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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May. 14, 2008
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    302

    Default Poor time management?

    I am working full time and trying to finish up my degree.

    I made the decision to drop one class this semester because I just can't do it. Sometimes I wonder how college kids do it and then I get emails concerning a group project and they say, sorry I was napping. Must be nice!

    Dropping makes me feel like a failure, but I get so overwhelmed and short tempered even thinking about the amount of work associated with this one class I get thrown into panic mode.

    I need to become better at managing my time.

    Tips?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar. 25, 2011
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    Pennsylvania
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    Default

    Learn to get things done in sips -5 minutes here 5 minutes there -instead of gulps -hours of marathon effort. The benefits are;

    1. You get alot done without alot of stress.
    2. You are rarely faced with some last minute monster job.
    3. You can get a lot more done in sips than you can in a marathon.

    The challenges are:

    1. The detail required in planning, at least at first, can be daunting. But as soon as you get the hang of it you'll find the planning easy.

    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 17, 2012
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    1,519

    Default

    Lists and calendars.

    Make lists of your schoolwork to do that week, at the start of the semester sit with a calendar and mark down due dates for everything in the syllabus. Do that for each class. Also write in things like tests and quizzes and what chapters you're working on and put in time the week or two before for studying. On your to do list, as you plan you will include this stuff. always look at the next week in case you missed something and for opportunities to start things sooner. the more you frontload your work the more time you have later. For big things like projects and papers, assign dates to start working on it and mini goals - like schedule a week for research, a week for an outline (random examples). Every week make a new to do list based off of the assignments and the calendar.

    Sorry if there's any creative spelling or grammar, I'm on mobile.



  4. #4
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    May. 14, 2008
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    Default

    I do better blocking off a time and going for the marathon though, which leads to the biggest problem of finding the 2 hours a night.

    The class is Six Sigma, so to get everything done it really does require a marathon and while I find the work to be easy ...umm er anyway, its entirely too time consuming.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2008
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    7,856

    Default

    Use an Internet blocker that only lets you online occasionally.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 22, 2005
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    Where it is perpetually winter
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    Default

    Make yourself a schedule. I'm taking 21 credits of courses this semester and working on top of that. The only way I make it work is by scheduling out what I'm going to work on and when; I know at the end of each day, I spend at least 2 hours in the library at my university taking notes for my courses and then do assignments when I get home. So far (touch wood), I'm staying on top of everything and doing well, but it does require that I stick with the schedule I made!


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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 25, 2011
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    Pennsylvania
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SuperAlter View Post
    I do better blocking off a time and going for the marathon though, which leads to the biggest problem of finding the 2 hours a night.

    The class is Six Sigma, so to get everything done it really does require a marathon and while I find the work to be easy ...umm er anyway, its entirely too time consuming.

    You've diagnosed the problem. You insist on marathons, but can't find the time for the marathons. Okay....

    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec. 19, 2007
    Posts
    1,953

    Default

    Sometimes when I buckle down to do school work I want to install an internent blocker. Or one that only lets me on the school's database to do research

    It IS all about time management. Some nights you may stay up later than others but try to do it in chunks if you can. I feel that material sinks in better that way. If I know there is a paper due in a week I start the day I receive the prompt so I can research for a day or two, throw all my ideas down, then edit/polish. Nothing wrong with completing things early.

    I'm not sure what else you have on your plate? Full time job? Kids? That can complicate things.

    At the same time if you dropped a class in order to keep your grades up, that's not a huge deal. Rather take on less and do well than take on too much and fail.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 20, 2010
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    All 'round Canadia
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by paulaedwina View Post
    You've diagnosed the problem. You insist on marathons, but can't find the time for the marathons. Okay....

    Paula
    Agreed. I also prefer marathons and do some types of work much better in that setting, but I do have time for them. If you struggle to find time for marathons you really need to retrain yourself to a different type of schedule.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    May. 14, 2008
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    302

    Default

    I need to plan for the marathon. I already know the problem. The course does not allow you to complete partial work in intervals. So, the problem is managing my time correctly to allow for the marathon.

    So, while I work better at a marathon space, if there is anything going for me it's the fact that the course requires it.

    Finding a 1/2 hour isnt a big deal (like while dinner is cooking).

    I knew the course was going to be a time hole, so I planned to take it this semester (with Winter a majority of the semester). Im not riding so the barn can be done in about an hour instead of 2 or 3. Of course, all things that dont get done through out the week get done on the weekends and that can take a good chunk of time.

    I think some of the problem is that class is several days a week. So I find myself sitting in class and then coming home to hours of work that is due in 24 hours.

    My only option is to drop the class and try again. So, I really want to get myself on some kind of time plan to prepare for a second try!



  11. #11
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    Aug. 17, 2012
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    Default

    I just finished a course that covered 15 weeks of material in 10 days (40 hours). Full credit at the end if you pass. I had to work a full 8 then sit in class for 4 then do homework due the next day. I we t from work to school so there was zero time in between.

    I basically lived the course. No riding, no fun time, none of that stuff unless the homework was done. Dinner was crockpot meals, soups, and prepackaged things. I told hubby that if he didn't like it, he could cook



  12. #12
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    Jul. 4, 2006
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    New Hampshire
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    May. 14, 2008
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    Default

    DancingArabian-

    Actually, that sounds doable. If I knew it was 10 days, I could work something out! May just seems like a long time to be able to find the time, crock pot meals and neglected family/horses~!

    Cranky- I already dont have time. Im not going to pay for a webinar on how to make time! Seems counter productive to me. Long run benefits sure, but I need some good solutions now.

    At least I can be fully prepared now that I really know what Im getting into. Maybe keep this class as the only class for next time!

    Still doesnt help the fact that I feel like a failure but Im sure thats a fleeting moment in time (hopefully) !!



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug. 17, 2004
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    Rixeyville, VA
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    Default

    Tuition is expensive. I wouldn't drop a class unless I could get most of my money back.

    It is ironic that the course is on Six Sigma, a topic likely to help the OP with time management issues. Having worked FT, traveled a fair amount for work, and taken at least 2 graduate classes a semester, I know it is possible to make it happen if you put your mind to it.

    If you have time to complain on COTH, then I would think you have time to seriously look at how to take this course. Or as CMP once said, "Toughen up, cupcake."
    Where Norwegian Fjords Rule
    http://www.ironwood-farm.com



  15. #15
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    May. 14, 2008
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    Default

    Someone must have missed the post where I specifically stated finding 15 minutes isnt the problem. Its finding a solid 2 hour block of time. Perhaps you should take a graduate course on reading comprehension.

    Good grief. I am not complaining. I am asking for tips on how YOU manage your time. How do you make it work?

    I get overwhelmed quickly and its something I am trying to work on.Telling me to toughen up does not help me manage time.


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  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug. 30, 2001
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    Purcellville, VA
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    Default

    Well, you give up sleep for solid 2 hour blocks of time. Otherwise, you figure out how to chunk it into smaller pieces (and I have not found much that can't be broken into smaller chunks of time, but eh...that's me, and I'm a fabulous multi-tasker who loves to flit between about 5 different topics).

    I am falling behind on a coursera course, for a few reasons. 1) My back went out and so I spent several days drugged to sleep. 2) It is a graduate level course that assumes you remember statistics, and my last stats class was 23 years ago. 3) I'm studying for the PMP for work and that has priority.

    I'm going to stick it out and listen to the lectures and putter along, but I will not have enough points for the certificate, unless I magically find that my stats knowledge grows exponentially. But, for me, this is more to make sure I have enough understanding of the topic to be conversant with people who are experts, not that I can actually DO the programming myself.

    But, coming along and asking how people do time management and then finding out that what they do isn't what you wanted to hear? That is rarely productive.



  17. #17
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    Feb. 5, 2002
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    2,253

    Default

    I get it. When I was a student I did much better with larger chunks of time so I could dig into a project and really think about it, rather than bouncing back and forth between things. For me, at work today, bouncing around among lots of little things is not a productive way to work, though it has to happen more often than I'd like. So -

    Figure out WHERE you like to work for those 2-hour chunks of time. Do you need a specific computer? can you go straight from your day job to a study place (coffee shop, local library?) where you have the right degree of sensory deprivation so that you can get a full 2 hours of work into your 2 hour time chunk? As an undergrad I had a particular carrel in a particular library on campus that worked for me. As a grad student, I wanted to be at home in the evenings but when I really needed to get things done, I had a corner in one of the cafeterias that I went to. Time spent traveling back and forth to the study place needs to balance the productivity issue - as an undergrad it didn't matter as much, as a grad student every minute counted so I'd stay after my work day, study, then go home and be done for the day. If you have to go straight from work to class then home to study, maybe you decide to stay on campus or at a nearby coffee shop to study before going home. Laundry, dishes, pets, spouse, etc can totally wreck that 2-hour chunk of time!

    I worked 20+ hours/week as an undergrad, in addition to a full course load (no horses!) and found that if I spent one full day on the weekend studying I could usually keep up. But I had to be disciplined in order to do it. I had friends in even more demanding majors than my own so that helped - it was the norm to spend weekends in the library. Do you have friends in your classes who are also working adults? friends elsewhere in life who are also balancing work and school? support systems are critical.

    Are you still expected to maintain your house and family responsibilities while working and going to school? is there a way to subcontract some of it -- hire someone to clean, get takeout more often, pay one of the kids to do the barn work? Getting one or two things off your plate might be enough to create a chunk of time, or two, for schoolwork and be worth the cost. You can't skimp on sleep or exercise or healthy food if you're leading a stressful life, so you have to figure out what else "goes" if those things are going to "stay."


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  18. #18
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    Feb. 20, 2010
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    Do you have small kids to take care of, OP? In other words, something that must be done/can't really be delegated and takes up a lot of time?

    If not, you literally suck it up and work. I find that sometimes it's best to stay at work. I have a desk and computer access, I can stay behind after "work" is done and just work on my course (I'm taking a fairly intensive one right now as well). Yesterday I was here until 8:30, then went home, popped an instant meal into the microwave, and did whatever housework and chores couldn't wait. It sucks, but there's an endpoint to it. If you can't stay at work, going directly to a library is an option.

    I have also cut into my sleep time when necessary. I just came off a very intensive 3-weel residential course where it was full-time in-class work until 5 pm, then at least 4 days/week I had to subsist on 4 hrs of sleep to complete the large assignments that were due throughout the course. Again, it sucked, but it wasn't forever.

    But in most cases the course work/assignments could've been broken into smaller time chunks, there either just plain wasn't time to play it by piece (the residential course) or I prefer to do the marathon work. Apart from timed exams (you log on and have x hours to complete, then you're logged off) I have a hard time imagining an assignment that absolutely can't be done in smaller time chunks.



  19. #19
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    May. 14, 2008
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    302

    Default

    betsyk- Thank you for your post. It made me feel better about myself

    I do my best work at work. So I have been staying late and getting things done and it has been working.

    My other classes are evening classes and they work out well, but I am limited on the nights I can stay late because I have evening class also.

    This class is in the morning and I really think that is jamming my program. While I don't start until 9:30 and class runs from 8-9:15 I am missing AM meetings (which my employer LOVES). When I was registering for classes they were on board but Im missing meetings and its starting to effect my job because thats how I got most of my information.

    Yes, they are timed simulation labs. So that is why I need to run a marathon. I can stop the lab but everytime I stop, I have to submit and if it is not completed, the next time I log on I have to start all over. It does not save the previous work and the professor can see how many times you submitted.

    There are meetings that I can't miss. While few, I missed one class this week and the professor failed every assigment that was due. Even though they were in on time and correct, I got a 0 because I didnt attend the class that reviewed the assigments.

    It was advised that I could attend an alternate class in the middle of the day, but I dont have that kind of flexibilty which was explained in detail why I couldnt attend.

    No children, although it is in the future so I am trying to get as much done before then. I obviously have poor time management now and I know once we have children all bets are off.



  20. #20
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    Feb. 20, 2010
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    Ugh yes, your problem is bigger than not having time to complete. The morning class/missing meetings is a big deal, and it's unfortunate that your work gave you the go-ahead without realizing that really, it was not the most feasible option and they probably should've said no.

    I would actually drop the morning class, and either take it some other time when maybe the timing works, or take another equivalent class if the program permits.



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