In another few weeks we will be welcoming our incoming freshmen and returning students. Our campuses will be buzzing with enthusiasm. The challenge for each of us is ensuring that each individual feels welcomed and valued.
Students who see an organized administrator will immediately connect. If you are flustered, and cannot give that individualized attention which so many of our freshmen seek, you may just lose them. They will seek counseling elsewhere, even though outside information does not always help. I cannot tell you how many times throughout an academic year that I have had to ‘push back’ on misinformation that had been passed on to freshmen -sometimes from an upperclassman!
So, how about refreshing our organization and time management skills?
Effective colleges and universities recognize that new students need affirmation, encouragement, and support as well as information about what to do to be successful. (Whit,E.J.(2005))
Much literature exists on organization and time management, but here are a few tips that are always worth reviewing:
Plan with a semester calendar.
A semester calendar shows the “big picture” which has many important dates you will need for effective planning. For example, drop/add classes, holidays, mid- term ,convocation, homecoming etc.
Manage the minutes of your day by creating a To-Do List.
List tasks on a To-Do List consisting of that day’s commitments transferred from your weekly calendar and any items carried forward. Also, divide larger tasks into manageable goals, listing and checking off.
Rank your tasks in order of importance (use color codes for fun). What might you accomplish today? What can you push to another day?
Create a schedule.
Always create your current day’s schedule. Set high priority items first, next important tasks, and then if you can, things that you want to accomplish which may not be job related.
Keep track through organization.
Managing multiple deadlines can mean several projects wind up on your desk daily. This usually results in confusion and clutter. Janet Luhrs, author of The Simple Living Guide, offers this organization tip:
“Have a dedicated basket or small shelf for pending projects, and stick them in order of deadline. If the deadline isn’t today, create a second file- not on your desk-for items that are due later in the week.”
Answer that email.
Answering messages on time helps to keep the workload at a steady pace and to reduce clutter and stress.
> BONUS <
Podcast With Conor McLaughlin on SA Work-Life Balance