An alternative to tracking time

With homework, tests, and possibly a part-time or full-time job as well as other responsibilities to manage within the week, one can’t blame themselves for losing track of time.

Héctor Flores Mendoza, a 33-year-old SAIT student and certified business coach, has specific suggestions to manage time effectively as student life takes place.

Currently enrolled in the new media and design program, he juggles two jobs, and has responsibilities as a father.

“All of us have 24 hours a day. That makes you wonder why some people are able to do more with their time than others,” he said.

When it comes to defining time management, he cites one idea proposed by Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

“Instead of guiding ourselves by a clock, we should do so by a compass. Our time should be goal orientated,” said Flores Mendoza.

According to his five-year experience as a coach, time is one of the most important

resources a person has since it’s something that can’t be recovered once it’s gone.

In the student life context, he suggests having a clear idea on the purpose of studying to then create specific goals for weeks, semesters and academic years so students can focus on accomplishing them.

In order to make that happen, Flores Mendoza recommends following Covey’s four-quadrant matrix for time management.

The quadrants consist of classifying activities as urgent-important, not urgent-important, urgent-not important and not urgent-not important.

The secret to getting things done, according to Flores Mendoza, is paying attention to the tasks that are not urgent-important since they’re at a prevention stage.

“Saying ‘I don’t have time’ is an excuse,” he said.

“We decide what to do at a certain hour. We have a range of options, and we make our own choices.”

Another important tool for effective time management is the use of an agenda.

Flores Mendoza advises to have one, plan personal and academic activities on it, and follow it accordingly.

“Write absolutely everything on it. Consider the time it takes to transport from one place to another. Get used to determine which activities are immovable,” he said.

“Success or failure comes from the decisions you make. Time management has a lot to do with that.

You can’t blame someone else for the things that happen to you.” The book Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy is also a recommended reading by coach Flores Mendoza for more information on how to get things done.

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