There will be times in college when it seems impossible to get everything done. This is especially very true four weeks into the semester when there are a lot of tests.
There is a concept discovered by Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist, called the 80/20 principle. The principle has wide spread application. In our context, the principle can be started like this: 20% of the things you need to do make up 80% of what’s really important.
What would be in the 20%? The types of activities that are in the 20% would be such things as:
- Studying for tests.
- Going to class.
- Doing homework in a learning center.
What would be the 80%? Some typical activities in this category would be:
- Spending extra time on an assignment that has minimal value.
- Studying in front of a TV set.
- Studying for a test where you are constantly interrupted.
- Spending time on an assignment that you don’t understand, which you could have sought help on.
Here are some strategies for setting priorities
- Focus your time on those activities that will make your work easier to do
- Go to class
- Use learning centers
- Use websites to help supplement what you don’t understand
- Become efficient in doing the 20% activitiesBecome organized so you don’t waste time. See the topic: Staying Organized
- Study with friends and teach each other
- Study where you won’t be interrupted physically or electronically
- Become organized so you don’t waste time. See the Topic Staying Organized.
- Don’t mix the 20% activities with other activities. Focus entirely on the 20%. This will give you more time to enjoy the college experience once you have the 20% completed.
Perhaps the key to all of these suggestions is to develop a strategy for spending your time..