3 tips for better time management

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by Catherine Holland

azfamily.com

Posted on August 29, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Updated Monday, Aug 29 at 12:20 PM

PHOENIX – Do your kids have trouble getting their homework finished? Are they always working on projects at the very last minute? Do you get to the end of the day and wonder where your time went?

Time-management expert Emily Schwartz says you might need to consider “The Time Diet.”

She’s hosting a free seminar geared toward students Tuesday evening and stopped by to chat with Kaley O’Kelley about it and share three things everybody needs to know to improve their time management.

The first thing to remember is that procrastination is the enemy of time management.

“The big thing with procrastination is it’s our natural inclination to put things off,” Schwartz said. “If we don’t have a plan to get our work done early, that’s what we default to.” To combat procrastination, Schwartz suggests keep a detailed calendar that contains not only due dates, but also start dates for assignments and projects.

“When people procrastinate, they’re not trying to be lazy,” Schwartz explained. “They just haven’t committed to when they’re going to start their work. So, when student write an assignment in their calendar, they have to write when they’re going to start it, also.”

Schwartz went on to explained why it’s essential to have a clear, written system of organization.

To that end, she suggests using daily lists in addition to a “master calendar.” The daily list should be made up of specific tasks and goals.

“When you look at that list at the end of the day, you’ll know whether you’ve accomplished your goals,” she said.

Schwartz said establishing this habit early on will benefit your kids later in their lives.

The last thing to be aware of are those nasty time killers – and they’re everywhere.

“These time killers are these little things that waste your time without your permission – like Facebook,” Schwartz said. “Texting is another big one. You want to get rid of these while you’re working. … They kill your focus and make the work take longer.”

While Tuesday’s seminar is designed for students to help them stay organized and get better grades, anybody can benefit from the tips and suggestions Schwartz provides as part of what she calls "The Time Diet."

“It’s applicable to everybody,” she said.

"Time Management for Students" takes place tomorrow, 6 p.m., at Burton Barr Central Library, College Depot, 1221 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. To RSVP, call 602-261-8847 or email college.depot@phoenix.gov.  For more information, visit www.TheTimeDiet.org.

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