"Time Management" Workshop Outline


  1. Introduction.
    1. Time is a complex phenomenon.
    2. We all struggle with time in one way or another.
    3. Time means different things to each of us.
    4. In order to get a grip on our individual struggle--need to figure out what our struggle is about.
  2. Run your own diagnostic study.
    1. You'll want to do this in greater detail at home, but you can do a mini-practice here (Pass out chart)
    2. Pick a day--yesterday or the most recent typical day.
    3. Fill in the chart... (Provide instructions)
  3. Discussion Questions:
    1. What surprised you?
    2. What was confirmed for you?
    3. Looking across a row, comparing different columns, what relationships could you see between different factors (Purpose and satisfaction; value and satisfaction; value or satisfaction and alternative)?
    4. How might this information be helpful?
  4. You can continue to work on this at home (pass out extra copies).

Personal Style

  1. One factor that often underlies difficulty with time management has to do with ownership of our time.
    1. One of the curses of being a student is the feeling that someone else owns our time (e.g., our professors).
      • All other aspects of my life should take a back seat.
      • I should feel guilty or anxious when I'm doing something not related to school work.
    2. You end up feeling like your professors own you:
      • With the stroke of a piece of chalk, a professor can give an assignment that can ruin an evening, a weekend, or even a vacation, and I AM HELPLESS TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT. (It is as if my instructors can make direct entries into my personal calendar!)
    3. Nothing breeds rebellion more effectively than slavery.
      • You think you own me? Well I'll show you!!
  2. Alternative Perspective:
    1. School is one component of a much larger picture--my life. AND I OWN THAT.
    2. I make the decisions about how I use my time on the basis of what's best for me -- not just as a student, but as a total human being.
    3. My ultimate goal is to live as full, rich, and meaningful a life as possible.
    4. Being a student is one way I have decided to do that.
    5. Sometimes, short term sacrifices must be made in order to achieve long term gains.
    6. However, some sacrifices are not worth making because they jeopardize things which are important to me.
  3. Back to the assignment:
    1. It is not worth doing at all (and I'm not going to worry about it).
    2. It's not worth doing well.
    3. It might be worth doing well at some other point, but this week, other things are more important.
    4. I'm gonna do the assignment because I have decided that it is important to me.
  4. Part of owning your life and your time involves respecting your own personal style.
    1. There are these assumptions (shoulds and should nots) that can make life very difficult:
      • Everyone learns or works the same way.
      • There's a right way and a wrong way to do things. (e.g., Never leave things to the last minute.)
    2. I don't buy these rules.
  5. Think about your creative process:
    1. Night person vs. day person?
    2. Work in a lot of little spurts vs. a few long sessions?
    3. Do you need something to look forward to afterwards or do you need to do something fun first.
      • Personal example: Dissertation--Sitting at the computer. (I need time to mull it over.)
  6. Figure out what your style is and accept it, respect it, work with it.