Clemson University Staff Senate

It’s Time to Manage Your Time

Katelyn Rose, Ombuds Office intern.

As the semester comes to an end, I think it is an important time to talk about time management. The spring semester in particular is one of the busiest times for me. You have spring break, ring ceremony, classes, and graduation ceremonies, and extracurricular activities that could engulf your time like March madness, softball, and baseball. For me in particular, I found myself in a place where I feel like everything is coming around so fast. I remember writing my first column for this newsletter, and now I’m finishing out and I must say this semester and this internship has been great. I say all this because I am in a place where I feel like all my assignments and deadlines are approaching faster than I anticipated. In school, work and in our daily lives, we may encounter people who seem to have it all together. They are productive, stress-free, high achievers, but chances are they were not born that way. Managing, organizing, and distributing time are skills that we can learn. Doing so can help with controlling your time and promoting overall satisfaction. With this being said the topic for this month’s newsletter is time management.           

         Time management is the process of consciously planning and controlling time spent on specific tasks to increase how efficient you are. I am sure everyone is familiar with setting deadlines, writing to do lists, and giving yourself small rewards for accomplishing certain activities. Motivating ourselves is a core part of time management, and it takes intentionality to cultivate good habits to work and live efficiently. Figuring out a process that works for you, whatever that may be, is key to creating an efficient life. When I feel like deadlines are approaching fast, I write down all the due dates for assignments and projects that I have, and it helps calm me down. When I have a lot on my plate like anyone else I get stressed out, and it sends me into immediate panic. So what I am about to give below are some examples to use in your everyday lives and in the workplace to better your time management skills.

One time management skill is conducting a time audit. This strategy starts by assessing where you actually spend your time. A time audit includes creating a visual map of the approximate time you spend on work, school, housework, chores, commuting to and from work, social media usage, and leisure activities. By doing this you can actually see how much time you spend on these activities and then make changes to help prioritize your work and still give you the free time to have time to do the things that you enjoy. The second method is to employ methods to chunk your time. This is also called the pomodoro method. This method was developed in the late 1980s by Francesco Cirillo, a university student who was overwhelmed by studying and assignments. This method requires using a timer to break down your work into a 25-minute interval, separated by 5 minutes of break time. After you complete 4 of these pomodoros, you can start taking longer 15-30 minute breaks. The word pomodoro is Italian for tomato, which promotes concentration and relieves mental fatigue. This strategy can be useful for open-ended work like conducting research, studying for an exam, or finishing a consulting project.

Finally, focusing on one thing at a time is essential for time management. Multitasking is generally less efficient than focusing on one task at a time. In fact, I found a study that suggested that only 2.5 percent of people are able to effectively multitask. Doing too many things at once can impact your cognitive ability, making you feel unproductive or dissatisfied with your progress. Arranging your time so that you complete one task before starting another can boost your confidence. The last thing I want to offer is some benefits of having time management skills. Some benefits consist of reducing stress, increasing energy, achieving goals more effectively, prioritizing what’s important, reducing procrastination, boosting confidence and getting further in your career and education. These are just a few reasons why managing your time is important. I will be taking some of these skills with me as I move forward to the end of the semester.  Have a good spring!

What is the Ombuds Office?

The Ombuds Office is a confidential, independent, neutral, and informal space for staff to process concerns, get information, and develop options for how to move forward in a difficult situation.  I can provide education, conflict coaching, mediation, and facilitation as well as referrals to other resources across Clemson.  If you are unsure how to move forward in any way, I can help you work through it.
Tessa Byer, 864.656.5353 or
135 Old Greenville Hwy, Ste. 203 (Next to Esso!)

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