Friday, March 28, 2014

Time Management

I took several courses in college. One that was mandatory and an early requirement was the course regarding time management. This made sense because, in order to be successful in college, especially the online courses I attended, you needed to be able to effectively manage your time. There was no boss, no schedule, and no immediate repercussions if you didn't do the work on time; you simply failed. During my couple of years at the University of Phoenix, I managed my time very well. One of the major reasons I was able to effectively control my schedule was because I was young and didn't have any real commitments outside of my job. I was unmarried, no girlfriend, no kids, and only a dog to look after. Life was simpler, structured, but a little hollow.

Now, however, I have much less free time available. I have volunteer work I do on the side for the Red Cross, I have a steady girlfriend who has two children, and she also has three cats and another dog. The bulk of my time is spent with them, and I thoroughly enjoy every minute of it. So much so, in fact, that I have neglected some of my other passions and responsibilities. She has made sacrifices as well, so it got me thinking. How do we get everything we want with minimal sacrifice? The free time is much harder to come by. Every second I finally have available appears to be a second I need to be spending taking care of something else. I love the time I spend with my girlfriend and her kids, but my time management skills really need to be fine-tuned with this new life I have acquired.

With that in mind, I try to reflect back on some of the teachings.

  1. Schedule the day. Don't just have an idea of what you're going to go, select time slots. If you start running over on a slot, skip it for now, and begin the next item. It'll be hectic at first, but you'll get an idea for what you need to do.
  2. Successful people typically plan a day the night before. This way, the mind subconsciously starts working out ideas as you sleep, and the next morning, you have a better idea of how the day is going to go.
  3. Prepare. Simply put, this is part of the day scheduling. Set up goals, but in order to meet the goals, you need to have a plan in place.
  4. Take time for yourself. This part is important. You will burn out and not do anything if you don't take at least 20-30 minutes a day to just do something you enjoy, meditate, relax, nap, something. Me, I use the time to research dreams, ideas, plans, goals, etc. I love that, and I love my tech stuff. It's been helping.
  5. Ask for help. If you're overwhelmed, there's no shame in trying to get help achieving things.
  6. Help others. It's part of the rule above, but it feels great to help others, puts coins in the Karma bank, and genuinely helps to motivate yourself to complete other tasks.
  7. Try to exercise, eat healthy, and generally take care of yourself. You'll get more accomplished, have more energy, and feel better overall if the diet and exercise is balanced.
My girlfriend is truly an amazing person. All I would have to do is tell her that I want to start budgeting my and our time better, and she would probably start drawing up schedules and get plans together immediately.

But to sum up, that's it. My pearls of knowledge after a few years' absence from the classes. There are a few things I've neglected that I need to take advantage of again, but hopefully, it'll get back on track soon. A new rhythm is already starting to get established at home, and it's starting to work out much better. I just need to be a little more disciplined with myself.

No comments:

Post a Comment