I do not intend to establish any new time management theory. The three levels are as simple as the following:
- Wasting time. That is, doing things that are (almost) purely a waste of time, without any value added. Well, you probably wouldn’t call it time management at all. This is the lowest level.
- Fully utilizing time. Consuming every minute doing things that are meaningful and beneficial in some ways.
- Maximizing the utility of time. Doing everything that is the most important and meaningful at each hour, with rational marginal-cost-marginal-benefit analysis. This should be the ideal situation among the three.
Aware of it or not, many of our fellow students are sometimes still in the entry level of time management as listed here. For example, a student may set her alarm clock to ring every five minutes starting from 7am; however, she does not get up until 8am. The hour from 7 to 8 is close to a pure waste: she doesn’t either sleep well or do something more meaningful than lying uncomfortably in the bed damning herself. So how to resolve it? Simply set your alarm at eight, or get up and find something to do.