When it comes to time management, there are two types of students. The first type is a person who is continuing their education from high school. This student has little or no commitments outside of school. The second type is a person who has left school and is returning for a particular purpose, whatever that purpose is. This type of student usually has several commitments outside of school, such as a job, a family, or other outside activities. This second type of student has a real need to practice proper time management to get everything done.
Evaluate Areas of Life
To practice proper time management with multiple priorities, the first step is to understand the different areas of your life. You need to make clear, at least to yourself, what is going on in each area of your life. Then you can begin to make a plan to balance these activities.
Start by listing the different areas of your life. The list I have found to be useful goes like this: Professional, Financial, Physical, Recreational, Spiritual, Social, Relational, and Mental. For each area, list the activities for which you wish to allocate time; try to keep each area down to 1 to 3 activities. Then prioritize the activities from most important to least important. If a particular activity needs a certain amount of time, specify that needed time.
Then create a generic weekly calendar; I prefer to start with Monday, although many start with Sunday. Put in the fixed activities, such as work or classes, filling in the blocks. Then start with the activities in your list, putting in each activity with a time block. Try to spread the activities out, rather than taking up large chunks of time. Leave gaps between the activities.
Once you have filled in the activities, see if your allocated time totals match the needs you set forth in your life activity list. Play with the schedule until a balance is reached that is workable for you. Then print the list off, post it in several places, and keep referring to it.
Now you can track your actual behavior against your calendar. Ask yourself, are you following your schedule? Are there interruptions? Are you getting the necessary results? Use these questions to modify your schedule as necessary.
Having a printed schedule not only helps you, it helps the people around you. They know what you are supposed to be doing and when, and they can help you meet your objectives. By planning your work at a weekly level, you gain a level of flexibility which can handle the unexpected or unplanned events while still feeling like you are on track.
No plan is perfect, and no plan can handle every possibility. But having a printed plan allows your subconscious to become your ally rather than your enemy, and makes it more likely for you to reach your targets.