Alumni Tips: Nicholas Rought on Time Management and Self-Discipline

Nick Rought 2 (200x200)My name is Nicholas Rought and I recently completed the requirements for my BSB in Human Resources Management from Excelsior College. Aside from academics, I love music and playing my guitar. I am a sucker for the stock channel and a beautiful melody. I am looking forward to pursuing a master’s degree in Business Leadership and hopefully one day achieving dreams that I have spent so much time envisioning.

Time management is a complex process that can be very stressful for students enrolled in online classes.  Time is a scarce resource.  I have learned through my experience that time management and self-discipline go hand in hand.  I have some pointers that may help you manage your time more effectively and these can also be carried over into the business environment.

The first step in being more organized with your time is to keep a calendar that includes deadlines for your academic work; this will make prioritizing short-term and long-term activities easier.  Utilizing a calendar system will also give you a clearer perspective on separating your college work, job responsibilities, and social activities.  Breaking up the different activities and assigning a few hours of work a day/night, employing all seven days within the week, might help balance the workload.  The key is to not fall victim to procrastination.  If you give in to procrastination, you will experience more stress which will take away from the potential of your work.  Trust me: your best work will be performed if you give yourself more than enough time to complete it.  The calendar system is crucial; Excelsior even gives you a calendar within your individual online course. Use it!

Planning is just as important to time management as organization.  When I was in 8-week courses, I created a weekly schedule that balanced my workload.  Mondays and Tuesdays were for reading the material and writing key ideas and elements within a journal I kept right at my work station.  Highlighting and writing ideas that I thought were important helped in completing the discussions.  Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays were for discussion completion, depending on the course and instructor.  Thursdays were usually the deadline for discussions so I knew that they were a higher priority because everything else was due on Sunday.  Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays were for completion of assessments and assignments.  This might not work for everyone; it is important to find your own routine that helps you stay motivated and helps you finalize your work on time.  You do not want to fall into unhealthy practices that will defeat everything you have worked for.  Remember the end result and why you have set out to achieve your educational goals.

Finally, sometimes good time management requires that you just buckle down and get the work done, even when you don’t feel especially motivated.  This can be difficult if you do not have anyone pushing you to fulfill your objectives.  But you need to just sit at your computer and do the work.  The hardest part is starting it, but once you are past that, the knowledge and information will write itself.  Writing down all your goals and dreams that come out of completing your degree might help to motivate you.  Hang them on the wall and read them when times are tough.  That might be enough to get you going.

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