So I hear…from the desk of Art Sunleaf

This weekly column is a response from our Dean (you know, the guy who wears the striped, colored socks and screams hello to students across the ARC lawn) to issues, rumblings and events going around campus each week. Helpful hints, humorous quips and life-long advice are sure to follow. In his own words, Dr. Sunleaf hopes to use this column as a line of communication between himself and the student body: “My role is chief advocate for student experience for the college. I want the student experience to be the best we can provide.”

It’s a life skill important to learn early – knowing what is important to you, and building time for that. We du what we value. You may have signed up for 17 campus organizations during Campus Fest, but which ones actually mean something to you? Du you attend six meetings a week, but participate in only two of them? We can all say we are busy, but what are we getting done?

This is where it is important to evaluate your priorities and du what is important to you. Much like everyone else, I underestimate the time it takes to du something or I wait until the last minute, which can be problematic … the printer goes down or the fire alarm in Beckman goes off before you can submit that paper to eLearn. My time management was more about anxiety than managing time — every semester of doctoral work, I was only taking one class, but when I got the syllabus, I was nervous about balancing my family life, working full-time, my course, and my other commitments. *Insert moment of freak out here.* Then, much like how I eat an elephant, I take one bite at a time. It’s not a natural process; instead a learned skill. In fact, I am still working on finding the best time management for me.

I can relate to early feeling of “how am I going to do all of this?” you may be experiencing. Plot it out and you’ll be fine. As in the elephant metaphor, take things step-by-step. Let’s du things one week at a time. Sunday nights, plot out your week. When will you be in class? When will you be studying? When will you be participating in campus activities? Does that leave time for you to relax, maintain relationships with friends and family, and eat? Hint: Central Avenue and Main have been known to interfere with time management. Plan out one week at a time, but make sure to forecast the semester with major events. (The syllabus is a great reference here.) Make sure that you are prioritizing the events that you most value.

There are many tools and resources available to you to help with managing your time and anxiety over your responsibilities. The main tool that I would recommend is using a calendar. Most Duhawks use their Outlook calendars so that everything is in one place, and appointments can be shared between students, faculty and staff. It’s also great to be on a campus with hundreds of other students who are having similar learning experiences with their time management and punctuality. Seeking help through an upperclassmen who models good time management is a great resource for you. You can also look to your Peer Assistants, Resident Assistants and Headwaters for additional resources. Whatever tool you use, it is pretty cool when you use it effectively and you can move past busy to productive.

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