Contrary to the what one may think time management is not the management of time. Time itself cannot be managed but rather it is one’s ability to use time effectively or productively. Time management is a challenge no matter who you are, but for me especially. I am a wife, mother, a full time professional and a full-time student, managing my affectivities can be a struggle at times. Experts offer advice as to what makes for the “best” time management processes. However, one needs to evaluate what works best for them. I have tried many of systems, from calendars to phone apps to management systems, and I have yet to find the perfect system.
Even though I may struggle, I have found a system that works for me. A combination of electronic lists and calendars keeps me organized and on task. Is this a perfect system? No, not at all. For example, these past two weeks have been very busy at work, which has impacted my management of my daily tasks. What went wrong? In looking back, I did not manage the tasks at hand effectively; I let the additional work affect my schedule. Had I reevaluated my workload and redistributed my tasks I would. Other time robbers for me are TV shows, games on my phone, and lack of sleep. When I have not had enough rest, I find I lack in motivation and am not able to complete my daily tasks. At times completing all of my work in the allotted time is hard and I need to sacrifice sleep to complete a school assignment or a work project. Constantly doing this affects my ability to produce quality work, which then requires more of my time. When I have ineffective time management, in the end, my children suffer, this to me is sad and can be avoidable. To not sacrifice time with my children I need to evaluate and put in place a better time management system.
To ensure that I am giving everything in my life the adequate time and attention, I need to reevaluate my system. In doing so, I have come to the conclusion that I need to try a structured schedule. For example, Sundays our new academic week starts, I am always up before my children are. I will utilize the time before they wake up to review my week's assignments and lessons. Having the weekly lesson in mind will allow me to think about the material throughout the day and week. I will dedicate the remainder of Sunday to my children, whether it has them at my side doing chores or playing outside. This time in invaluable and can never be returned to a parent.
To keep up with school demands, I will take out time during my work day to review my school materials, even if it is during my lunch break. Taking my lunch to complete this will allow me to have a free hour at home with my children, or even allow me to get o bed an hour earlier. Setting deadlines for items and knowing when I am are expected to complete an item, is imperative for me. I use my phone calendar for almost everything and have alerts set up as reminders. For me to get back on track creating reminders or alerts of such will remind me to take a step back and see what needs to be completed next. Working on a big project along with little ones at the same time will help me to manage my time better. For example, if I have a project that is due in a month and one in two weeks, instead of waiting to start the one that is due later, I work on the two projects simultaneously allotting more time to the project due sooner and less time to the one due later. I will be able to accomplish both without feeling overwhelmed and out of time.
In the end, time management can be viewed at as a juggling act. One needs to learn to juggle all aspects of life without dropping one of the balls. When the load becomes heavier in one area, one needs to learn to redistribute the load to be effective and productive. I will never master the art of time of management, is it a moving and evolving process. Acknowledging this and my flaws will allow me only to keep perfecting my skills.
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