Last year I made up a handout on time management for my students called “Where Does the Time Go?” and distributed it at my college for freshman orientation as well as here on the blog for anybody who’s interested. I’ve just updated this document and I thought I’d post it again. This is a PDF file, 168 Kb. Feel free to download and distribute.
If you are having problems downloading the file, let me know. There were lots of problems with the PDF attachment last year and I ended up posting a screenshot of the PDF file instead, and sent a copy of the PDF by email to anybody who asked. Hopefully you can just get it from here this time.
As with last year’s version, this document goes through some math to show that the typical college student has only 43 hours in a (seven-day) week that are not spent on sleeping, eating, going to class, or doing coursework. I go through some sample scenarios of what happens if you choose to do activities X or Y. For example, if you hold a 40-hour per week job (as some of our students actually do), then you have a total of 3 hours of free time left for the entire seven-day week. And some combinations of activities — e.g. being on a sports team, being Greek, and working 30 hours per week — are simply impossible unless you want to cut time out of eating, sleeping, or academics.
The overarching message is that most students make the mistake of budgeting time out for all the “fun” stuff like athletics and Greek life first, then use whatever is left over (if anything) for academics. The right way to do it is the opposite — budget out time for basic self-maintenance (eating, sleeping, hygiene) and for school work, then enjoy the remaining time however you want as long as you don’t overdraw your “account”. And I point out that there’s nothing inherently wrong with playing sports, being Greek, working, or just laying around playing Madden ’08. But these things do become a problem when they cost so much in time that you have to borrow against your sleep, meals, or schoolwork.
One big change from last year’s version is the blurb about how much it costs not to do school work on the weekends. It comes out to 25 hours out of the 43 available!
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