My name is Andrea Saavedra-Nieto and I am the GEAR UP First Year College Advisor at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). First-generation college graduate, TRiO Scholar and Upward Bound Alum. Graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish Language and Literature and International Affairs from the University of Nevada, Reno. From rural Nevada, GO VAQUEROS. I love Latin American music, food and culture. Studied Abroad in Costa Rica and had the opportunity to visit Nicaragua and Panama. PURA VIDA, mae!

During this pandemic I found myself wasting time due to the lack of structure in my life. Being in an office environment with personal interaction with students and coworkers I was help accountable by time and space. At home, it was difficult to feel this accountability.

I researched multiple time management techniques and I would like to share them with you. Time management is one of those issues we all face, but (ironically) feel like we don’t have the time to address. But, as Benjamin Franklin once said, time is like money. Without being managed properly, how do you know where it’s going?

On most days, time seems to fly by. One minute you’re settling in to answer a few emails and all of a sudden, it’s time to go home. Do a time audit to set your intentions and see where your time currently goes.

In its most basic form, a time audit consists of 3 steps:

  1. Write down your intentions (i.e., How do you want to spend your time?)
  2. Look at personal data on how you actually spend your time
  3. Adjust, set new intentions, and track progress

Doing this audit, I found that my intentions where not reflected in my daily actions. A method that works for me is the Ivy Lee Method. Short lists are more bearable than that never ending list.

The Ivy Lee Method

A simple daily routine for achieving peak productivity:

  1. At the end of each work/school day, write down the six most important things you need to accomplish tomorrow. Do not write down more than six tasks.
  2. Prioritize those six items in order of their true importance.
  3. When you arrive tomorrow, concentrate only on the first task. Work until the first task is finished before moving on to the second task.
  4. Approach the rest of your list in the same fashion. At the end of the day, move any unfinished items to a new list of six tasks for the following day.
  5. Repeat this process every working day.

These two tactics work for me but I challenge you to find what works best for your learning and life style. Remember that Life is 10%, what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. It is not luck. It is SKILL. Take control of your time. If not now, when?