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Effective Time Management Analysis

Introduction

Time management is one of the most crucial techniques to increase productivity and reach the desired objectives. The inability to establish a structured schedule may disrupt the working and studying routine even under normal circumstances. However, with social restrictions due to the pandemic forcing to close offices, schools, and most businesses, many are faced with unexpected time organization challenges. It may seem first that working and studying from home should free up a substantial number of hours to dedicate to the family or pursue a new hobby. In reality, effective planning to stay productive while taking care of yourself and your loved ones takes a great effort. This paper aims to provide a thorough description of the tools and techniques I use to balance studies, work, family, and social life.

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My Studying Routine

The undeniably chaotic events unfolding recently due to the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted the traditional on-campus studying routines for many students and teachers alike having to transition to an online format. However, distance learning is not a new concept at all, and a large stratum of people have been relying on it for their educational purposes for quite some time. According to statistics, many institutions in the US allow students to complete almost half of the classes online (Keegan, 2020). Moreover, students involved in distance learning reported absorbing five times more information per hour of online studying than in a traditional classroom setting (Keegan, 2020). Therefore, developing the necessary time management skills is the key to getting the most value out of home learning, while being able to dedicate additional time to family and work or hobbies.

The first and the most vital timekeeping tool I use in my routine is the RescueTime app since it helps me tackle and control the biggest pet peeve of independent learning – social media distractions. On the one hand, modern gadgets are undeniably useful for communicating with friends, online shopping, and paying bills, especially in the current situation that limits social interactions. On the other hand, cell phone usage does not promote learning but instead decreases the ability to concentrate on the subject at hand. Ironically, the culprit of my distraction also provides me with the tool to control phone usage. Once the RescueTime app gave me insight into how much time I spent on mindless scrolling through social media feeds, I was able to establish a personal phone-time schedule. First, I categorized the websites that take away the most of my unproductive minutes and set a time frame during which the app mutes all the notifications from these sources.

The first part of my day is when I do most of my classes; therefore, hours from 9 in the morning to 3 in the afternoon is the phone-free zone for me. Initially, it was quite hard to follow my new schedule. However, once I realized how much such a quiet setting free of distractions boosted my productivity, I could easily resist the urge to turn on my phone. What benefited me immensely is a mutual agreement between my friends and me to use the same hours that block access to social media apps. This way, all of us are on the same page to complete the studying assignments while also allowing for extra free time in the evening to video chat.

The other tool I utilize to organize my day is the Calendar app. I use it to register all the assignments I need to complete while being able to set up mid-term and final deadlines. The app helps me hold myself accountable by providing reminders and notifications of the upcoming projects and allows me to allocate the time to prepare accordingly. I prefer to use the online app to schedule my studying goals rather than a traditional paper one since it provides visual and sound reminders of the upcoming deadlines, therefore keeping me proactive and self-aware.

Work Time Management

Balancing online classes and a full-time job is challenging and can get quite intense when not supported by an adequate time planning routine. I consider myself lucky enough not to have to combine work and studies since I do not have a traditional nine-to-five job at the moment. However, I dedicate part of my day to developing my drawing skills and setting up a personal online artistic gallery. My long-term goal is to be able to sell my paintings and sketches online; therefore, I consider creating the website my part-time job and try to structure my routine accordingly.

After I finish my online studies, I make sure I spend one to two hours drawing. I do not include this activity in my Calendar app because sketching is something I look forward to after classes to clear my mind and relax. However, I do register in the app my mid-term and long-term goals as to completing the creation of my website since I decided to treat it as a part-time job. I also make sure the RescueTime app is still running to block social media notifications since creative activity such as painting requires a calm and peaceful environment.

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I use the checklist routine to set up my objectives for the website development. I dedicate several hours after lunch, researching similar artistic platforms to get inspiration. I also work on designing my online gallery by adding new paintings, writing their descriptions, and filling in the other parts of the website. Since it is not a traditional job, it is easy to fall behind and stop being consistent with the implementation of my project. Therefore, using the checklist helps me stay on top of my goals and be determined to achieve them. Having a strict schedule that requires a completed agenda by the end of each day eases the stress of balancing work and online classes and helps me keep my end objectives under control.

Family and Social Interactions Management

Studying and working are essential, but so is taking time to spend with family and friends. I need to have an adequate amount of social integrations to become recharged and tackle my educational goals more effectively. Every day after my running routine, I make sure to have a sit-down breakfast with my family members to catch up and share our thoughts. I consider it particularly critical as such a close connection with my loved ones motivates and inspires me to reach my full potential. I use the Calendar app to record all the family and friends’ commitments to plan my studies and work around them.

Social life is an integral part of daily routine since it provides the necessary relaxation and distraction. While the first part of my day is dedicated to studies and work, I try not to communicate with my friends on social media, and the RescueTime app is a great help in that. Before the pandemic distancing rules came into place, I used to spend a couple of hours every other day meeting with my companions to discuss common interests. Currently, video chatting is a practical way to communicate, and I try to peruse it daily to converse with my friends. I am quite strict about fitting social time into my schedule since it helps me relax and gives me the energy to head back to studying and working. Socializing, in person or online, benefits everyone by helping to stay emotionally stable and socially confident. Such qualities, in return, ensure successful learning and working experience. Thus, a developed network, including connections with other students for study collaboration and leisure time, is crucial to becoming a productive scholar.

Conclusion

Proper time management techniques undoubtedly serve as a critical tool in reaching my targets and being productive and efficient. Structuring my day, the way it is described in this paper, allows me to minimize procrastination and curb possible destructions, thereby lowering stress and anxiety levels. Using practical planning apps such as RescueTime and online calendar makes it possible to correctly allocate time to each of my checklist items while blocking unnecessary social media interruptions. Indeed, balancing online classes and a job while maintaining healthy family and social relationships is complex. However, finding the right systematic approach benefits people around me and myself and also motivates me to get the most out of my day to pursue my goals.

Reference

Keegan, L. (2020). 79+ Staggering Online Learning Statistics! (All You Need to Know!). SkillScouter. Web.

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StudyCorgi. "Effective Time Management Analysis." January 14, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/effective-time-management-analysis/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Effective Time Management Analysis." January 14, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/effective-time-management-analysis/.

References

StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Effective Time Management Analysis'. 14 January.

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