Students: Store This Away for August

Everyone else, read it now and start practicing.

Marc Andreessen has put together a list of things to do to become more productive. Given that “multitasking” is now a must for everyone, finding a way to control our time is critically important. And with the total invasion of computers into our lives, we need to find ways to manage not just time but content, as well.

I fully admit to the email endorphin-rush problem – I check it constantly. Three minutes until class starts? I’ve got time to check it, because there may be something critically important my students need me to bring to class there. (Like I could ever consume and regurgitate something of value in three minutes, but this is my television past coming out – it needs to get out there now!)

For students, getting into good workflow habits will help you tremendously. A colleague refers to his class as a “non-linear learning experience.” (His way of saying he’ll be making this up as he goes along.) But, really, you have five professors, a boss and maybe a couple of newspaper editors all telling you their work is the most important work of the semester – how do you balance that? (Better yet, how do you tell everyone else that your photojournalism work is the most important work?) If you don’t have a system in place, it can turn into a nightmare.

Post Script: Don’t forget to take a look at this post on a site about managing your academic life.

Mark E. Johnson

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