The Challenge of Developing Time Management Skills in College



How is it that the above graphic encapsulates the past few months I spent writing Perfect Time-Based Productivity – A Professional Approach? (The book is 90% complete and will be released in September on Kindle.) This graphic is a perfect example of some of what I had to do to bring it to this point. It shows:

  • How I filled some huge gaps in knowledge that counter the prevailing wisdom. For example, college students arrive on campus with skills they are already using to manage their time, yet the majority of orientation programs designed to help them skip over this fact, leaving them with little or none of the specific assistance they really need. Researchers aren’t clear on this point so I had to push the issue in my book – arguing that if ALL the research showing that incoming freshman have some skills, and NONE of the research showed they lack all skills, that many researchers were simply incorrect in their starting assumptions. Of course, students know that they wouldn’t be in college if they didn’t have some productivity skills. Duh.
  • Why people are so confused, and give confusing advice in the area of time-based productivity. Search YouTube for videos on “Why time management doesn’t exist.” This year alone, they have been rolling out one after another emphasizing a fact that many already understand, including many incoming freshmen. People who try to manage (or control) time fail from the start – just try to video someone “managing their time,” show it to another person and ask them what’s going on in the film. Instead, we need to shift our attention to managing a psychological object I have labelled a “time demand.” Once you get the hang of seeing them, the confusion lifts.
  • The value of scientific research. I have researched a number of universities and their time management websites designed to help students. They are a bit embarrassing on a whole. They simply haven’t kept up with the most recent books on the topic which don’t happen to come from academia. Within academia there have been some fantastic insights published, but they happen to reside in numerous fields. Psychology. Industrial engineering. Management. Adult Learning. Philosophy. Multidisciplinary research is very hard to conduct within university environments. A college adviser who needs to pull together some time management content for incoming students simply doesn’t have time to read 100 papers. Instead, they’ll just visit another college’s page and do some linking. (The Stanford page on time management for students is quite popular.)

These are just a few of the concepts I have wrestled into my book. To sign up for early notification including free launch bonuses, visit my book’s website and join the list for further information.