Postsecondary & Career Weekly Success Tip

By Brad W. Minton

It’s hard to believe that 2023 is already nearing its end! Where did the time go? Interestingly, in my work with recent graduates, time is certainly a huge concern. In a recent survey with the Class of 2023, 48% indicated that time management was a challenge for them. 

Why is this? The transition from high school to postsecondary or the workforce sees a shift from structured schedules to greater flexibility. High school graduates move from predictable routines to a more self-directed life, juggling school, work, and social activities independently, which can be challenging due to the newfound freedom and responsibility. 

As seniors move through this next year, it’s imperative that they create the rituals and leverage tools to manage time and create good habits so they’re prepared after high school. For current graduates, implementing these practices can greatly improve their time management and see more success in their school and work lives:

Prioritize:

One of the fundamental principles of time management is prioritization. Start by listing all the tasks and activities you need to complete in a week or in day. Then rank them in level of urgency. This approach helps you avoid getting bogged down by less important tasks that can eat up your time.Taking this a step further, leverage a tool called the Eisenhower Matrix to not only assess the level of urgency but also which are most important in terms of return on investment. 

Identify Your “Prime Time”

Your “prime time” is the time of day when you’re most in the zone, alert and generally do your best work. Designate your tougher or more mentally straining tasks for this time and push the less urgent or less straining ones for other times. If you’re unsure of when this is, then keep a log and notice your most productive points throughout the week. 

Find a Tool That Works For You:

Various time management tools and techniques are available to help you stay organized. These range from traditional paper planners to digital apps and software. Experiment with different tools and find one that aligns with your preferences and needs. A few apps that are largely used and recommended by others are Todoist, Notion and TickTick.

Embrace Time Blocking:

Time blocking involves dividing your day into specific blocks of time dedicated to specific tasks or activities. This method helps you stay focused and eliminates multitasking, which can lead to reduced efficiency. Schedule tasks, meetings, breaks, and even leisure activities into time blocks. Stick to the allocated time for each task, and you’ll notice a boost in your productivity and a decrease in procrastination.

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