Professor Belli | Fall 2022 | City Tech

Time Management

It’s a super-busy point of the semester, and many of you have expressed that you are burnt out and having difficulty keeping up with all-the-things. I feel you. Time Management is, unfortunately, something that we all struggle with …

The reality is that we each have tons of responsibilities, seemingly endless to-dos, & competing priorities, and there are only so many hours in a day and so much energy, brainpower, & motivation at our disposal during those hours.

When we are under a deadline or feel the pressure of a time crunch, we tend to procrastinate (which ends up causing even more of a time crunch!). And whether we are consciously aware of it or not, procrastination is deeply connected to a whole range of emotions that start bubbling up: we feel overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, frustrated, angry, scared, hopeless, depressed. We become stretched too thin, more reactive, less able to productively meet our goals and to be the best versions of ourselves. Then we feel shame, guilt, regret, exhaustion. And all of these emotions can start to chip away at our physical health. Of course, if we get sick, we fall more behind, and the more we fall behind the more stressed we get, which makes us sicker … and round and round we go.

Just because time management is hard, though, doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. An important part of both student success & self-care is to learn how to effectively manage your time. That takes becoming more aware of your own patterns and habits in relation to time management, learning skills and techniques to improve your time management, and then mindfully and diligently working to make the progress.

If you know that you struggle at certain times and in certain circumstances, don’t beat yourself up for that — but do seek out the skills & support you need. This workshop will help!


Complete the Time Management Inventory, the Time Management Reflection Reflection, and then watch + annotated the Time Management and SMART Goals video. All of these links are from the UNC at Chapel Hill Learning Center’s Tips & Tools website, which has a whole range of amazing resources for student success. I strongly encourage you to check them out (especially the ones on procrastination!) and use them as resources going forward.

After you’ve read + annotated this workshop & the above texts, share your thoughts on time management. You can approach any way you’d like, but I encourage you to consider the following:

  • What are some of the emotions that come up for you when you’re struggling with time management? What about when you more successfully manage your time?
  • What are your default habits when you have a big deadline?
  • What are some strategies you have used to manage your time? How effective are they?
  • What new things did you learn from this workshop?
  • Do some of your own research (it can just be googling around) on time management, & share what you’ve learned with the class (don’t forget to cite!).
  • If you had to give your peers one piece of advice on time management, what would it be, & why?

Comments (& at least a few replies to others’ comments) are due by 12pm (noon) on Friday, 11/18. Looking forward to a great conversation here!

17 Comments

  1. Brandon Rivera

    Some emotions that happen when I am struggling with time management is frustration and annoyance because it mainly falls into my hands for the reason I feel this way. But the times I do successfully manage my time I feel accomplished and more relieved because I then do not have to worry about rushing to complete anything that needs to be completed either from school or other personal things. Habits and also general ways I keep myself from getting a big deadline done is having it as a reminder every time I turn my computer on and also on my phone.

    Similar to this, a strategy I have to manage my time is by having daily reminders on my phone. One day I focus on Math homework in the evenings, then later in the day I get another reminder to do Psychology, then the next day leaves me free to do English, etc. I would say that this strategy is very effective specifically for me as I have been putting it into practice since High School.

    Something new that I learned from this workshop is to not be vague in detail when you do set reminders. Be as specific as possible. For example, with my Math reminder instead of just saying to do my math homework, I can also add in what pages and what questions so I don’t get confused. I should also be as realistic as possible, if I have 20 questions of math I can break it up into 10 in the morning and 10 in the evening.

    According to writer Jennifer Herrity from Indeed, “12 Benefits of Effective Time Management” It is stated that the benefits of time management include “decreased stress, and increased productivity” Both things that we as college students need. Decreased stress makes us mentally relaxed and accomplishes more which leads to increased productivity.

    A piece of advice that I would give to my peers would be if you are stressed out because of a big project. It is best to relax before you continue because having a relaxed mindset allows you to think clearly without any blocks. Also as mentioned, having reminders that tell you what to do and when to do a certain task should be written with more detail so you can do said project without confusion.

    • Jill Belli

      Brandon, this is such a well-written, thoughtful, helpful comment … thank you for sharing!

  2. Tahani Rabah

    The emotions that come up when I’m struggling with time management is stress and anxiety. But whenever I’m on track and everything is going the way it’s supposed to, and I feel relaxed. When something is due I just try to plan out everything, and make sure I use my time wisely. Some strategies I use is doing my work in the library. It works well sometimes, other times I get really distracted with other things such as friends or my phone. If I was giving some of my peers advice I would say time management is very important, and if you don’t manage your time wisely that you’ll most definitely fall behind. And of course always have a plan.

    • Jill Belli

      Our emotions definitely fluctuate based on what we have going on in our lives, and managing our time more wisely does add to overall feelings of relaxation!

      • Jamani Anderson

        This is very true our emotions control the way we think and use our time wisely in terms of other situations we would have to deal with in our lives whether its depression over classes or could be a break from everything else thats going on around you.

        I would always take breaks and rest my head for an 1 or 2 just to clear my mind and then focus on what I would have to do later on as time flys by but that never really stopped me because I would always use my alarms and calendars and it would notify me if any important news whether its assignments or things I have to take care of as of real life situations.

  3. Jamani Anderson

    I feel like time management is the key to everything because I remember as a kid growing up I use to wake up early as ever just to get my assignments so I could have time for myself to enjoy I had a total of 8 classes and to deal with that type of stress is not that normal because then you have to balance your time otherwise but I was motivated and true believer to pass those classes and achieve the most and better for myself. I feel like school overall can become overwhelming but at the same time manageable in a way because you get to separate your time equally.

    • Neal Ross

      I definitely relate to being good at time management when I was younger. I was eager to do my work but now It is just a nuisance and I push it off to the last minute.

      • Jill Belli

        Definitely — many people refer to their childhoods as their “carefree” days …

  4. Neal Ross

    Time management is definitely a skill I need to work on with all that I have on my plate. When I am struggling with time management, especially when I have a lot of deadlines and upcoming assignments I tend to get a lot of anxiety, When I have this anxiety I want to be left alone the majority of the time and often get angry at others easily. When I successfully manage my time it is a big sigh of relief as I am satisfied with getting my work done and have time to focus on myself and things I enjoy. When I have a big deadline g or a big assignment it is very overwhelming. I never want to start and often procrastinate. Instead of splitting up the work in order to give myself an appropriate amount of time, I will stress up until about two days before and then cram all my work out. I haven’t used many time management strategies if I’m being honest. When I get down time at work I find it is a good time to vet some homework done, I usually do my work late at night after work but when I am able to get some done while at work is is a big stress relied and I am able to sleep more at night which is much needed. I learned I might be procrastinating because I am a perfectionist. I love for my work to be perfect and will not feel good until anything I do is uo to my standards. Often times because I procrastinate I am forced to do multiple assignments or tasks at once. North easter university has recognized that this is not the most productive way to go about things,” avoid multitasking which can actually decrease your productivity. Focus on one assignment at a time and zero in on the specific task. at hand.”(Miller) When trying to mod multiple tasks at once you will not be as productive and the quality of the work will be compromised. Focusing on one. Thing at a time can actually help to speed up the process, ease stress, and improve quality of work. I would definitely recommend to procrastinating, read your assignments and understand what is expected of you. You don’t always have tap start right away but you can think on your approach as you do other things throughout the day leading to the deadline and when you sit down to complete your assignment you will be better prepared.

    Miller, Kelsey. “7 Time Management Tips for Online Students.” Northeastern University Graduate Programs, 6 Aug. 2021, https://www.northeastern.edu/graduate/blog/time-management-tips-online-students/. 

    • Jill Belli

      Thanks Neal for pointing out the dangers of multitasking and perfectionism (this can be such a toxic tendency, and many of us have it — myself included!). I’m interested in checking the article, too, that you shared, but the link doesn’t work. Could you re-post in a comment?

  5. Holaly Dzakpa

    Time management is hard and it takes a while for us to understand what it is. Specifically now while we are considered young adults who now have a lot of important decisions to make regarding your future. Growing up as a child our parents did everything. We were dropped of at school, picked up and when we got home all we had to do was homework. And then we got older and more self-aware. I admit that I didn’t take things seriously and would procrastinate. But it has always been you to suffer the consequences of your own actions. Now we should all know the meaning of responsibility. When i have bad time management. I feel stressed and I notice myself not putting as much effort as I know I could. If I had to give myself or another classmate advice it would be not to rush and therefore not waiting until the last minute. Always bring your A effort and set aside some time for what is required of you.

    • Jill Belli

      Holaly, so true — with increased age comes increased responsibility! Makes managing our time that much harder when we are responsible for all-the-things!

  6. Henry Ren

    Time management has always been a problem for me. I often struggle with time-sensitive things such as tests or assignments whether it’s me getting distracted, not understanding, or just procrastinating. When I struggle with time management, different emotions that are unpleasant occur. First, I usually feel under pressure and eager to complete it, half-assing it and doing poorly. It also affects my daily routine and life such as making me stay up later and getting 3-5 hours of sleep a night for days at a time. When I complete it on time, I feel good. I feel relief that I have time that I can spend without worrying about something in the back of my mind.

    My habits with big deadlines are fairly simple. First, I paint out the structure or organization of my paragraphs with a roadmap and I fill it in part by part day by day. I usually end up procrastinating, especially on smaller assignments so they pile up, but on bigger assignments, I try my best to complete them on time and well.

    Some strategy I used is the no electronics rule (well everything is on a computer but I mean stuff like games or social media). I would spend about 30 minutes without doing anything but focusing on the work and then taking a 5-10 minute break in between times. I would do this for a few hours to try to cover as much work as possible. If they’re shorter assignments that maybe take about an hour, I would just complete them. These have been effective strategies I use for different classes, but I don’t always stay on the path and I procrastinate from time to time.

    After doing the time managing inventory and reflecting, I realize that I procrastinate worse than I thought. I don’t really do stuff on there to help with it such as writing a “to-do” list and setting specific goals for each study period. I learned different ways to manage time better than I ever would’ve thought. Ways such as sharing plans and goals and goal settings to decide activities.

    From my research, I already knew that music can influence the brain, but I learned that listening to music releases a chemical hormone called oxytocin, a hormone that relates to dopamine and the feeling of relaxation and love. Taken from Lia Peralta on How Does Music Affect Society, a blog about music and its effects, Peralta states, “Oxytocin, or the “love hormone,” makes us more inclined to engage in social interactions or build trust between individuals. Music also boosts the synthesis of the immunoglobulin A antibody, which is crucial for human health. Studies have also shown that melatonin, adrenaline, and noradrenaline levels increase after only a few weeks of music therapy.” Peralta backs up her information with statistics from real experiments and studies.Peralta, Lia. “Impact of Music on Society – Sociological Effects.” Save The Music Foundation, 4 Mar. 2022, https://www.savethemusic.org/blog/how-does-music-affect-society/#:~:text=Around%20the%20world%2C%20music%20is,generally%20improve%20our%20well%2Dbeing. 

    An advice I would give on time management would be to just do it. I usually push things back cause I don’t like the idea of doing it and it ends up getting pushed too far and I end up not liking it even more. Doing it now or later doesn’t change the fact that you’ll still do it but the difference is the quality and time you’re going to be able to put into your work.

    • Henry Ren

      I accidentally submitted it with the citation in the middle of the paragraphs. I put that there so I can remember to put it at the end and I forgot anyways.

    • Jill Belli

      Thanks Henry for this reflective, fascinating (and well-informed!) comment. I particularly like the “no electronics” rule, and the advice to “just do it” (that is one of my tips below too). I love the music connection too, and knew it had health benefits but did not realize about the IgA (Immunoglobulin A) connection — wow! Also, wonderful to see you bringing in your Unit 2 research here 🙂

  7. Jill Belli

    Thanks for these thoughts everyone — loving the reflections, advice, and links!

    I’ll add a few pieces of advice here too:

    -Forcing myself to just get started, even for a few minutes, on a task I’m dreading: When I was in grad school and feeling totally burnt out and overwhelmed by how much I had to get done and the tasks ahead (which seemed–are were!!-really daunting!), I used to say to one of my good friends, “but, how are I going to do it?” And she would reply: “By doing it.” At some point, you just have to get started doing the things. And trust me, it works (most of the time!).

    -Keeping detailed / synced calendars: I tried for years to use a paper calendar, and love the idea of it, but found that it wasn’t as ideal for me, because I didn’t always have it with me (and I couldn’t update it as easily). So I switched to using digital calendars, and love that my Google & Apple Calendars sync not only on my phone but also across all my devices.

    -Reminding myself of things with audio cues: I set alarms on my phone, too, for all of my important deadlines, meetings, and sometimes even daily tasks (like remembering to take medicine or call someone).

    -Don’t leave things to the last minute, and build in buffer time: keep in mind “Murphy’s Law” … if anything can go wrong, it will.

  8. logann

    I get very frustrated very easily especially with trying to organize and plan out my time wisely I am not good at it at all. If and when I rarely manage my time I feel very accomplished and I set myself to having goals that I have to meet. I think I can only recall doing that twice but it was stuff outside of school, with school I never manage my time. My default habits is usually just do it last minute just like I am doing now with this. Some strategies I have used to save times might be to cut corners and not give the full ability and potential that I know I could. They seem to work just about all the time I never get the highest grade but as long as I am passing I am happy. I learned that procrastinating is very bad for you even though unfortunately I will probably not be able to stop it. “Time management is the process of organizing and planning how to divide your time between different activities. Get it right, and you’ll end up working smarter, not harder, to get more done in less time – even when time is tight and pressures are high.” Tip, “Good time management takes a shift in focus from activities to results. Being busy isn’t the same as being effective. In fact, for many people, the busier they are, the less they actually achieve.” https://www.mindtools.com/arb6j5a/what-is-time-management. Don’t procrastinate and do everything with the best of your ability. 🙂

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