Tag Archives: time management

Learning the Importance of Scheduling

Jacob Motts

Jacob Motts,
Senior, Engineering Technology & Management

Athens, OH 17 March 2017

Like many within Russ College, this point in the semester becomes a nightmare for me. Classes have reached the infamous point of final projects and final exams and final assignments for final projects as a prep for final exams. It’s exhausting, especially when you are as heavily involved on campus like I am. Outside of my classes and ambassador responsibilities, I am also Vice President of Epsilon Pi Tau, participating in an internship at the Innovation Center, a member of the Society of manufacturing Engineers, and involved with Cru on campus. In all of this, I have found there is one simple way to keep from drowning in the ocean of work and responsibilities. All you need is scheduling.

In learning communities they always describe how important scheduling is and plotting your time in spreadsheets. As a freshman, I laughed at this. At the time, I didn’t think there was any way I would need to actually plot my time block by block. I had made it through all of high school without ever touching a planner or spreadsheet. Now, 3 years later, it is the only way I can keep track of it all. Classes alone require me to do this. The day-to-day assignments are only further complicated by larger projects and team projects. This need, however, also extends into my other areas of life as well.

Everything from dates to family gatherings and organizational meetings are put into my spreadsheet and accompanying calendar. As the VP of Epsilon Pi Tau, this is especially important because I have to know when organization events are happening and who needs to be there. I also have a lifeline in the spreadsheet I have put together for my engineering design and rapid prototyping internship at the Innovation Center. It tracks my clients and the priority levels of their projects. It also has estimated deadlines and contains contact information for each individual, as well as what the next steps in the project are.

Now, after reading all of this, you may wonder what the point is. Why should you care about what I said? Well, I am here to tell you that scheduling has taken me from a place of chaos to peace. It now does not feel like a frenetic situation to keep track of what I have going on in the week. All I have to do is consult a couple simple spreadsheets and a calendar. And let me tell you, it makes college life about 1,000 times easier.

Semester Productivity, Hacked

Mira Cooper

Mira Cooper,
Junior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 14 January 2016

Anyone who knows me knows that there is nothing I love more than a well-organized planner. I mean, I have at least four different planners that I use on a daily basis. And while I won’t go into each of those, I do want to talk about a major game-changing organization strategy. It’s called bullet journaling. Here’s a link to the official website!

I’m very into productivity research (I really should’ve gone into ISE, but oh well…) and bullet journaling is great because it’s like a combination of rapid-logging ideas, ever-evolving to-do lists, and a calendar all in one. And one of the best parts about it is that you can do it in any kind of notebook you can find.

My Journal

My Journal! Found it at Target, the most glorious place to buy school supplies.

The idea is to start each day on a page, like a to-do list. Every morning, I sit down with my cup of coffee and I write down everything I can think of that pertains to the day, be it tasks, ideas, appointments, things to remember, meals I want to eat…Anything. I have a special key for each type of entry, but every bullet journal user develops their own method for logging. Throughout the day, as tasks get completed, I fill in their bubble just like any other to-do list.

But, at the end of the day, whatever I don’t get done, I have to “migrate” to the next day. This contributes to my “roll rate”, which is sort of like a productivity tracker. I take the amount of tasks I had to migrate and I divide it by the total number of tasks that day (and multiply by 100) to get the percentage of things that have to “roll” to tomorrow. I find that this helps me to stay productive and get everything done that I need to.

January 13

January 13, not as productive as I’d hoped it would be.

“But Mira,” you say, “What do I do about tasks or events that need to happen later, not just today?” Well, my curious grasshopper, I will direct you to the “Monthly Calendar and To-Do” pages.

Monthly Calendar and To-Do

A very lazy month.

As you can see here, I didn’t do much in September. That was back when I was just starting this method and hadn’t developed my own personality about it. But, the general idea is to write all events for the month (appointments, theme weekends, exams…) on the “Calendar” side, just like you would in a normal planner. Then, all things that need to get done later on in the month (for instance, “Buy train tickets for Spring Break trip to Washington D.C.”) go on the next page, the “To-Do” page, with the due date next to them.

I also use my bullet journal for my (unhealthy) obsession with taking notes on things I see throughout the day, such as this list of “12 Banned Books Every Woman Should Read” from HuffingtonPost.

12 Banned Books

The Awakening sure wasn’t my favorite book, but by gum I finished it.

That’s really what makes this different from a normal planner, that it becomes a sort of diary for your observations throughout the day. I’m really excited to be able to look back on this time in my life ten years from now and know that I found the “Portsmouth Sinfonia Instrument Swap” video funny enough to write down. It’s a nice way to have a paper record of everything you need to do and have done so that someday when the internet crashes (who knows, I’m super paranoid about it) you still have a historical presence that someone can find and know exactly who you were and what you thought about.

Free Time for Engineers

Claire Hall

Claire Hall,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 18 November 2014

A very popular question from students thinking about going into engineering is “How much free time do you actually have?” Of course any engineering student will answer this a little differently because it varies for everyone. This question also goes along with the college myth of sufficient sleep, good grades, or social life: you can only pick two of the three.

Any college student is going to have to learn a little time management to balance classes, social life and taking care of yourself. But it’s certainly possible to have all three and some free time also. Free time is different for any student as to how they are involved on campus or in hobbies. It’s sometimes easy to get over-committed with a lot of organizations, but if it’s for clubs you really enjoy then it will be worth it.

I normally have about 3 to 4 hours of meetings every week for organizations, but obviously some students have more and some less. Outside of this I still find free time during the week to relax and have fun doing my own hobbies. It’s not impossible for college students, and even engineering students, to be involved, study hard, and have fun too!

End-of-Quarter Time Management

Bradley Lang

Bradley Lang, Senior, Engineering Technology and Management

Athens, OH 29 February 2012 – It is two weeks before finals and the most important part about engineering is time management. All the time the last couple of weeks before finals the teacher gives everybody a final project that ties everything that was learned over the quarter and puts it all together to see if you have learned anything. In my classes I have two huge projects that I am currently working on. One is dimensional metrology using all of the calculations that we have learned over the quarter. In another class my group is putting together a prototype of our nightstand that we have designed in my senior design class. We are checking our design concepts to see if this product is actually able to make in production run. So we are actually having to look forward into the future and try to predict what will make our production run smoother and achievable next quarter.

Finding Time for Video Games

David Parisi

David Parisi, Senior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 27 February 2012 – Video games and engineering seem to go hand in hand, however the engineering workload can be very time consuming. Last week I had three midterms and the week before I had another one. All of the studying can take away from playing time intensive video games such as Skyrim. I was forced to set down my controller and take some time to study. It was worth it because I have done well on the ones that I’ve gotten back. I have rewarded myself already with a few hours of Skyrim and almost making it to level 70.

Even though engineering can be a difficult major, many of the engineers that I know make time to play a good amount of video games, ranging from first person shooters (Call of Duty and Battlefield 3) to MMORPGs. First person shooters usually win out because they do not take as much time to play as other video games do. I have always been more of a fan of any kind of RPG and still do my best to keep playing them in the few weeks of school that have a lighter workload. Being an engineer doesn’t mean that you have to stop playing video games, you just need to improve your time management skills.

Wish me luck on hitting the level cap.