Foundations for Doctoral Success in Public Health

Time Management

Alexis Carrel, a 1912 Nobel Prize Laureate, offered the following bit of advice in his book Reflections on Life: “The most efficient way to live reasonably is every morning to make a plan of one’s day and every night to examine the results obtained” (Carrel, 2018, p.138). Carrel continues by reminding his readers that they know many things in advance: what time work begins and ends, how much they get paid, who they expect to see in a given day. But he also encourages readers to plan ahead on how to help others, plan for physical exercise, and even how to handle adversity, selfishness or “curb our tendency to overindulgence” (Carrel, 2018, p.138).

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Starting a doctoral program requires a considerable commitment of your time and energy, and it’s important to be realistic about that time commitment in order to be successful. Good planning starts now, in this first course in the program. Starting good time management habits and employing effective strategies to accomplish your schoolwork now will pay dividends over the course of your program.

It is likely that a considerable part of your day is already planned for you . . . tasks to be completed at work, for instance. What does the rest of your day look like? Have you planned for family time, exercise, or mental well-being activities, meals, commuting to and from work, your doctoral studies? In addition to planning for all of these activities, you should “examine the results” of your plans. The information you gain from reflecting on the results can be useful when it comes to planning future needs, schedules, or adapting your current plan to accommodate needed changes to be efficient and effective.

In this Assignment, you will consider the time you have in an average week and plan out where your time is spent, how well you manage your time, and how you will manage your time during your doctoral study program. You will also examine best practices for being effective and efficient moving forward.

During Week 6, using the second tab of the Excel Time Management Template, map out the time you expect to spend on work, family, school, community, sleep, and your free time.

During Week 7, using the third tab of the Time Management Template, track the actual time you spent on work, family, school, community, sleep, and your free time for the second week of the module.

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