430 to review my last day’s, today’s to-do lists and tasks as well as prioritize them; A, B and C. Cs usually end up in the “trash can”. I can do this mentally of course. I sometimes use the old method of what I call the “Yellow Pages”; a simple legal pad where I write down to-do items (prioritized), re-writing them entirely on the next page if I don’t finish them before I turn the page. Therefore, the items must be completed before turning the page or I’m not happy! I got this idea from a former department of mines in the Navy.
New ideas for time management
From the Time Management Guide and Resource, new ideas include putting items on the calendar as soon as possible (ASAP), schedule most things if you can, breaking down major timelines and being aware of how I use my time (Discover Business). The priority here seems to be getting items on the calendar ASAP. Since I’m in an online doctoral program, there’s a regular cycle of 6 weeks with regular posts, journals and assignment due dates; e.g., day 1, 3, 5 and 7. So I make sure I adhere to the schedule and try to get ahead so as have time for I call “deep reading”. The big assignment is due in week 6, so I make sure I’ve looked at it initially in week 1, but by week 2 at least create an outline, and by week 4, most times, I should have rough draft or at least an annotated bibliography.
Other ideas and time management principles include identifying the best times to study, tackling the toughest subjects first and ensuring one’s comfortable (University of Minnesota Duluth, 2011). The priority here is making sure one’s comfortable.
Best time management ideas
All in all, the best TM management is making sure one gets up early before everyone else does, you’re comfortable and finally, get those to-do lists and tasks on the calendar ASAP! When the alarm clocks goes off, get up– no snooze alarm! It probably wouldn’t hurt to have your favorite cup of strong coffee as you get comfortable and begin writing. I try and use the Headspace App to help focus my mind and thoughts. It’s a good app and introduction to meditation. It doesn’t try and clear thoughts, only helps you understand that you don’t have to chase thoughts just because they are there– let them go by.
Whether you’re using your current methods, new ideas or a combination of the best ideas– the point is to start right away, don’t procrastinate, get those assignments and tasks scheduled right away! You’ll be surprised how organized you’ll be, centered you’re feeling and high-performance usually follows.
Thanks for reading!
Discover Business. (n.d.). Time Management Guide and Resource. Retrieved from https://www.discoverbusiness.us/resources/time-management/
University of Minnesota Duluth. (2011). Time management principles. Retrieved from http://www.d.umn.edu/kmc/student/loon/acad/strat/time_man_princ.html