My time management project came about during discussion section on March 7 while Maggie and others in the classroom helped me to develop a new "bug list" and we realized that managing time was a major problem in my life. We came up with some ideas during that discussion about where some time management issues might arise as it applied to us.
We offered up some quick time management solutions in these four areas.
Next in discussion class Maggie had me outline my schedule which I began to do by writing down my schedule in text. She pointed out that looking at your schedule in a more visual way will allow me to see when I have the most time available and where I am spending most of my time. We drew my schedule out in a week view format.
Later, I came up with a series of questions about how I could learn to better manage my time.
Definition of the problem
Students need a tool that will help them to effectively manage time and find them the information that they need fast.
How does the way that you manage your time affect your success in college?
67% of college students report that their greatest personal need was to manage their time more effectively. Undergraduate students make a good subject for studying time management and how it affects successes and failures because grades in undergrad courses depend on managing the completion of a variety of tasks that are different in their priority, weight in class grade, length and due dates rather than on the completion of one single challenging task. Also, undergraduate grades are determined by the quality of service that a student puts into an assignment so a student's GPA should be influenced by their time management skills. When managing time short range planning, such as organizing your activities for the day, and time attitudes, feeling like you are in charge of how you spend your time are most influential on a student's GPA. Time attitudes are almost the same as self-efficacy and these feelings are necessary for and promote efficient cognitive processing, more positive effective responses and more preserving behavior which all contribute to how one manages time. Long range planning in college does not have the same impact because there are rapid and frequent changes in the demands and expectations of the student.
There are different ways to categorize stressors that affect students. For example, stressors can be academic, financial, time or health related. Usually, students will experience more stress because of pressure or self-imposed stress as opposed to frustrations, changes or conflicts. Students use methods such as time management, social support, engaging in leisure time and positive reappraisal in order to reduce stress; however some students are more effective in doing so. Female students are better than male students when it comes to organizing their time and work space, setting and prioritizing goals and on their perception of how they control time. Setting goals and prioritizing them will reduce the behavioral reactions to stressors and increase a student's ability to handle those situations in the future. Planning and scheduling can help to reduce emotional reactions and increase cognitive reactions.
Why do students procrastinate and what can instructors do to help prevent procrastination in their classroom?
There are many reasons why students procrastinate. For example, a student is more likely to procrastinate when they are not interested in the assignment. Instructors can help by creating assignments that are personally relevant to their students, are realistic, and giving their students more freedom and choice when completing assignments. Also, many students procrastinate because of confusion. Instructors should be clear about what is expected in their assignments. Students must know what to do in order to succeed. Rewards and incentives can be used to prevent procrastination. Students also find assignments that include a variety of skills more interesting.
What are the dangers of overscheduling?
Over scheduling can narrow your focus and prevent you from "seeing the bigger picture" or finding meaning in your duties. There are ways to plan and prevent over scheduling though. For example, keeping a positive attitude will help students to set and achieve goals but still be open to other possibilities. Make sure that you are well taken care of. Make time to eat healthy, dress appropriately and exercise. Honor your relationships with friends, family, and peers. Good relationships can not only be a source of social support but can also lead to making good connections and possibly good opportunities. Pay regular attention to your finances to make sure that you are stable and receiving a proper return for the time and money that you put in. Apply yourself and cultivate your curiosity by learning as much as you can about topics that interest you.
What are some of the main reasons why students are not successful in college?
Academic unpreparedness leaves students unprepared for the amount of assignments and the long hours that are needed as study time that they come across in college. Financial difficulties prevent successes. Switching majors can involve a lot of paperwork and can cause financial problems for students. When employed and schedules become too demanding, students tend to choose their paying jobs over education. Homesickness and heartbreak cause students to feel unmotivated. A lack of structure in their schedule causes them to feel too overwhelmed and a lack of guidance causes students to feel powerless.
How many students in college work and how does working affect their success in college?
Students are now more likely to work than they are to study full-time, live on campus or to apply for or receive financial aid. Regardless of their age, ethnicity, gender, income, enrollment status or marital status almost 80% of students are employed.
91% of students who work are working off campus, even though and on-campus job that is related to your field of study is most appropriate for a student. Students usually work for profit companies. 62% of students say that their work is unrelated to their academic major. About 1/3 of them admit that their work has helped them to prepare for their career and only about 14% of students think that their job helps them with their coursework.
A web based application that is specific to UNM and provides a scheduler that students can customize and provide them with easy access to information and study tools that are frequently needed while encouraging them to successfully manage their time.
LoboCalendar will allow for students to view their schedule in a very direct way, so that they can see where they are spending most of their time, where their free time is and how things can be rearranged and rescheduled for effectiveness. It will be kept up to date by professors who submit their syllabi therefore all due dates and tests throughout the semester will be easily visible for students without them having to check multiple sources for due dates in different classes. Each course will have a contacts listing and provide a UNM email address for every student in the class as well as contact information, office hours and location of the professor. There will be easy access to contact information for the different departments on campus, university information and maps. Students can color code and use icons to customize their calendar. They can set reminders for themselves. LoboCalendar will also provide study tools and games that will encourage students to stay on top of their studying. Words of encouragement, such as motivational quotes, fun statistics, short anecdotes of famous successes and failures and funny pictures or cartoons will be used to encourage students, make them more positive and bring them back to life.
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