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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

SE workshop teaches value of prioritizing

Suzann+Clay%2FThe+Collegian
Suzann Clay/The Collegian

By Colt Taylor/ reporter

Suzann Clay/The Collegian
Suzann Clay/The Collegian

Time is a valuable thing students don’t always make the most of, SE students were told Feb. 17.

While thinking about doing that project due in five days makes it seem easy, the act of putting fingers to keyboard can require more effort than it should, SE counselor Carisa Givens said in Mastering Time Management.

The biggest obstacle faced by students when it comes to time management is the ever-present habit of procrastination, Givens said. While many partake in this fun-filled, unfulfilling activity, the reasons why can vary from person to person. One may be on the last few episodes of their favorite show online, or perhaps one doesn’t know how to start the latest English paper assignment. Identifying one’s own time sinks is the first step to mastering time management.

Goal setting can put one’s tasks into perspective, Givens said. If a student’s dream is to become an English professor, then a long-term goal would be to earn an A in English Composition II, and that essay would then become a short-term goal. Each goal has a time frame, and while that essay may not be due for five days, the student would benefit from getting it done sooner rather than later.

“What if that English paper were worth a million dollars?” she said.

One technique Givens offered to help combat procrastination was called the feel-good technique, which involves visualizing the task before it’s completed and focusing on how one feels once it is. Though students may not feel as though they’ve just won a million dollars, it will begin to take root in the back of their minds that the task needs completion.

In Givens’ second technique, the bite-size chunk, one alternates doing work for a length of time with doing something else for a much shorter amount of time. For example, one could write for 10 minutes and then spend two on the Internet, alternating each until the task is done. This requires students have a good degree of self-control as the Internet is a black hole of time and attention from which few can escape, Givens said.

With procrastination set aside, the job of organizing other tasks still remains. To determine the order for completing tasks, Givens suggested asking two questions: Is this urgent? Is this important? Tasks that are both of these things are top priority and should be put before all others, she said. Givens said working on those tasks is draining. Tasks that are neither urgent nor important are the time-wasting activities and, when done in moderation, can be used to help relax after working hard, Givens said.

If a task is urgent but unimportant, it could likely be skipped entirely, Givens said. This task could be a one-day-only sale or a special event on one’s favorite online game. Tasks that are not urgent but important are often some of the most important tasks people have, she said. While that paper due tomorrow is both urgent and important, the goals that have all the time in the world to be completed will usually affect one’s life in some way. These are the goals that deserve the highest quality of attention, Givens said.

“Is what I’m doing now going to affect me positively one year from now?” she told students to ask themselves.

Goals that bring people closer to their dreams are often found by asking this question, Givens said. Once the goals one needs to cross have been laid out and the procrastination habit has been reined in, time opens up.

Tasks that once seemed insurmountable become molehills when faced with a simple time management method, Givens said.

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