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TIME MANAGEMENT Counseling Center Division of Student Affairs State University of New York at Buffalo 120 Richmond Quad Buffalo, NY 14261 USA 716-645-2720 couns-ctr@acsu.buffalo.edu 1. There's no such thing as time management!So why should you read the rest of this handout? Because there is such a thing as self management and that's the key to making time your ally rather than your enemy.2. There are only 24 hours in your day, just the same as everybody else's.So how do you end up frustrated, angry, behind in your work, and dead on your feet? Maybe because you don't know how to use those 24 hours to your advantage.3. If using your time wisely is a problem for you, you probably don't have a very good idea of where it all goes.It just seems to go!A good place to start, then, is to keep track of how you use your time.Get a Weekly schedule (available in the Learning Skills corner of the Counseling and Testing Center's Career Library) and faithfully keep track of how you use your waking hours for one week.The results will probably surprise you.4. The next step is to pick up several more of these Weekly Schedules and do some planning.You'll discover, among other things, that if you get seven hours sleep a night, you have 119 hours per week to do everything you need to do.That, of course, includes going to class, eating, athletic events, social activities, personal hygiene, time-intransit, studying, student organizations, telephone and TV time, etc.Be sure to schedule time for all these in your 119 hours.Then try sticking to your schedule for a week.This should give you a good idea of where your real priorities are!5. If you have trouble, chances are there's a culprit lurking somewhere, dodging your every move.Chances are this culprit's name is Procrastination. Procrastination masquerades in a million disguises. Among the more common of these are:"One more day won't make any difference; I'll just put that off until tomorrow.""It won't matter if I'm a few minutes late; no one else will be on time.""I can't start on this paper until I know just how I want thefirst paragraph to read.""I work best under pressure.""I'll watch just 15 more minutes of TV." Fill in the blank:"_______________________________."6. Learn to say NO once your priorities are set. Turning down an invitation doesn't mean you'll never be asked to do something again.Weigh the consequences.Making a decision based on what you know is best for you at the time, leads to greater respect from your friends, not to a reputation as a party-pooper.7. Stay away from the telephone when you're trying to get work done.If it's really important, they'll call back.8. Use a monthly calendar to help you allocate your study time on the Weekly Schedule.At the beginning of each quarter, spend an hour with your calendar to enter all important dates.As you receive course syllabi, enter the dates for quizzes, papers, etc., on your calendar.Then estimate the time needed to prepare for each of these.If your history paper is due the eighth week of the quarter and it usually takes you four weeks to do a paper, start work on the paper the second week of the quarter, allowing

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yourself an extra week for typing and an extra week for disaster.If you stick to this schedule, you'll amaze yourself by having the paper finished in the seventh week.The rule-of-thumb is "Plan ahead by working backwards."9. By counting backwards like this, you'll be surprised how well you're using your time and how much better your grade will be when you're not under pressure. And, by being really honest with yourself and taking account of all your priorities, you'll be able to go to the football game and not feel guilty.10.At the start of each week, transfer important items from your calendar to your Weekly Schedule.This helps you to avoid things that might otherwise sneak up on you.11.Be sure to schedule time for your fitness routine and for study breaks.Your brain works best when it has sufficient oxygen.Your concentration is enhanced when you go hard at a task until you feel yourself fading.Then Break!A good rule-of-thumb is to work for 45 minutes and then break for 15.But watch yourself!More than 15 minutes is more than a break!12.Suggestions such as these don't lead to enslavement by a calendar.It may sound awful, especially if you're a skilled time mismanager.But it actually leads to a greater sense of freedom and accomplishment because you're in control.That's all self-management is--managing your life more effectively.By following these suggestions, you'll be happier, more satisfied, and more productive.Try it-- you'll like it!13.One last thing:WEAR A WATCH! --------------------------------------Copyright, Counseling Center, State University of New York at Buffalo, 1994. ---------OVERCOMING PROCRASTINATION Counseling Center Division of Student Affairs State University of New York at Buffalo 120 Richmond Quad Buffalo, NY 14261 USA 716-645-2720 couns-ctr@acsu.buffalo.edu IntroductionWilliam Knaus, a psychologist, estimated that 90% of college students procrastinate.Of these students, 25% are chronic procrastinators and they are usually the ones who end up dropping out of college.What is Procrastination ?Procrastination is the avoidance of doing a task which needs to be accomplished.This can lead to feelings of guilt, inadequacy, depression and self-doubt among students.Procrastination has a high potential for painful consequences.It interferes with the academic and personal success of students.Why Do Students Procrastinate ?oPoor Time Management.Procrastination means not managing time wisely.You may be uncertain of your priorities, goals and objectives.You may also be overwhelmed with the task. As a result, you keep putting off your academic assignments for a later date, or spending a great deal of time with your friends and social activities, or worrying about your upcoming examination, class project and papers rather than completing them.oDifficulty Concentrating.When you sit at your desk you find yourself daydreaming, staring into space, looking at pictures of your boyfriend/girlfriend, etc., instead of doing the task.Your environment is distracting and noisy. You keep running back and forth for equipment such as pencils, erasers,

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dictionary, etc.Your desk is cluttered and unorganized and sometimes you sit/lay on your bed to study or do your assignments.You probably notice that all of the examples that you have just read promote time wasting and frustration.oFear and Anxiety. You may be overwhelmed with the task and afraid of getting a failing grade.As a result, you spend a great deal of time worrying about your upcoming exams, papers and projects, rather than completing them.oNegative Beliefs such as; "I cannot succeed in anything" and "I lack the necessary skills to perform the task" may allow you to stop yourself from getting work done.oPersonalproblems.For example, financial difficulties, problems with your boyfriend/girlfriend, etc.oFinding the Task Boring.oUnrealistic Expectations and Perfectionism.You may believe that you MUST read everything ever written on a subject before you can begin to write your paper. You may think that you haven't done the best you possibly could do, so it's not good enough to hand in.oFear of Failure.You may think that if you don't get an 'A', you are failure.Or that if you fail an exam, you, as a person, are a failure, rather than that you are a perfectly ok person who has failed an exam.How To Overcome ProcrastinationoRecognize self-defeating problems such as; fear and anxiety, difficulty concentrating, poor time management, indecisive- ness and perfectionism.oIdentify your own goals, strengths and weaknesses, values and priorities.oCompare your actions with the values you feel you have.Areyour values consistent with your actions?oDiscipline yourself to use time wisely: Set priorities.Study in small blocks instead of long time periods. For example, you will accomplish more if you study/work in 60 minute blocks and take frequent 10 minute breaks in between, than if you study/work for 2-3 hours straight, with no breaks.Reward yourself after you complete a task.oMotivate yourself to study: Dwell on success, not on failure.Try to study in small groups.Break large assignments into small tasks.Keep a reminder schedule and checklist.oSet realistic goals.oModify your environment: Eliminate or minimize noise/ distraction.Ensure adequate lighting.Have necessary equipment at hand.Don't waste time going back and forth to get things.Don't get too comfortable when studying.A desk and straight-backed chair is usually best (a bed is no place to study).Be neat! Take a few minutes to straighten your desk.This can help to reduce daydreaming.--------------------------------------Copyright, Counseling Center, State University of New York at Buffalo, 1994. ---------PREVENTING PERFECTIONISM Counseling Center Division of Student Affairs State University of New York at Buffalo 120 Richmond Quad Buffalo, NY 14261 USA 716-645-2720 couns-ctr@acsu.buffalo.edu Going through life as a perfectionist will always damage your self-esteem and strip you of any warm feelings of self- acceptance you may have for yourself.That's because the impossibly high demands you make of yourself--and the unrealistic expectations you place on

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others--will invite only disappointment, self-repudiation, and widespread unhappiness.Living your life as a perfectionist will also set you up for continuous rejection and self-putdowns--and deny you peace of mind--because demanding perfection usually results in failure.And even if you achieve an exceptional result, chances are that you'll still be unhappy, as you'll find additional reasons for not being good enough.That's the destructive nature of perfectionism and that's why it destroys self-esteem. Nothing is ever good enough.Remember, being a perfectionist may paralyze your future chances of success--in either your personal or your professional life--because you'll eventually fear taking any new actions that might produce an imperfect result. Preventing perfectionism begins by saying no to unreasonably high demands that produce only failure and self-contempt.The new way of thinking requires you to choose goals that are easier to achieve and are within the realm of your possibilities.Moderate your expectations--and stop focusing on faults and flaws--and then watch your performance and self-esteem soar.Briefly describe one situation or part of your life in which you would like to be less perfectionistic.What are some specific ways that you could moderate your goals in that particular situation/area?What consequences might follow from such changes?POWER OF FAILUREFailure is a teacher and can be the source of much personal growth.Experiencing failure--and learning to judge your own capabilities--demonstrates that you have the strength to accept life's challenges.Never condemn yourself for not succeeding.That's being unfair to yourself.See failure for what it really is:an opportunity to discover that future success lies in another strategy or direction.You will achieve your next goal if you learn from your past mistakes.In this section, describe how and what you have learned from some past "failures". "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."--Helen Keller-------------------------------------Copyright, Counseling Center, State University of New York at Buffalo, 1994. ---------TEST ANXIETY Counseling Center Division of Student Affairs State University of New York at Buffalo 120 Richmond Quad Buffalo, NY 14261 USA 716-645-2720 couns-ctr@acsu.buffalo.eduINTRODUCTIONMost students experience some level of anxiety during an exam.However, when anxiety begins to affect exam performance it has become a problem. WHAT CAUSES TEST ANXIETY? 1. Lack of preparation as indicated by: a) cramming the night before the exam. b) poor time management. c) failure to organize text information. d) poor study habits.2. Worrying about the following: a) past performance on exams. b) how friends and other students are doing. c) the negative consequences of failure.

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PHYSICAL SIGNS OF TEST ANXIETYDuring an exam, as in any stressful situations, a student may experience any of the following bodily changes:1) perspiration 2) sweaty palms 3) headache 4) upset stomach 5) rapid heart beat 6) tense muscles EFFECTS OF TEST ANXIETY1. Nervousness:a) Having difficulty reading and understanding the questions on the exam paper.b) Having difficulty organizing your thoughts.c) Having difficulty retrieving key words and concepts when answering essay questions.d) Doing poorly on an exam even though you know the material.2. Mental Blocking:a) Going blank on questions.b) Remembering the correct answers as soon as the exam is over. HOW TO REDUCE TEST ANXIETY1. Study and know the material well enough so that you can recall it even if you are under stress.2. Learn and practice good time management and avoid:a) laziness b) procrastination c) day dreaming3. Build confidence by studying throughout the semester and avoid cramming the night before the exam.4. Learn to concentrate on the material you are studying by:a) generating questions from your textbooks and lecture notes.b) focusing on key words, concepts and examples in your textbooks and lecture notes.c) making charts and outlines which organize the information in your notes and textbooks.5. Use relaxation techniques, for example, taking long deep breaths to relax the body and reduce stress.-------------------------------------Copyright, Counseling Center, State University of New York at Buffalo, 1994. ---------STRESS MANAGEMENT Counseling Center Division of Student Affairs State University of New York at Buffalo 120 Richmond Quad Buffalo, NY 14261 USA 716-645-2720 couns-ctr@acsu.buffalo.edu INTRODUCTIONStress is a part of day to day living.As college students you may experience stress meeting academic demands, adjusting to a new living environment, or developing friendships.The stress you experience is not necessarily harmful.Mild forms of stress can act as a motivator and energizer.However, if your stress level is too high, medical and social problems can result.WHAT IS STRESS?Although we tend to think of stress as caused by external events, events in themselves are not stressful.Rather, it is the way in which we interpret and react toevents that makes them stressful.People differ dramatically in the type of events they interpret as stressful and the way in which they respond to such stress.For example, speaking in public can be stressful for some people and relaxing for others. SYMPTOMS OF STRESSThere are several signs and symptoms that you may notice when you are experiencing stress.These signs and symptoms fall into four categories: Feelings, Thoughts, Behavior, and Physiology.When you are under stress, you may experience one or more of the following:FEELINGS1. Feeling anxious. 2. Feeling scared. 3. Feeling irritable. 4. Feeling moody.THOUGHTS1. Low self-esteem. 2. Fear of failure.

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3. Inability to concentrate. 4. Embarrassing easily. 5. Worrying about the future. 6. Preoccupation with thoughts/tasks. 7. Forgetfulness. BEHAVIOR1. Stuttering and other speech difficulties. 2. Crying for no apparent reason. 3. Acting impulsively. 4. Startling easily. 5. Laughing in a high pitch and nervous tone of voice. 6. Grinding your teeth. 7. Increasing smoking. 8. Increasing use of drugs and alcohol. 9. Being accident prone. 10. Losing your appetite or overeating.PHYSIOLOGY1. Perspiration /sweaty hands. 2. Increased heart beat. 3. Trembling. 4. Nervous ticks. 5. Dryness of throat and mouth. 6. Tiring easily. 7. Urinating frequently. 8. Sleeping problems. 9. Diarrhea / indigestion / vomiting. 10. Butterflies in stomach. 11. Headaches. 12. Premenstrual tension. 13. Pain in the neck and or lower back. 14. Loss of appetite or overeating. 15. Susceptibility to illness.CAUSES OF STRESSBoth positive and negative events in one's life can be stressful.However, major life changes are the greatest contributors of stress for most people.They place the greatest demand on resources for coping.MAJOR LIFE CHANGES THAT CAN BE STRESSFUL1. Geographic mobility. 2. Going to college. 3. Transfer to a new school. 4. Marriage. 5. Pregnancy. 6. New job. 7. New life style. 8. Divorce. 9. Death of a loved one. 10. Being fired from your job.ENVIRONMENTAL EVENTS THAT CAN BE STRESSFUL1. Time pressure. 2. Competition. 3. Financial problems. 4. Noise. 5. Disappointments. HOW TO REDUCE STRESSMany stresses can be changed, eliminated, or minimized.Here are some things you can do to reduce your level of stress:1. Become aware of your own reactions to stress.2. Reinforce positive self-statements.3. Focus on your good qualities and accomplishments.4. Avoid unnecessary competition.5. Develop assertive behaviors.6. Recognize and accept your limits. Remember that everyone is unique and different.7. Get a hobby or two.Relax and have fun.8. Exercise regularly.9. Eat a balanced diet daily.10.Talk with friends or someone you can trust about your worries/problems.11.Learn to use your time wisely:a. Evaluate how you are budgeting your time.b. Plan ahead and avoid procrastination.c. Make a weekly schedule and try to follow it.12.Set realistic goals.13.Set priorities.14.When studying for an exam, study in short blocks and gradually lengthen the time you spend studying.Take frequent short breaks.15.Practice relaxation techniques.For example, whenever

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you feel tense, slowly breathe in and out for several minutes. HELP ! WHERE TO FIND ITCounseling Center 645-2720 120 Richmond Quad Ellicott Complex--------------------------------------Copyright, Counseling Center, State University of New York at Buffalo, 1994. -----------Study Habits and Test Anxiety-- Counseling Center Division of Student Affairs State University of New York at Buffalo 120 Richmond Quad Buffalo, NY 14261 USA 716-645-2720 couns-ctr@acsu.buffalo.edu The Immediate EnvironmentThe environment in which you study can have a big effect on how efficient your study time is.Check your place of study for the following conditions:NOISE INTERRUPTIONS LIGHTING TEMPERATURE NEATNESS COMFORT EQUIPMENT Minimize distracting noise. Some people need some sound and some like silence.Find what works for you.Culprits are family and friends.Consider a "do not disturb sign" and turning on your answering machine.You can catch up with folks later.75 watt bulbs are best, but not too close and placed opposite the dominant hand.Better cool than warm.Have plenty of room to work; don't be cramped.Your study time will go better if you take a few minutes at the start to straighten things up.A desk and straight-backed chair is usually best.Don't get too comfortable--a bed is a place to sleep,not study.Have everything (book, pencils, paper, coffee, dictionary, typewriter, calculator, tape recorder, etc.)close at hand. Don't spend your time jumping up and down to get things.PREPARING FOR OR ANTICIPATING TEST ANXIETYWhat is it you have to do?Focus on dealing with it.Just take one step at a time.Think about what you can do about it.That's better than getting anxious.No negative or panicky self-statements; just think rationally.Don't worry; worrying won't help anything. CONFRONTING AND HANDLING TEST ANXIETYDon't think about fear; just think about what you have to do.Stay relevant.Relax; you're in control. Take a slow, deep breath.You should expect some anxiety; it's a reminder not to panic and to relax and cope steadily with the situation.Tenseness can be an ally, a friend; it's a cue to cope. COPING WITH THE FEELING OF BEING OVERWHELMEDWhen the fear comes, just pause.Keep the focus on the present; what is it you have to do?You should expect your fear to rise some.Don't try to eliminate fear totally; just keep it manageable.You can convince yourself to do it.You can reason your fear away.It's not the worst thing that can happen.Do something that will prevent you from thinking about fear.Describe what is around you.That way you won't think about worrying. REINFORCING SELF-STATEMENTSIt worked!You did it!It wasn't as bad as you expected.You made more out of the fear than it was worth.You're getting better.You're learning to cope more smoothly.You can be pleased with your progress.You like how you handled it.You can be proud of it. Adapted from Asserting Yourself, Bower, Sharon Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., 1976. LIST OF SELF VERBALIZATIONS The list below contains some common thoughts and worries

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which many test anxious people have.Check those which you can identify with most.Feel free to add statements which more accurately reflect what usually goes on in your head. A. Worry About Performance___I should have studied more...I'll never get through.___I just want to finish and get out of here and hope for the best.___I don't know anything...what's the matter with me.___My minds a blank...I'll never get the answer...I must really be stupid.___I can't figure out what the professor wants...no way I'll do well on this test.___I can't remember a thing...this always happens to me...I never do well on anything.___Only 10 minutes left...there are so many questions...I'll never get through everything.___I just can't think...why did I ever take this course.___It's no use...might as well give up.___I knew this stuff yesterday...what's wrong with me.___My mind's a blank...I'm just not cut out for this.___I have to get an A...smart people always get A's.___This stuff is easy...I should get everything right.___This is terrible, absolutely the worst test I've ever had.___I'm just a no good, terrible, worthless person. B. Worry About Bodily Reactions___I'm sick...I'll never get through.___I'm sweating all over...it's really hot in here.___My hands are shaking again...can't even hold the lousy pen.___My stomach's going crazy...churning and jumping.___Here it comes...I'm getting really tense again...normal people just don't get like this. C. Worry About How Others Are Doing___ I know everyone's doing better than I am.___ I must be the dumbest one in the class.___ I'm going to be the last one done again...I must really be stupid.___ No one else seems to be having trouble...am I the only one? D. Worry About Possible Negative Consequences:If I fail this test, I'll:___flunk the course___be kicked out of school___never get into graduate school___have to get A's on the midterm and final___have to go to summer school___never get a good grade___never graduate on time___never get the kind of job I want___my family (or friends, boyfriend/girlfriend, teacher, etc.) will really be disappointed in me...I'll never be able to face them again___everyone will think I'm stupid...I'll really be embarrassed GOAL SETTING - Be sure your goals are your own. It's your life.Do what means most to you.Self-set goals are better motivators than those imposed by others.- Put goals in writing.This will lessen the odds of losing sight of your goals in the shuffle of daily activity. Writing goals also increases your commitment.- Make your goals challenging but attainable.Good goals are neither too easy nor impossible.They should cause you to stretch and grow.A challenging, attainable goal will hold your interest and keep you motivated.- Goals should be as specific and measurable as possible. Don't say, "I want a better job."Ask yourself:What kind of job?Making how much money?In what industry?Living where?Requiring what kind of skill?By when?Specify clearly what you want and you will save an enormous amount of time and effort.- Every goal should have a target date.Never think of a goal as a goal until you set a deadline for accomplishment.- Check your major goals for compatibility.Don't fall into the trap of setting major goals where the achievement of one will prevent the attainment of another.- Frequently revise and update your goals.As a growing person your needs will change over time, and this means goals will have to be modified, discarded and added from time to time.Plan flexibly.Don't think of your goals as carved in stone.

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Counseling Center Division of Student Affairs 120 Richmond Quad. 645-2720--------------------------------------Copyright, Counseling Center, State University of New York at Buffalo, 1994. ----------

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