Effective time management is one of the most important factors for succeeding in college and despite my success in high school and Air Force training I had a lot of problems with it. Some of you might not think that time management is important. I was one of those some, when I first began my degree in Paralegal Studies at a university in Florida. .
Here is what I knew from high school and the Air Force: all I have to do is go there, sit there until the classes ended, and then go home and do whatever I wanted. I managed to do all of my homework between classes and nothing was left for home. To get a 95 on the test, all I had to do was sit in the class and listen to the teacher. I quickly learned that in college it wouldn't work the way that it had worked in high school and in the Air Force. I needed to make some changes and develop a system to succeed at my new challenges.
The most frustrating thing for me in college was the way that my schedule would be arranged and the time constraints it created. For example, when I had to manage the combination of college and military duty from 8 in the morning, until 9 in the evening, without a break during the day, there was no time left for my family and friends. Additionally, if I planned on doing my homework at home in the evening, then most of it probably wouldn't get done. Now that's where learning effective time management became an integral part of my life.
The first principle that I learned is that I needed to set goals, which I would have to accomplish by the end of the day. I would see when I had free time, and try to separate my tasks into smaller tasks and fit them into the remaining available time that I had.
I know it sounds easy, but believe me it's not. I have learned that effective time management takes some practice. The first step that I took was to get a piece of paper, and record all of my daily activities for a couple of days.