September 28, 2009

The importance of time management

For the past few days of meetings and classes, I learned that one of the most important things that AIM students value was the rare commodity called TIME. The professors weren't kidding when they said that the pre-MBA class(with courses which would have lasted for a semester in other schools) was nothing compared to the actual MBA.

I've acquired a taste for coffee of the bitter and sugary kind. I've learned to value breaks more and plan ahead when it comes to readings and meetings with my CAN groupmates. While it is a technique still far from being perfect, at least I've started to make more use of the available time at hand. You have to learn to manage the time you spend when doing case readings and meetings as a lot of Cohort 5 can attest. Even some of our professors constantly reminded us to spend just 1 hour and 30 minutes with our case discussions with the CAN group. It was an adjustment period for most of us I think, with the in-your-face realization of what can happen should one not take advantage of the available time. A lot of us spent back to back days sleeping at 3, 4 or 5 in the morning because of this.

Some useful things to know:
1. Read the case before meeting and do the case analysis beforehand.- doing this saves time in discussions and saves everyone from having to wait for others to finish.

2. If you haven't read the case completely, make sure to skim and highlight the important points that you come across. If you don't get it the first time, at least when meeting time comes you can discuss those concepts with your group mates. One professor even said, "Do not show up for meetings if you didn't read at all." You have to know the topic, if not the charts or data.

3. Listen, listen, listen. - Everyone will get their chances to speak. Unfortunately, like in in the real world, not all people want to open themselves to other people's perspectives. But as a CAN group, it really is important that people slow down and listen. Who knows, maybe what you want or mean to say has already been said by the other. Maybe you just spent so much time thinking your idea in your head that you didn't recognize it.

4. Get sleep every chance that you can.

Well, they weren't kidding when they said it was like a boot camp. But like any boot camp, trainees eventually get used to it. Better yet, trainees eventually turn into excellent soldiers, able to devise their own strategies to manage the precious commodity that is TIME.

We're all looking forward to sleep. Eventually we'll all get that coveted 6 or 8 hours of sleep a day that we all crave for.