The Rabbit Hole of Poor Time Management
“I’m late! I’m late for a very important date! No time to say “hello” “goodbye!” I’m late, I’m late, I’m late!”
– The White Rabbit, Alice in Wonderland
When people don’t have good time management skills, life is a lot like this scene from Alice in Wonderland– stressful, chaotic and disorganized.
Luckily, it’s never too late to become better at managing one’s time. With the right guidance, even someone like the White Rabbit could become an excellent time manager.
Time management – a skill developed over time
Time management is one of the most undervalued skills by those who have mastered it. But successfully navigating life without this skill is a serious challenge.
Time management is a skill we are supposed to acquire over time in developmentally appropriate ways. But that’s often not the case, due to overly managed lives of children by schools, clubs, and/or parents directing/dictating their children’s schedules.
The freedom and scheduling autonomy of college is often the first real experience testing those time management skills with high-stakes consequences.
Unfortunately many people never quite master time management skills before they arrive at college. In fact, according to a study from the University of Buffalo, 25% of students are chronic procrastinators, and 60% of freshmen said they wished they had “more help getting emotionally ready for college” – including learning how to manage their time. These students procrastinate on assignments, don’t prepare enough for tests and miss classes all because they don’t know how to manage their time well. (All of which contributes to our nation’s high percentage – 55% – of college dropouts.)
And it isn’t limited to college. Poor time management also affects the U.S. workforce, costing companies more than $100 billion per year in wasted time. Perhaps that’s why LinkedIn listed time management skills as one of the four most sought after soft skills in 2018.
Escaping the rabbit hole of poor time management
Colleges and corporations alike can help students and employees become more productive and more successful with some basic time management training. That’s one of the reasons that we developed the Time Management unit in our Steps to Success course. Students and employees can use this unit to learn and practice the fundamentals of time management. And our personalized, adaptive approach ensures that they’ll not only master the information but they’ll also be able apply it in the real world.
Good time management in action
So, what do good time management skills look like in action?
Our version of good time management is…
A college freshman that is on time to class, manages the priorities of multiple classes and consistently sets aside the right amount of time to study.
An employee that is on time to meetings, manages competing deadlines and priorities and delivers the work that was promised whenit was promised.
A friend that is never late to brunch, a parent that finishes work in time to catch the kid’s ballgame or an individual that checks off all the items on their weekend to-do list.
These good time managers thrive in unstructured environments. They’re better positioned to graduate or advance to the next rung of the corporate ladder. And they lead full lives that are more meaningful and less stressful.
Steps to Success – Learn to Better Manage Time
And this is precisely the goal of our Time Management unit. To equip people with the skills to manage their time, so they’ll never again have to say, “I’m late for a very important date!”
We also want to help increase graduation rates and graduation efficiency, in terms of student graduating sooner. In fact, our entire Steps to Success course is made up of skills-based units designed to increase the likelihood of achievement – whether it be graduating on time or preparing for future career advancement. Sample topics include reading and writing strategies, note-taking and test-taking best practices and goal setting. While these topics seem obvious at first glance (especially to those who have already mastered them), a person who isn’t equipped with these skills will have a more challenging, stressful pathway to success.
Learn more about Fulcrum’s Steps to Success course and our Time Management unit. Or contact us directly to see how this content can help your students manage time more effectively while in school (and carry good time management skills throughout the course of their life).
Speaking of Steps to Success, check our take on goal setting, procrastination and hints: