Alex Ferrari, University of Miami Learn how to manage your time – it’s important

There’s a particular subject about which I have learned a great deal and it’s not even part of my schedule. Not to take anything from my actual, scheduled classes which have been truly wonderful. But the subject I am referring to will help me with absolutely everything in the future and is an absolute must-know when taking on any MBA programme.

Don’t know what I am talking about yet?

Another hint, it belongs to the management department and the syllabus should have a big picture of a clock.

That’s right: time management. These past two weeks have been intense to say the least. Between interviews, projects, presentations, exams and group meetings, the item you have the least of is time. They say time is the only asset that we can never get back, so it’s imperative to multi task and plan.

I know what you are thinking: “I manage my time fine.” This might be true, however the MBA programme you choose will test how good you really are.

The University of Miami’s 1-year programme is definitely demanding. Not only are the classes challenging but the fact that a full semester is compressed into six weeks means that many of the assignments are due one after the other, with little time to prepare and breath. How can one manage one’s time appropriately to not only do everything, but do it well and devote enough time to it?

There’ll be some group projects for which you have a set time to meet up or exams of greater importance and you want to devote “X” amount of time to it. For group projects, this is something out of your control. People have other obligations and you must work around that to set up a time to meet.

There are two things, however, that you are in control of. The first one is what gets done once you meet. Be assertive and ensure that no time is wasted. If needed, take control of the group and be productive.

The second thing you can control is what you can do before and after meeting the group. Be productive and get other assignments done in the meantime, even if they are not due for a while.

I am sure everyone has different rituals or ways of going about it. So, I can’t speak for others, but I’ll let you know what I do to manage my time accordingly.

I close my eyes and hope for the best and it is what it is.

No, not really. It’s important for me to sit and write down everything that has to be done by a particular date. Once everything is in front of you, it’s easier to see when each item should be done, write it down and create a schedule per se. Be sure to include some time for yourself as well. Be prepared to jump from one assignment to the next and finish what you start. If you have a marketing assignment that you scheduled to do on Sunday, finish it. Having other stuff carry to other days can disrupt what you had scheduled to do the next day.

What I do might not work for everyone, be advised. But, to put it gently, I wasn’t a master of time management before. (Also known as procrastination, but shhhhh). Luckily, due to the above “tactic”, if you will, I have been able to finish the first of four terms, managing my time perfectly.

You might not have a time management class, but it’ll be one of the biggest lessons you are likely learn while pursuing your MBA.