What is time management?
One definition of time management I found is the ability to use one’s time effectively or productively, especially at work. There are many more variations, but they all relate to accomplishing tasks and being productive while removing that overwhelming feeling.
For me, time management is allotting the correct amount of time to complete my established goals and objectives.
The older I become, the more valuable my time seems to be. I tried to turn back the clock, but that did not seem to work. This year, I set some lofty goals, and I realize that I sometimes find myself struggling to check them off.
I have a lot I want to accomplish not only this year. So, I set out and listed my major tasks that keep me busy: working, taking two classes, and trying to run 2,016 miles, and spending time with my family. I found out very quickly that my little my pie is sliced into many slices, and there are no crumbs left over at the end of the day/week. I do not feel overwhelmed (at the moment), but I do not feel overly busy either.
The list below (in no particular order) is how I try to manage and prioritize my time each day/week:
- Get a good night’s sleep
I try to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night. This helps me not only heal, but also recharge my battery. If I toss and turn or I get less than seven hours of quality sleep, then my productivity is going to suffer.
- Make a to-do list / use a calendar
I use my calendar for everything! This not only helps me prioritize my day, but it also keeps me on task (both professionally & personally). Getting caught up in non-meaningful tasks will surely set me back. Keeping a list/schedule of items to accomplish allows me to stay focused.
- Take my work (or homework) with me…if I can
Sometimes, I will take work with me if I know I will have a lull somewhere during the day. I am probably the worst passenger – I am always writing, reading, or doing something productive.
- It is okay to say NO
I have done this many times, especially lately. If I have too much to do or if someone insists on me doing something else. I have to either tell them no or request that I tackle this issue tomorrow.
- Dedicate time to homework
Homework will be part of my life for the next two and a half years. I try to set aside a couple of hours every night (outside of the classroom) to my studies.
- Budget available time
I only have 24 hours allotted to me each day – after sleeping, working, running, and homework that leaves me approximately four hours (or less) of available time. Some of this time is consumed by transiting from one item/task to another. I try to build a buffer between tasks, so they each have adequate time. If the item can wait until the weekend then I will add it to the weekend to-do list (honey-do-list).
- Starting the day off with the most important task
I know before I wake up what my most import task is going to be. After breakfast and coffee of course! Getting this task out of the way first leaves me feeling relieved and lets me focus on the next objective/task at hand.
- Eating healthy
Being last on the list does not make it the least important. I know from personal experience, if I eat healthier then I feel energized and productive. When I fall into the trap, I become sluggish and want to veg.
Once the time has passed there is no way to recover it, so be mindful of the time you have and use it wisely.