Time Management Suggestions

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One of the most important skills of a successful academician is time management. Academics do not fill out a time card, but are judged on their output. It is very easy to let a lot of time pass by without accomplishing important priorities. Here is some practical advice and tips along with gospel principles on how to manage your time.

Practical Advice and Tips

  • Time management begins first and foremost with planning. Daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly planning meetings can improve the use of time. Many planning tools are available such as Franklin Covey planners, Microsoft Outlook calendar, etc. The planning meetings are good times to review past performance, analyze needs, set goals, establish priorities, and work through logistics.
  • One purpose of planning meetings is to establish the "why" or the purpose behind work activities and projects. Remember that the only difference between "business" and "busyness" is the 'y' (why). Having a purpose can change busy work into effective work (business).
  • In public accounting, professionals must keep track of all their time to properly bill clients. Try doing the same. Keep track of what you do at work for an entire week in short increments. It might surprise you how much time you spend surfing the internet, talking with peers, eating lunch, etc.
  • Track usage and time on the internet. Mozilla's Firefox internet browser has several add-ons to do this including Usage Counter and TimeTracker.
  • Consider blocking the sites where you waste a lot of time. If you use Mozilla's Firefox internet browser, download the BlockSite add-on and block Youtube, ESPN, and other sites where you habitually waste time.
  • Remember that time spent at work "playing" is time spent away from family. Share with your family what you are working on.

Gospel Principles

  • "Consider how we use our time in the choices we make in viewing television, playing video games, surfing the Internet, or reading books or magazines. Of course it is good to view wholesome entertainment or to obtain interesting information. But not everything of that sort is worth the portion of our life we give to obtain it. Some things are better, and others are best. When the Lord told us to seek learning, He said, “Seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom” (D&C 88:118; emphasis added)." from Elder Oaks Good, Better, Best, Conference Talk October 2007.
  • "There is another way to look at your problem of crowded time. You can see it as an opportunity to test your faith. The Lord loves you and watches over you. He is all-powerful, and He promised you this: 'But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you' (Matt. 6:33). That is a true promise. When we put God’s purposes first, He will give us miracles. If we pray to know what He would have us do next, He will multiply the effects of what we do in such a way that time seems to be expanded. He may do it in different ways for each individual, but I know from long experience that He is faithful to His word." Elder Henry B. Eyring, From a talk given on the 75th anniversary of the Institute of Religion program at a Church Educational System fireside in Moscow, Idaho, on 6 May 2001 link.
  • "When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported, the rate of improvement accelerates." President Thomas S. Monson June 2004 Worldwide Leadership Training Broadcast (also available in Preach My Gospel page 150)
  • D&C 88:124 - "Cease to be aidle; cease to be unclean; cease to find fault one with another; cease to sleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary; arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated."
  • Alma 34:18-26 "Yea, cry unto him for mercy; for he is mighty to save. Yea, humble yourselves, and continue in prayer unto him. Cry unto him when ye are in your fields, yea, over all your flocks. Cry unto him in your houses, yea, over all your household, both morning, mid-day, and evening. Yea, cry unto him against the power of your enemies. Yea, cry unto him against the devil, who is an enemy to all righteousness. Cry unto him over the crops of your fields, that ye may prosper in them. Cry over the flocks of your fields, that they may increase. But this is not all; ye must pour out your souls in your closets, and your secret places, and in your wilderness. Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare, and also for the welfare of those who are around you."
  • Obey Word of Wisdom. D&C 89:18-21 - "And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones; And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures; And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint. And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them. Amen."
  • Mosiah 4:27 "And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order."

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