Time Management 101

by Josiah Parke

Time is an abstract concept to be sure. While all people may experience it differently, we all fall under the same basic limitations related to time:

  1. We have only a limited amount of time to do all that we need to do
  2. We can only be in one place at a time

However, as a college student, one quickly realizes just how precious a resource time really is. Between schoolwork, jobs, volunteer work, friends, relationships, etc, all aspects of life are amplified and require valuable time to manage. Having poor experience with the latter, but a great deal with the former, I myself had to learn to adjust and adapt to this university setting.

In the time I have been in undergrad, I have been fortunate enough to work multiple jobs, both on and off campus, while still maintaining my gpa, friends, and most of my sanity. At some points in time, I have been taking on 18+ credit hour semesters while also working 25+ hours a week. When friends occasionally question how I am able to do this, they have good cause- I have poor memory for obligations, especially when there are many within a short period of time. The answer they receive is simple; time management.

Pictured above is my constant and faithful companion; my planner. With this I am able to designate specific times to meet specific obligations. With an ounce of prevention during my course selection period before the semester begins, I can schedule my classes close together in one block in order to leave room for work and study later in the day. If I keep up with my scheduling (which I am sometimes guilty of neglecting) I can stave off the stereotypical midterm time management meltdown that characterizes many students’ college experience.

My scheduling process goes like this:

  • I look ahead in my syllabus (semester guide) for each class at the beginning of the term and write down dates of major projects, papers, and tests so that I can remember to study in a timely manner
  • Work obligations (I am usually scheduled 2 weeks in advance) go next, as I then have designated blocks of free time to devote to social and personal matters
  • Social obligations are filled in as time goes on (typically they have the shortest notice)- anything involving family has priority
  • Finally, I may block out time for extra sleep, writing letters, or even just sitting on the quad and enjoying the sunshine: this is very important as finals approach and stress mounts.

Though this process may seem cold, calculated, and unnecessary, I have been able to maximize my time and take on extra opportunities as I have learned to employ it.

I hope that this haphazard discourse on time management does not come across as elitist, or that somehow being able to manage your time will somehow make you a superior student/ human being. However, I do believe that everyone reading this post, whether they come to college or not, has a great deal to share with the world- so much so that putting these things into practice will maximize your opportunities to get involved with society. This will only benefit those around you, as well as giving you the peace and confidence that you can achieve all that you strive for.

Josiah Parke: GWU ’17. Student Recruiter. Southern by geography. Honors Program. Alpha Chi. Amateur Runner Philosopher/ Nerd. Musician. Lover of Dogs, Peanut Butter and Battlestar Galactica