The Importance of Time Management for the Adult Learner

Topics: Education, University, Full-time Pages: 5 (1919 words) Published: January 17, 2014

The Importance of Time Management for the Adult Learner
COLL 100 Foundations of Online Learning
American Military University
The Importance of Time Management for the Adult Learner
Time management is a critical skill that is needed in many different aspects of life. We need to manage our time while caring for our family at home, while at work and also for any other hobbies or interests, such as college. The typical college student is no longer the teenager who just graduated high school. A large majority of college students are considered adult learners. The adult learner is someone who enrolls in college later in life as an adult with more responsibilities. As an adult college student there are far more challenges than as a teenage college student. The majority of adult students blame the reason why they struggle in school or delay going back to school is time restriction (Arthur & Tait, 2004, p. 2). Time management is the key to success for an adult enrolled in college. Time management, as defined by Oxford Dictionaries is, “the ability to use one’s time effectively or productively; especially at work” (“Time Management,” 2013). It is not only crucial to use time effectively and productively in the workplace but also at home, in school and any other tasks that take up time in the day. C. Shields (1994) describes time management as, “The art of balancing your efforts, prioritizing what you could do as opposed to what you should do. It requires you to make choices and postpone short-term gratification for long-term gains. Managing your time means overcoming the bad habits that allow you to put off what needs to be done. It means controlling yourself” (p. 93). It is important to maximize available time and find a balance between home, work and school. The best way to maximize available time is to plan all that you can (Shields, 1994, p. 95). Planning out your time in advance will help the adult student look ahead to what time is available for all of their responsibilities. The use of a monthly calendar and day to day planner are useful tools (Shields, 1994, p. 95). It is important to find a balance with all the responsibilities and activities an adult student may have. According to Ashby and Abbot in the article, Too Little Time to Learn “mature adult students often find it difficult to cope with the various personal and work related demands made on time available for study and professional development” (Ashby & Abbot, 1999, p.3). The fact is there are only twenty four hours in a day. One person can only do so much with their personal time (“Time Management for Adult Learners” 2005). Realistically a person needs approximately eight hours to rest, most working people spend approximately eight to nine hours at work, leaving eight hours for other daily demands (Tait & Arthur, 2004, p. 3). The last eight hours available are what need to be utilized for family, school and other interests. This can be done effectively if the adult learner is motivated. If an adult learner is not motivated to manage their time the likelihood of success is decreased. Ineffective time management can cause many things to go incomplete or get turned in late, increase stress on the adult student, and overall may cause the student to give up. Effective time management can increase the student’s motivation and success, reduce their stress level, and increase their sense of fulfillment (Girard, 1999).

Managing a family and working towards a degree of higher education can be very demanding. It is important to have the support of your spouse, children and loved ones while working towards a degree (Shields, 1994, p. 90). Men and women play different roles in the household. According to Charles Shields, “the more the traditional roles and responsibilities within the family, the greater the guilt the woman experienced about her student role,” (Shields, 1994, p. 90). Generally, female students feel more pressure and strain then...

References: Arthur, L., & Tait, A. (2004). Too Little Time to Learn? Issues and Challenges for Those in Work. Studies in the Education of Adults, 36(2), 222-234.
Chang, D. (2013, September, 4). More Tips on Managing Your Time. MidWeek, pp. 28.
Fry, R. (2012). Get Organized. Boston, MA: Course Technology, a part of Cengage Learning.
Girard, F. (1999). The Benefits of Effective Time Management. Retrieved from
Sargant, N. (2000). The Learning Divide Revisted. Leicester: NIACE.
Shields, C. (1994). Back in School A Guide for Adult Learners. Hawthorne, NJ: Career Press.
Time Management for Adult Learners. (2005). First Steps A Beginner’s Guide to University. Time Management for Adult Learners. Retrieved from:
Time management. (2013). Retrieved from
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