How to manage your time effectively Stef Hackney LSE Student Wellbeing Service

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How to manage your time
effectively
Stef Hackney
LSE Student Wellbeing Service
28 January 2015
1
Aims
• Identify useful strategies for better time
management
• Examine psychological issues
• Explore common difficulties with
perfectionism and procrastination
2
Message from a friend:
Failing to plan …
is planning to fail
3
Introduction
How do you
go about
managing
your time?
4
Five basic principles
• Be realistic about the task….how long will it take?
• Be determined…..limit distractions/displacement
• Be organised………books, pens, coffee
• Balance the other parts of your life
• Be flexible…things may change
5
Taking control of time
Ask yourself from time to time:
•
How am I using my mental and physical
energy now?
•
Is this good use of my time?
•
Identify priorities/commitments for the week
ahead and write on blank sheet all sessions/
meetings; leisure activities; paid work; time
for self; adequate rest/sleep.
6
Personal Timetable
Sun
Mon
Tues
Weds
Thurs
Fri
Sat
08:00
09:00
10:00
11:00
12:00
1:00pm
2:00
3:00
4:00
5:00
6:00
7:00
8:00
9:00
10:00
11:00
12:00
7
Use personal timetabling to:
•
•
•
•
•
•
acknowledge what you have achieved
save mental energy
be purposeful and realistic
meet deadlines and keep up with work
have effective study time and effective
relaxation
Enjoy yourself without guilt and worry
8
Causal Dimensions of Time Management
Problems for Students
Intrinsic/Emotive
• Feel overwhelmed &
‘frozen’ by all the tasks
• Anxiety about what is expected
of them
• Anxiety about writing: worried about
the quality of their work
• Wanting to live up to other people’s
standards
• Wanting to live up to their own
image of themselves
• Bored – motivation is low
Extrinsic/External
• Workload is
heavy & appears
overwhelming
• Lack of clarity about what is
expected
• Student not experienced in managing
time independently
• Cultural dimensions: come
from a society that is relaxed
about time
• Course is not interesting
9
Tips for avoiding distraction
Start with the unpleasant tasks first
Set yourself a time limit for reading.
Use active reading techniques.
Distraction problems can occur when the subject
being studied appears totally removed from the
real world.
• If you find a particular recommended or set
book hard to follow, try another that offers
you a simpler or clearer explanation.
• If other students are distracting you, go
somewhere else. Where others are working
quietly, you are likely to do the same.
•
•
•
•
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Four Tips for Managing Time
1. Start with the unpleasant tasks first – get them out
of the way early.
2. Set yourself a short time limit for reading: 40 – 45
minutes tends to be the maximum time most people can
read before their concentration slips. At the end of the set
time, stop and take a break.
3. Don’t struggle with books you find hard to read. If
you find a particular set book hard to follow, try another
that offers you a simpler or clearer explanation of the
same subject.
4. Keep your working area clear of clutter: the Wall
Street Journal reported that typical US Executive wastes 5
hours a week looking for misfiled/mislaid items. (Lindley
2006).
11
Writing Strategies
Free yourself up
Go for a walk; talk it out loud
Wait for a structure to arrive
Bullet points, mind maps, scribble ideas
Give yourself time to work it out – learning and
writing involve unconscious processes
• Imagine looking back at this task in 6 months
• Work with others, use study groups, etc.
•
•
•
•
•
12
Common difficulties
•
Perfectionism
•
Procrastination
13
Are you a perfectionist?
•
•
•
You are never good
enough, whatever you
accomplish
You can’t complete
work or projects,
waiting to get them just
right
You must always give
100% or else be
mediocre or a failure
14
What is perfectionism?
• Self-defeating thoughts and behaviours associated with high ideals,
not realistic goals.
• Often mistakenly seen as desirable or even necessary for success.
• Recent studies show that perfectionist attitudes actually interfere
with success.
– The desire to be perfect can deny you a sense of satisfaction
and cause you to achieve far less than people with more
realistic goals.
15
Causes of perfectionism
• You may have learned early in life
that you were mainly valued for your
achievements.
• You value yourself on the basis of
other people's approval.
• Your self-esteem is based primarily
on external standards.
• You are vulnerable and sensitive to
the opinions and criticism of others.
• To protect yourself you decide that
being perfect is the only defence.
16
Negative thoughts and
feelings
• Fear of failure.
• Fear of making
mistakes.
• Fear of disapproval.
• All-or-nothing thinking.
• Over-emphasis on
‘should’, ‘must’ and
‘ought’.
• Never being good
enough.
17
How is it maintained?
• Current triggers – eg research pressure
• Negative predictions –
‘I won’t do it well’
• Unhelpful behaviours,
– eg avoidance of writing, constant checking
• Confirming negative beliefs
• Self Critical thoughts –
‘I’ve failed again’
18
Vicious circle
• Set an unreachable goal.
• Fail, as the goal was impossible.
• Constant pressure leads to chronic
failure and reduces effectiveness.
• Self criticism and self-blaming
leads to low self - esteem, anxiety
and depression.
• At this point you may give up
completely on your original goal
and set yourself another
unrealistic goal, thinking "This
time if only I try harder I will
succeed".
19
4 common myths with
perfectionism
• You can’t succeed
without it
• It gets you the best
results
• It enables you to
overcome obstacles
• It helps you achieve
and please others
20
What can I do about it?
• Realize that perfectionism is
undesirable
– perfection is an illusion that
is unattainable.
• Challenge self-defeating
thoughts and behaviours that
fuel perfectionism.
• Cost benefit analysis of
keeping high standards
21
Strategies to move forward
• Set goals
– realistic, reachable, sequential
• Experiment with standards for
success
– Try for 80% or even 60%
• Focus on the process not the end
result
• Evaluate success in terms of what
you accomplished and what you
enjoyed
• Celebrate and learn from mistakes
22
Common difficulties
•
Perfectionism
•
Procrastination
23
What is procrastination?
•
•
•
•
•
Putting off a task which needs to be done
It can affect our study and writing
We may disguise avoidance by being very
busy
We may find things to do that are interesting
or even useful, but don't contribute towards
the main goal
It may involve feelings of anxiety, stress, guilt,
shame and depression
24
Overcoming Procrastination
• Use a diary
• Prioritise and set
achievable targets
• Revise targets
• Acknowledge progress
• Stay focussed
• Avoid avoidant
activities!
• Reward yourself
25
Procrastination –
so what can you do about it ?
Aversion to the task
- Develop motivation
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Find a personal engagement with subject …
… how can I use this idea ?
… what’s significant in this for me ?
Why have I found this difficult in the past ? …
… how is this different now ?
If I had to explain this to others
simply, how would I best
summarise it for them ?
26
Procrastination –
so what can you do about it ?
Impulsiveness / distractions
- Long term vision
- ‘Unpleasant’ tasks first
- Short tasks / short term rewards
- Involve others in pay-offs
- Mix active / passive work e.g. reading
- Study groups
• sharing research
• teaching learning
27
Procrastination –
so what can you do about it ?
Time management issues:
-
Allow more time for assignments …
… draft, leave, edit, redraft
Simple, realistic, daily goal-setting
Link short-term priorities to long-term goals
Lower your expectations ?
28
Procrastination –
so what can you do about it ?
Environmental Factors
-
Ask library staff for guidance
Find your favourite space
Keep it clear, focussed on
one activity
29
What can I do?
• Look at your internal dynamics
• Write down any historic
messages you carry about
yourself
• Develop a more realistic
assessment of your ability and
worth as a person
30
Sources of Advice & Help
31
Sources of advice and help
Academic Adviser
Disability and Wellbeing Service
TLC study skills advisors
Student Union and Advice Centre
Mental Health and Wellbeing Advisors
Financial Support Office
Language Centre
PhD Academy
Departmental Staff
Student Services Centre
Learning World
Medical Centre
Deans
Faith Centre
Student Union
Don't wait until problems have grown
impossibly large
It’s OK to ask for help earlier
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LSE Student Counselling
Service – KSW.507
•
•
•
•
Free and confidential
Mainly short term counselling
Book appointments in advance
See Website for
– Stress management handouts
– Self help resources
– Relaxation MP3’s
33
Future Workshops
How to manage your time effectively:
• Mon 19th Nov 15.00 17:00
Location: NAB.LG.08
Stress Management
• Mon 16th Nov 11.00 – 1.00 pm or
• Mon 23rd Nov 11.00 – 1.00 pm or
• Mon 30th Nov 11.00 – 1.00 pm
• Location: TBC
34
Future Workshops
Raise Your Self-Esteem:
• Thurs. 19th Nov 11.00 am – 1 pm
• Thurs 26th Nov
11.00 am – 1 pm
• Thurs 3rd of Dec. 11.00 am – 1 pm
Location: TBC
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Groups
• Stress Management Group (3 weeks)
• Self Esteem Group (3 weeks)
• Therapy Group (Ongoing)
• Places on all groups need to be booked in advance.
Please see the website, Call Ext 3627, visit KSW.507 or
email [email protected]
Finishing Up…
• Look after yourself (diet,
sleep)
• Keep a supportive structure
for your daily life; have
relaxation time
• See this as a time of
discovery
• Recall past achievements
• Challenge negative thoughts
• Imagine looking back at the
task from a future vantage
point
37
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