Time Management

Section A, Part 7

Student leaders are typically some of the busiest students in the school. As a student leader, you must juggle your student council and other activities with academics and family. It is rare to find student leaders who have enough time to do everything they want to do.

Making a short-term investment of time to plan will bring you rewards in the form of more productive time (quality). This increase in quality will directly relate to how much time you have for yourself and others (quantity), creating a win-win situation.

To begin to manage your time, you can use several strategies, the first of which is identifying your peak time. This is the time of the day when people function better. As a student leader, you should know if you get more accomplished in the mornings, afternoons, or evenings, and plan your work time accordingly. By scheduling tasks during your peak time, you will accomplish more.

Another strategy you can use to improve your time management is to find ways to reduce interruptions. It may mean turning off the cell phone or putting up an away message on your instant messenger. Interruptions can also be avoided by finding a quiet place to concentrate on the tasks at hand.

An important part of how well student leaders manage their time is directly related to how they feel physically, emotionally, and mentally. Daily schedules should allow for and promote wellness, time for proper meals, and fun. Don’t forget to play. Energizing a healthy mind and body makes it easier to concentrate and tackle the challenges you face.

To manage your time better, consider the following tips.

  • Evaluate your current practice—Keep a notebook and list all the things you did today. Did you accomplish everything you wanted to? Why or why not?
  • Make a list—List everything you have to do and rate each one as a high, medium, or low priority. Make sure the items on your list are doable, then budget your time accordingly.
  • Create a daily schedule—Taking 5–10 minutes each day to schedule your tasks will save you far more time throughout the day. Use a planner to schedule activities. Stick to the schedule and do not overextend yourself. Know when and how to say “No.”

Used with permission from XCEL Center: The Center for Excellence in Student Leadership, Binghamton University, 1994

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