Ask any MBA graduate the time management question about two weekends after graduation and you will get the same answer, “I have so much free time now, I don’t know how to handle it! “
All MBA students in part-time or weekend programs are balancing their job, family, and now the additional MBA program requirements such as class time, group meetings, readings, and assignments. For some people, their day also includes social media, household chores, friends, and work travel. When you count the must-haves like sleep, personal hygiene, and meals, you quickly exceed 24 hours per day. Time Management is a key skill for success in your MBA program.
So how do successful MBA students manage their time?
Focus and defer.
Focus means spending time on absolute necessities: Family, Work, Personal, and your MBA program. Let’s assume that your family fully supports your goal of an MBA degree. Respect their support by staying fully engaged with your spouse, children, and parents. Keep your employer relationship solid by beginning to incorporate MBA learnings into your work. Keep your personal requirements for sleep, meals, and exercise going. If your body slows down, so does your brain. Lastly, keep your MBA program as a high priority and strive to make time for it every day. Doing assignments during lunch is a good thing.
Defer usually means dropping social media, streaming entertainment, and leisure activities. As I mentioned here, “The average person spends over two hours per day on social media. Cutting this by 50% will give you 7 hours per week for your MBA studies”. It is ok to not binge-watch the latest season of the Walking Dead or Star Trek as soon as it is released. After graduation, you can stream them from the beach.
Time Management tools
Your smartphone is a powerful tool for time management. Setting reminders, scheduling group meetings, voice memos, group chat, and notes are tools that I recommend. The Google suite and Evernote can be useful mobile apps. Some people like the Pomodoro Technique, or the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
As my high school English teacher often said “Time will pass, will you?”