About The Thrivapy Blog

I created The Thrivapy Blog to share my thoughts and ideas about living a learning lifestyle.

For more, visit my website: www.thrivapy.com
Thank You,
Dr. Troy P. Roddy

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Time Management Challenge

Whether student or teacher, time management is among the more challenging aspects of improving your performance. This challenge, however, is often misstated as "not having enough" time. Instead, the issue is most likely to be one of priority not amount.

There are a finite number of hours in a day, but there are, seemingly, limitless items to do. Managing time is not a matter of needing more because, frankly, you can't have any more. You can, however, work with the time you have on the items that need your immediate attention. As I told a teacher recently concerning my role as a division head, the challenge is not in knowing what to do, the challenge is in being able to correctly prioritize my attention at any given moment.

The same applies to students and teachers. More often than not, what to do is clear. The challenge is in deciding what to do now and what can wait until later.

So, what needs to be done now? In order to answer that, one must have a clear sense of purpose and what one's role is in promoting that purpose. In other words, "Why are you here?" and "What do you do to achieve that purpose?"

Without a clear purpose, it is more difficult to prioritize actions. Thus, one is more likely to act counter-purposefully, even with good intentions. Once one has a clear sense of purpose, the next item to address concerns one's role in promoting that purpose.

One's role answers, "What do you do to achieve that purpose?" It involves actions aligned with purpose.

As an example, a student who is having trouble managing his time may not have a clear sense of the purpose of education in general or the lesson at hand (to be specific). Therefore, he is always pressed to throw together less than his best effort in an attempt to get his work done. My work with Thrivapy would include helping this student discover, or rediscover, the purpose of school followed by an examination of his role in that purpose. Finally, I wold work with him using specific strategies to help him move away from being a time management problem announcer to becoming the owner of his time management solutions.

The outcome may look something like this.

1. He discovers that the purpose of school is to create knowledge.

2. To that end, his role as a knowledge creator is to produce educated work that is worth sharing with others.

3. As a producer of educated work, he reflects on what his minimum level of acceptable work is and how much effort he needs to make to meet and exceed that level.

4. After an inventory of his life's activities and interests, he begins to replace "but" statements with "and" statements. (i.e. I have homework to do AND I have practice, therefore...).

5. As a result, he discovers potential solutions to try out and learns to take ownership of his work.

Time management is one of the most often cited challenges facing students and teachers. There is no shortage of items to do, but with a proven method to address these challenges (like the one I outline above), one can get back on the road to greater success and satisfaction in one's educational experiences.