Establishing Effective Time Management Practices

Establishing Effective Time Management Practices for Coursework
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Northcentral University
Establishing Effective Time Management Practices for Coursework
The key to successfully completing your coursework on schedule is to establish a weekly coursework routine that embraces effective time management practices and that works for you in your unique circumstances. As you complete the next three assignments for units 3, 4, and 5 you will establish and refine your personal coursework routine. The process is like developing an exercise routine to maintain your physical health. Your coursework routine will help you maintain your academic health. It is important that you learn about effective time management principles and practices so that your coursework routine is efficient, effective, and sustainable. Although your coursework routine will be primarily established during the next three weeks, it is important that you keep working to improve your routine throughout your program.

1. Focusing on the Next Three Assignments

What are the dates for your assignments in course Activities 3, 4, and 5? Type your answers into the chart below. What you do leading up to each of these due dates will begin to form your routine for completing your coursework for the rest of this course and your future courses.

Note: As you work through this assignment template, all your answers will be typed into cream colored cells like these. Strive to make your responses concise and meaningful.


Assignment Name Due Date
Unit 3: Effective Communications – Compare and Contrast using APA Style
Unit 4: Information Literacy – Research Skills to Find Scholarly Information
Unit 5: Produce a professional Proposal


We will be referring to selected portions of Brian Tracy’s Time Management book throughout this assignment. His book is divided into 21 sections but only sections 5, 7, 8 and 9 are required reading for this unit. However, sections 12 and 13 are highly recommended. Students are also encouraged to read other sections of the book that they feel would be relevant and helpful considering their unique circumstances.

2. Read section 5 of Time Management: Make Written Plans

According to the information provided in this section of Brian Tracy’s Time Management book, one minute spent in planning saves how many minutes in execution?



In the box below, create a to-do list of items that you must get done in the next day or two. Some of these should be related to your coursework but please include work items and family items as well. You do not need to share anything you feel is private and personal.


What is the 80/20 rule?



Go back to your to-do list and place an asterisk in front of the items you feel are part of the 20%.

What is the single most important coursework activity that you consider to be part of the 20%? For example, you could write: reading the syllabus instructions thoughtfully, spending adequate time during final editing before submission, and so on. There are many choices. Write your selection in the box below.



The 80/20 rule not only applies to activities that help us achieve important goals, it also applies to things that hold us back. In other words, 20% of the things that hold us back account for 80% of the delays we have in completing our coursework. What is one example of something that holds you back from completing your coursework that is part of the 20%? For example, you write: conflicting family needs, inability to control the number of work hours each week, and so on. Once again, there are many choices. Try to pick what you think is the biggest challenge you face for successfully completing assignments.



What can you do to limit the impact of the challenge you identified above?


3. Read section 7 of Time Management: Create Your Daily To-Do List

According to this section of the book, what is the best time to develop your to-do list?


According to the experts, about how much time does it take to develop a meaningful to-do list?



The ABCDE method gives you a way of categorizing items on your to-do list to improve your effectiveness. What does each letter of the ABCDE method stand for?

A:
B:
C:
D:
E:


What are some items that should be on your Not To-Do List when it comes to completing your coursework? For example, you could write playing computer games, face-booking, and so on. There are many choices.



4. Read section 8 of Time Management: Set Clear Priorities

According to Brian Tracey, what does all time management boil down to?


What is the Pareto Principle?


What is the law of three?



What are your big three? What are your big three? For example, you could write teaching my children the importance of honesty, saving for retirement, and so on. There are many choices.


5. Read section 9 of Time Management: Stay on Track

What is the most important question in all of time management?



View the video The Urgent/Important Matrix by clicking the following link.

http://sk.sagepub.com.proxy1.ncu.edu/video/the-urgent-important-matrix?seq=1
Note: This video is part of a series of videos about time management. At the end of the video you will find a series of links to other videos in the series. Although this video is the only one required to complete your assignment, you may wish to view some of the other videos in the series depending on your interests and needs relative to time management.
Place items you are currently dealing with in the appropriate quadrant of the Urgent/Important Matrix below. You should have a minimum of one item in each quadrant although you will most likely have several. Some of these items should be related to your coursework.

High Urgent Low
Low Important High Quadrant 1 Quadrant 2
Quadrant 3 Quadrant 4

In the box below list some ways you can make sure your coursework items stay in quadrant 2. For example, you could write things like asking family and friends to support your new commitments, anticipating busy weeks and planning accordingly, and so on. There are many choices.


List some forces that will tend to push your coursework items into quadrant one. For example, you could write items like getting sick, receiving unexpected visitors and so on. There are many choices.



List some strategies you can use to resist the forces that tend to push your coursework into quadrant one. For example, you could write items like asking family members to assume some of the tasks you typically do around the house, or explaining to unexpected visitors you need to maintain your coursework schedule. There are many choices.



6. Planning Your Coursework Routine

In the chart on the next page write either read, research, write, or edit/revise several times in various cells indicating coursework activities you plan to engage in throughout a typical week as you work on a typical assignment. Read refers to reviewing the syllabus, reading the assignment instructions, reviewing any supplementary materials your professor may have provided for you, and completing assigned readings for the unit. Research refers to finding sources in the library, looking up proper APA form and style protocols, looking up vocabulary words you are not familiar with, and so on. Write refers to developing your assignment. Revise/Edit refers to reviewing your work and making corrections. Students often underestimate the amount of time needed to revise/edit their work so keep that in mind as you plan your coursework routine.

Our plans are usually adjusted from week to week but it is helpful to have a plan to start with so we have something to adjust. There is an obvious sequence you would follow when it comes to reading, researching, writing, and editing/revising for the typical assignment. Also, the number of times each word would be placed on the chart would vary from assignment to assignment. You are not required to develop three charts, you only fill out the chart one time to establish your basic coursework routine. It is only intended to be a general overview. Like any routine it will vary a bit from week to week.

As you plan your coursework routine, keep in mind it is important to spread your coursework throughout the week and not just leave it to the weekend. You should fill in between 10-15 cells with your choices of the words listed above. You will need a consistent 10-15 hours a week to devote to your coursework.

Below the chart you will find a list of tasks that must be completed for each of the next three assignments. These lists are only intended to help you think more specifically about how much time and effort each assignment will take. The lists will help you avoid underestimating how much time assignments require at this level of academic endeavor. The chart begins on the next page and the lists mentioned above are below the chart.

Mon Tue Wed Thurs Fri Sat Sun
5 AM
6 AM
7 AM
8 AM
9 AM
10 AM
11 AM
12 AM
1 PM
2 PM
3 PM
4 PM
5 PM
6 PM
7 PM
8 PM
9 PM
10 PM


In the lists below you are asked to estimate the time needed for various activities. Of course, that is very difficult to do if you have not completed similar activities in the past. At this point you will only be able to make your best guess. By the time you complete the next three assignments over the next three weeks you will be able to make far better estimates and you will increasingly refine an efficient, effective, and sustainable coursework routine.

Activity 3 – Compare and contrast using APA style. Estimate the time needed to read the syllabus, read the assignment instructions, review any supplementary materials your professor may have provided for you, and read the assigned article. Estimate the time needed to take sufficient notes on the article content, start composing the paper (using headings suggested by the assignment instructions), and revise the paper for organization, clarity, flow, and language use. Then estimate the time needed to further revise and edit the paper for grammar and mechanics and for APA style and formatting.

Activity 3 strategy


Activity 4 – Research skills to find scholarly information. Estimate the time needed to read the syllabus, read the assignment instructions, and review any supplementary materials your professor may have provided for you. Estimate the time needed to learn about the NCU library, view tutorials, learn about key words and search limiters, and so on. Then estimate the time needed to locate and learn how to use several library databases and find the required number of scholarly resources. Then estimate the time needed to compose the paper (using headings suggested by the assignment instructions), revise the paper for organization, clarity, flow, and language use. Then estimate the time needed to further revise and edit the paper for mechanics and APA style and formatting.

Activity 4 strategy


Activity 5 – Produce a professional proposal. Estimate the time needed to read the syllabus, read the assignment instructions, and review any supplementary materials your professor may have provided for you. Estimate the time needed to decide on your topic of interest, learn to use databases and find additional scholarly resources (if needed). Then estimate the time needed to compose the paper (using headings suggested by the assignment instructions), revise the paper for organization, clarity, flow, and language use, then further revise and edit the paper for mechanics and APA style and formatting.

Activity 5 strategy


7. Final Thoughts

During this unit, your attention has been drawn to six important time management concepts and techniques.

· The to-do list

· The not to-do list

· The 80/20 rule (Pareto Principle)

· The law of three

· The ABCDE method

· The Urgent/Important Matrix

These six concepts and techniques are designed to help you manage your time more efficiently, effectively, and sustainably enabling you to find the additional 10-15 hours you will need each week to complete your coursework. You may not apply all of them depending on your unique circumstances but give them special consideration as you thoughtfully develop a weekly coursework routine.

What is the single most helpful thing you learned about time management in this unit?

 

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