The University of Connecticut has started a brand-new initiative designed to teach students leadership and organizational skills. Let’s Talk Leadership is a new series of virtual workshops, each designed to give UConn students an introduction to a different skill set. Their latest event, The Power of Time & Prioritizing, took place last night.
The Power of Time & Prioritizing was an interactive Zoom conference focused on teaching students how to effectively manage their schedule and balance the often overwhelming amount of tasks college students can face on a daily basis. Throughout the workshop, many simple, but effective, time management tips were provided. These pieces of advice seemed to focus on teaching students how to plan their day in a way that is efficient, realistic and manageable.
The workshop was led by Cassandra Gonzalez, a first-year master’s student in UConn’s higher education and student affairs program.
“Time management is important in school and your life in general,” said Gonzalez. “Even if you’re not in school, it’s important to manage everything you’re doing in order to get everything that you want done.”
At the beginning of the workshop, each participant was given a hypothetical to-do list. The list ranged from simple activities, like eating lunch or attending a friend’s birthday party, to more complex tasks, like studying for an exam or writing a five-page paper. Each participant was asked to create their own schedule based on the list. The group then came together to discuss how they decided to order their list of tasks and which tasks they felt were most important.
“The most important thing I took away is that I have a to-do list, but I don’t have a timed to-do list,” Andre Rogers, a first-year graduate student in the social work program said.
Following this activity, Gonzalez gave examples of several different methods students can use to organize their own to-do lists. The students were encouraged to find out which organizational method works best for them. For example, one person may prefer to keep a physical calendar while others work best with virtual tools.
One aspect of the workshop that stood out was the time that was given to the topic of self-care. The message was repeatedly reinforced that if you don’t set aside enough time for basic necessities such as eating and sleeping, you will be unable to complete your work. This mindset also extended to leisure activities. Several times throughout the event, students were reminded of the importance of fitting breaks into their schedule, rather than trying to get as many things done as possible, in order to prevent burn-out.
Another original element of the workshop was the focus on motivation. The students were encouraged to set goals for their day and find ways to motivate themselves to reach these goals. One idea that was repeatedly tossed around was to watch a motivational Ted Talk before starting your work.
Let’s Talk Leadership will be running several more virtual, interactive workshops this semester. Their workshop calendar for the month can be found on the Let’s Talk Leadership UConntact page. The sessions are available to all UConn students.