All too often in life, it seems that the times in which we felt most productive were times when we actually had the least amount of time to spend. What do I mean? Think about that looming deadline set by your boss or that all-too-rapidly approaching final exam.
Do you find it easier to complete your tasks when you are stressed for time and having to push to complete work before the deadline ,than when you have no deadline?
These are some more detailed examples:
Not important and not urgent. You have a book report to hand in at the end of the semester. It’ll take you 10 to 20 hours to read the book and 4 or 5 hours to write the report. You have 3 months and it’s worth 10% of your final grade.
You should get started as soon as possible so it doesn’t become urgent.
You really want to avoid letting an important task become an “urgent and important” task. You can easily avoid this type of situation by psychologically giving yourself one-fourth of the time to complete the task, which will result in a faster completion time. Therefore, allowing extra time so that you can review and “polish” the final product into something truly amazing.
Not important but urgent. A quizz is scheduled for the next day, but you haven’t been to able to review anything. Though it is only 5% of the total, you are desirous of getting the maximum mark you can.
You should have made time for this between everything else you were doing. You could have easily avoided all of the stress and anxiety that you have now subjected yourself to.
If you ever find yourself in a situation like this, concentrate on the areas that you consider the most weak, work on polishing some of those areas 80 percent of the time, then 20 percent polishing your strongest points.
Important but not urgent. You have a project which is assigned 35% of your final marks. The due date of completion is in a month and as per your estimate, it will take 20 to 25 hours for completion.
Once you’ve broken it down into manageable pieces, it’s important to set a separate timeline and deadline for each piece, so that you have a really detailed and realistic plan for completing the project. This keeps your work stress-free, since you have set times when you can cool off and set times to focus on each bit of work.
Important and urgent. An important you had the final exam in two days, it is worth on 70% of final grade. You hadn’t put in enough time – so much new material to cover you don’t know where to start an exam.
This is not where you want to be spending your time. You want to spend as much time as possible on important but not urgent issues. Of course, this takes planning and preparation But you will find times when you need to manage important and urgent situations in your education, life and work.
You should always think before you take action to resolve any matter,a few seconds of thinking can greatly reduce your chance of making a mistake that you will later regret.
When you get the balance of urgency, study and researching for projects right and align them with a prioritized time table, in particular the urgent assignments and tests, you’ll have a success formula that will see you through not only your education, you’ll have a valuable skill that will enable you to complete any project in your working life as well.
Author: Dr Marc R. DussaultThis author has published 4 articles so far.