This is an updated version of an extremely popular time management article I wrote in 2000. That original article was geared towards shareware developers, so I’ve rewritten much of it to broaden its appeal. I’ve also added about 70% new content.
This article explains the time management principles I used to graduate college in three semesters with two degrees (computer science and math). I do not feel these principles are unique by any means — you’ll find them mentioned in plenty of other time management books. However, I believe the strength of this article is that it explains how all these different techniques can work together to achieve a specific goal which might otherwise be impossible. I’ve read many books on time management, but I’ve seldom encountered case studies where the author applies all the techniques together to achieve a well-defined goal with an almost superhuman degree of efficiency.
During college I certainly wasn’t doing polyphasic sleep, nor was I much of an early riser. In fact, I made sure that I got at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night, often sleeping in late on weekends. One semester I had to schedule a 7:30 am class, and I would usually ditch it so I could sleep in. But even if I could have been a bit more efficient back then, I don’t think it would have allowed me to reach my goal any sooner. For me to have graduated in less than three semesters would have required some kind of special arrangement because it would probably have been impossible to schedule 50-60 hours worth of individual classes each week with no conflicts. It was hard enough to schedule 30-40 hours and still meet all my requirements. Some days I had as many as 10 classes back-to-back. And one time I had four 3-hour final exams on the same day.
This article is very long — almost 8000 words — so it’s more like a book chapter than an article. This is the sort of thing you’ll want to read with a cup of tea and a pen, not something you’d want to quickly scan in a web browser or feed reader. I suggest printing it out for later if you don’t have time to read it now. Every article you print from this site will be formatted nicely when printed — no ads, no sidebar, no navigation elements.
This article is very dense with time management ideas and personal examples of how I applied each one, so while I’m obviously biased, I think it will be well worth your time to read it.
Enjoy the article: Do It Now