Top Time Management Mistakes

Time Management
Time is the most valuable thing
a man can spend.
- Laertius Diogenes
Time Management Pitfalls
The tyranny of urgent
Choose tasks by whatever grabs my
- latest crises - telephone call
- impending deadline
 Solution: Make a plan and then work your
Time Management Pitfalls
Poor Prioritization
Symptoms of Poor Prioritization
- Too much to do and not enough time
- Feeling overwhelmed and out of
- Feeling under constant time pressure
- Not making significant progress on
important goals
Causes of Poor Prioritization
Unidentified priorities
 Trying to find time for the important stuff
“You will never find time for anything. If
you want time, you must make it.”
- Charles
 Baited by distractions
 Procrastination (Avoid at All Costs)
Solution – Big Rocks in the Jar
Put the rocks in first, the gravel
and sand will fit.
Concentrate on the rocks first, then you
can make room for the other stuff.
Make time for your big rocks
Only if you put them into the schedule
Then allow the other stuff to fill the gaps
Effective Time Management
Prioritize your work
- List your projects/goals
- Prioritize them
- Select the most important
- Break down into tasks
- Develop a timeline
- Delegate
- Repeat process with all of your projects
How to Prioritize
Task List – task description, importance
tag, due date
Higher priority – more important and
long term (e.g., paper due next month)
Medium to Low priority – less important
and short-term tasks
How to Prioritize
(Ailamaki & Gehrke, 2003)
1. How will this help my research program
and my career goals?
2. Will this improve my standing in my
department and my community?
3. How long will this take?
4. What is the deadline?
5. How busy am I during the period when I
must devote time to this task? (i.e., Will it
interfere with higher priority tasks?)
6. Will this be fun to do?
Review Tasks and Due Dates periodically
May need adjustment
Be realistic about required timeframe for
Utilize planners
Organize your documents and workspace
Schedule breaks for yourself
Schedule meetings if necessary, but only
when necessary
Stay focused
Thank You
Resources and Sources
Plethora of Resources
Randy Pausch Time Management Pointers
Time Management Lecture
Time Management Self-Assessment