Managing Your Time: How To Do it Better

Whether it is working in an office or sitting at your classroom desk, the prospect of being given a huge project is burdensome at best and downright scary at worst. Being required to work with a group does not necessary make things better- You can be stuck with the role of doing all the work as everyone else straggles inside of the room at the last minute, or spend your entire time basically goofing off with friends. As Millennials, one stereotype we constantly have to deal with is being the generation that is addicted to technology; it is easy for people to imagine a college student trying to finish an assignment while watching their favorite show on Netflix and refreshing Twitter 100 times an hour. In short, we are said to be the generation that does not know how to manage our time.

The chance of wasting your time doing unnecessary tasks can seem high, because let’s face it, we humans are incapable of multitasking. It is a science- There have been numerous studies that show our brains, when forced to deal with two tasks or assignments at the same time, will only process information one task at a time. If you are reading this article on your phone while currently in the middle of making a Powerpoint presentation for your job or college class, odds are your brain is not completely focused on your assignment. This applies to other actions, as well: A text from your friend, sending an email to a client and even doing a separate assignment at the time are all examples of distractions that get in the way of properly managing your time and doing well on an important task.

In the case of college, whenever I get handed an 8-10 page research paper to do on history or government statistics, I make it a point to figure out how much time I have to do the assignment. Say it is was assigned on October 15 and is due on November 26- That gives you exactly 43 days to complete it, 31 days if weekends are not included. A good pace is to complete half a page each day, allowing you to avoid rushing and work on other required assignments. If you were to write half a page every weekday starting October 15, you would have nine full pages done by November 7. That would leave enough time to thoroughly review the paper with a writing expert, while also providing room to rewrite key parts of the essay if needed.

To conclude, it is no secret that rushing to do a project at the last minute is a bad idea and will not allow the writer to present their best work. Yet so many projects end up being completed just hours before they are due, giving rise to the popular term that we all know as an “all-nighter.” Business Insider did an in-depth piece about the health risks that come with “pulling an all-nighter,” such as becoming stressed out, less likely to remember important details, and emotionally irrational. These are not the qualities of a professional who can be expected to succeed in class or the real world. If you do not learn how to manage your time, you will never be able to prove that you can be trusted to take a company to the next level.

Matthew Engel