When It Comes to Time Management and Students
One of the most difficult things in the world to master is that of creating a sustainable plan…you know one that will provide the best chance at survival especially if you are…as I was…a nontraditional student.

I mean…let’s face it…we start out with the most honest and honorable intentions…I’m going to get up early and study (or stay up late to study). Or, how about this…my favorite…I’m going to spend this whole weekend studying.

I Swear
I could stay up late every single night…and I’m talking til 1 or 2 am…No Problem…unless, of course, I absolutely HAD to. Then I could barely keep my eyes open past 8 pm.

Same thing if I needed to get up early. Any other morning I could wake up at 5:21 am and get up (didn’t want to…but Could) except when I really needed to. Then not only could I not drag myself out of bed, but I didn’t even wake to the alarm clock.

Weird…very weird. Anyway…

So, A Sustainable Plan
Takes personal habits/aversions such as these into account.

Now, I’m not suggesting that you’re never going to have to stay up late or get up early…what I am suggesting is that you don’t plan the backbone of your studying time around times such as these.

Furthermore, If A Plan Is To Be Sustainable
It should, and will, take into account other personal attributes such as:

  • When you work best…morning, afternoon, or evening
  • Where you work best…home, college, library, or car (as I did)
  • With whom you work best…group or alone

It will also take into account possible kinks in your carefully laid plans…however temporary they may be…such as:

  • A child teething and keeping you up several hours at night
  • A sick child unable to sleep
  • A car breaking down
  • Company visiting from out of town/state/country
  • Other family obligations (child’s play, husband’s company party)
  • Holidays

For a Time Management Plan
To be sustainable it must also be very flexible.

Picture this…at the beginning of the semester you’ve written in your handy-dandy planner when all projects were due, the date of all quizzes, exams, and finals, and when research papers were due.

Whew! It’s going to be a tough semester!

Then you find out that your best friend…with no regard for you or your schedule…plans to get married smack dab in the middle of the semester when midterms are going to be held.

So, what do you do? Do you tell her to find someone else to be her maid of honor?

Of course not!

You take into account that you’re going to have this obligation and know that you’ve somehow got to work around it.

If that means turning in other assignments early so that you have adequate time to work on your midterm and maid of honor duties at the same time…then so be it.

In Closing

A sustainable plan is the only real option for effective time management. But you must make sure that it’s tailored to you and your lifestyle.