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Independent Living Skills

Independent Life Skills: Time Management

Time management is a system that priorities tasks based on what you want to accomplish. It involves three types of time including predictable, discretionary, and other-imposed time. The key to efficiently managing your time is by learning to maximize your discretionary time by using it efficiently. Often times, time management can be over looked and tossed to side. But, when learned correctly it can become a highly beneficial tool allowing you to accomplish all your goals and tasks efficiently and on time.

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Three Types of Time

Predictable Time

This form comes from activities that you can predict and plan around such as meetings, team practice, eating and sleeping.

Discretionary Time

This is uncommitted time that allows you to accomplish priorities in your life. The way you plan this time should be in line with your lifestyle. Another way to think of this would be free time that allows for you to choose the way you spend it.

Other Imposed Time

Other-imposed time is unpredictable. For example, emergencies or things that you weren’t expecting to have to do for your job or school would fall under this category.

Managing Your Time

The first step is to know yourself. For example, some thrive in the early morning but others get the most done late at night. Once you have determined the situations you thrive under you can begin to form your plan around that.

Organization is at the foundation of all time management skills. Find what works best for you whether that is a notebook, to-do list or calendar. It might take time for you to find what the best method is so try all of them!

To-do lists are the most common and best way to keep track of your tasks for the day and week. The key to an effective to-do list is prioritization. UC San Diego suggests that you should create your list based on the A,B,C criteria. For example, A would be the most important task you have, followed by B and finally C.

Additionally, schedule your time based on the three types of times mentioned above. Fill in your discretionary time that you had left blank with your highest priorities according to your lifestyle. Make sure you leave time for sleeping, eating, etc.

Below is a more advanced method to time management that could be beneficial to individuals looking to go further into the topic.

Previous Independent Life Skills Blogs:

Being On Time

Personal Hygiene

Eating a Balanced Diet

Self-Advocacy

Life Skills and Daily Activities

Lifestyle and Social Interaction

Transportation

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