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Time Management - Lesson 4: Utilize “Mental Games” To Save TIME

Time Fact #4:A good check on whether or not one is doing high or low priority items is to ask the question “What did you do today?” If the answer is, “Oh, nothing,” you’re talking to someone who has accomplished only “C’s.” But if the answer is, “Let me tell you what I’ve done!”, you’re conversing with a “A’er!”

Promise yourself a reward
Work on two or three difficult assignments for 60-90 minutes and then reward yourself with whatever makes sense to you. It could be a phone call to a special friend, a jog out the bike path, an ice cream, etc.

Try a leading task
If you are accustomed to returning to your room after class to play music for an hour or so, place your next assignment on the CD player so you won’t procrastinate. I always had to put my poly-sci book in the freezer because when I returned to my room I would immediately go for the cookie dough ice cream!

Listen to your inner rhythm
There will be times when you are not mentally up to tackling your next important assignment. Don’t lose the time; “throw” yourself into an interesting, although less important activity.

Use self-imposed deadlines
Tell a friend that you will return a borrowed text book at tomorrow’s hockey game. This commitment, done verbally and, preferably in front of witnesses, will spur you to complete the reading assignment and to meet your obligation.

Plan for a friend
Tell yourself that a friend has agreed to handle that troublesome activity you’ve been avoiding. All you have to do is write down a plan for your friend to follow to get the required task done. Of course what you have now just done is develop an outline. With the outline completed you are well on your way to doing the dreaded task yourself.

Swiss Cheese Method
If you wait for “enough” time to do the whole task you may never begin. Divide the task into several manageable chunks and then set out to do them one at a time, perhaps over a period of several days.

Think ahead
Always have in mind what task you plan to undertake next.

Not everyone is put together in such a way that they can make use of “mental games”. But for those who are, you may find the above ideas useful.


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