The Lead Center Time Management Workshop 

Emma Delk, Staff Reporter

On Thursday, September 2nd, Fairmont State University’s Learning Enrichment and Academic Development (LEAD) Center hosted a Time Management seminar as part of their series of workshops centered around planning. This event was in collaboration with Exploratory Advising at Fairmont State, with Amie Fazalare, Director of Legacy Engagement/Academic Success Coordinator at Fairmont State, and Megan Jones, Academic Success Coordinator at Fairmont State, hosting the event. Brittany Cuchta, Coordinator of the LEAD Center, also sat in on the event. The seminar took place both in-person and online at the LEAD Center.  

The event began with Fazalare presenting an easy way to picture how one prioritizes their time called “The Mayonnaise Jar”. The jar shown is first filled with large rocks, and Fazalare asks if the jar is full. The audience says yes. Then, smaller rocks are added in between the larger rocks. The audience, now more skeptical, still says the jar is full. Then water is added between the rocks, fling the jar to the brim. The audience once again says the jar is full, which it now actually is.  

The idea of the “Mayonnaise Jar” is that there are big and small ways one can spend their time and that one should always fill the jar with the large, important things first, such as family or eating. Then one can spend the time filling in the cracks with other smaller, less important things, such as their school work or career. Then, if there is space left, the least important activities can fill in things, which would be watching TV or playing video games. It is important to remember with this illustration that the larger rocks must always go in first, while one can always add on smaller things. 

Next, Fazalare covered Stephen Covey’s Time Matrix, which is another way to prioritize and divide one’s time. The Time Matrix is divided into four quadrants of necessity, starting with Quadrant 1, which is filled with “Important and Urgent” things. These are activities that must be done that day or the next day. Quadrant 2 is “Important Not Urgent”, which could be assignments due later in the week or month, but are not pressing things to do. Quadrant 3 is  

“Urgent Not Important”, which are things such as an online sale at a store, which is time-sensitive, but not important for one to do. The final Quadrant 4 is “Not Important or Urgent”, which is anything that we do not really need to do, such as watching a movie or TV show.  

Fazalare explained that we typically spend most of our time in Quadrants 1 and 4, as we either are doing assignments that are urgent or doing things for leisure that are of no help. Instead of spending all our time in these two quadrants, Fazalare stressed that we should aim to spend most of our time in Quadrant 2, which are things that are “Important Not Urgent”. When one spends more time in Quadrant 2, they do not have to spend as much inside the stressful Quadrant 1. The more time one spends in Quadrant 1, the more one is in “fight or flight”, and one has less time to take care of themselves while trying to cram assignments in. One should aim for Quadrant 2, completing things for the long-term, not getting caught up in the short-term rush of deadlines from Quadrant 1, or the time-wasting trap of spending too much time in Quadrant 4.  

Next, Fazalare and Jones presented points for productive studying. One point they stressed was, as Fazalare put it, “Study during your prime time.” Each student’s primetime can be different, one can prefer studying in the morning, another at night, but one should make sure that they set this primetime aside to do their studying, instead of reserving it for other activities. Both of them stressed simply getting into the flow of scheduling things, and not overloading oneself with information when one begins scheduling out their time. As one gets into the flow of the semester and their classes, one can begin to expand the detail within their schedule down to a daily schedule where one knows what to do for every hour of each day.  

At the end of the presentation, Jones shared how she has seen students that had great success in high school struggle in college, and the opposite happen of those who found high school challenging thriving in college. The difference-maker for students when they reach the college level is time management, as Jones says, “It’s not what you know coming into college, it’s how you manage your time in college.” The LEAD Center is there to help students with scheduling and handling their time in college. A seminar about different types of planners is being held at the LEAD Center at 12:30 on Thursday, September 9th