Time management helps with many common problems

You’ve been at SHSU almost a month or more! If you have discovered that you have not read more than a chapter and the first exam is a few days away, or if you recently stepped on a scale and discovered you are five pounds heavier, or you have looked at your checkbook and discovered you have spent more than you intended to – read on. You might wonder – what does homework, dieting and personal finance have in common? The answer: time management.

It is easy to see the relationship between time management and reading. Do you ever tell yourself: “Since I don’t have time to read the chapter, I’ll do it later. Anyway, if I read it now, I’ll just be wasting time since I’ll forget it before the exam.” The problem with that approach is that later translates to never. Since we are all the TV generation, we generally don’t focus well on reading for more than five minutes at a time anyway! Short bursts of reading are better than no reading. Start with scanning the table of contents, get the page count for the chapter, look through the chapter at photos and other distracters. Then read a section at a time. But do this before class to heighten your learning during class! Don’t let yourself avoid reading because the chapter is long! Now is the time to devote some time to every course every day.

Surprisingly, weight control is a time management issue! The typical response to gaining weight is to go on a diet but do diets really work for you? The problem with diets is that they focus your attention on the problem: food. We all know from experience that the more you think about something, the more you want it. If you are eating too much, you are either insecure about something or bored. When some people are away from home for the first time, they eat for comfort.

Even if you don’t have a professor that makes it easier to meet people in class, a smile and a handshake is usually all it takes. For every course, try to get the names of two to three students and their cell phone or e-mail. That will help you feel less lonely.

A second strategy is to manage your time so that you don’t have time for ten snacks during the day. A third strategy is to bring a container and load it with water instead of soft drinks. A fourth idea is to spend some time in the fabulous HKC building. And, try to enjoy the mile walk from your parking spot at the football stadium to the English building.

Personal finance and time management? There is a direct connection between how you spend your time and your budget. What have you spent money on?

When we have extra time, we are programmed to spend. Here are some alternatives: go to the HKC building instead of the mall, get a copy of the LSC Program Council activities (those activities are inexpensive or free), go visit those student religious organizations for a free meal (and the bonus is that you meet new friends at much less cost than going to a bar). Convert idle time from spending opportunities to productive time. Put an advertisement in the paper and convert idle time to earning a couple of dollars babysitting or raking leaves. Elkins Lake is full of older people who need help with household chores.

If you budget your time well, you’ll be thinner, have more money and earn higher grades. Three problems, one solution!

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