Where Does the Time Go?

Create a smarter schedule – and stop wondering where the time went.

If it seems there aren’t enough hours in the day, you may be something like Sara. Sara is a good student-she tries hard, puts in a long day, and doesn’t party on weekdays. But she’s always behind in her schoolwork. Lately her grades have been slipping.

At wit’s end, Sara started logging her time to see where it went. She recorded everything-from the time she crawled out of bed and ran to class, to how long she spent at meals, on homework, and surfing the Web.

When she added it up, she was shocked. Nearly a third of her day was spent socializing-at meals, on phone calls, sending e-mails, hanging with friends. She was getting about five hours of sleep, with another hour spent slapping the snooze button. And she was averaging only 30 minutes of study time per class-not nearly enough to keep up.

Creating a Smarter Schedule

To reclaim the time she needed for schoolwork, Sara created a saner and more efficient schedule. Now she packs for the entire day and doesn’t come back until night, saving more than an hour in transit time. She studies outside the dorm, where there are fewer distractions, and turns off her cell phone. She gives herself small blocks of time to e-mail and talk on the phone, and sets alarms on her PDA to keep her moving from one task to the next. Before midnight, she hangs a sign on the door: “We’re closed-come back another time.” She has more than doubled her study time, still has time for friends, and is getting two additional hours of sleep.