Accent on Academics

By Dean Gayle L:inn

As I interview students year after year, the number one problem that all struggle with is time management. Far greater than any lesson learned in class are those learned in dealing with schedules, prioritizing and facing the “tyranny of the urgent.”

Learning to budget time, like learning to budget one’s finances is a matter of allocation. The only difference is money can be earned again even after it is wasted or lost – time cannot. Your time is exactly that – YOURS. You determine how you will use it or how you will allow others to use it. One student who had fallen behind in her assignments this semester got help from an older sibling. Her sister suggested a calendar/appointment book. The student related how she spent an enjoyable time in a bookstore looking at many different options until she settled on one. She proudly showed me how she color-coordinated her different responsibilities and classes into her weekly schedule. She then went on to prioritize assignments in order to catch up and then remain current. She was rewarded when she saw her grades improve and her stress level lessen.

Another student was frustrated with family members who kept pulling him away from his studies to help out with “emergencies” or activities that would just “take a few minutes.” He had to calmly explain to them at a family gathering that he loved them all very much, but he needed their help in assisting him in being successful in school. He assured them that he would attend as many family events as he could, but that there would be times he would need to study. They needed to hear that “no” was not a rejection but rather a choice to use his time wisely in achieving his goals.

“Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.” – M. Scott Peck Each of these students is learning that as they value their time, they are investing it more wisely and are closer to reaching their goals.