Treading in Deep Water

As my senior year begins, I find myself reflecting back to the idea of ‘time management.’ We have heard this term before, and I have previously blogged about it also.  This semester, I feel myself barely treading water.  Have you ever felt this way?  In between four classes, two ensembles, flute lessons, two part-time jobs and after-school clubs, I find myself very much above drowning.

Before I give any tips on time management, I want to point out that a large amount of stress and busyness is self-inflicted.  We do it to ourselves of course!  We make the choice to be involved in these many different jobs and activities.  I know I made the choice.  And when we make choices that we do not necessary enjoy, ‘time’ seems to drag on even more.  In the end, time is not numbers. It is relative.  For example, an individual could only be busy 8 hours a day but still feel overwhelmed.  It is relative. Here are a couple of tips to keep in mind.

  • Try not to waste time on unproductive thoughts or conversations.  These frequently drag us down and make us more stressed.  If the thoughts are staying in your head, write them down then hide them away.  Treat this process like you are ‘locking’ your unimportant thoughts away.
  • To-do lists are always good but try this.  Write the most important to-do items in a different color on the top of your list where the ‘not-so-important’ points are in a different color on the bottom of your list.  I am a very visual person.  This would greatly help me prioritize tasks in my head, and I hope it would for you too.
  • Take the first 30 minutes of everyday for yourself in preparation.  I usually do this in the car on the way to work or right before I go to bed the previous day.  The point is to sit down and actively think of your to-do list and take the time to make sure that you feel comfortable with the tasks that you have to do.
  • Keep in mind that everything does not need to get done at that exact moment and if you find yourself in the deep end, delegate.  Delegate your duties or responsibilities with other people.
  • Learn to say ‘no.’  The world will continue and things will get done if you are not a part of them.  This is the point that I struggle with the most.  I love to be involved and trying new tasks, but sometimes ‘no’ is a very nice word.

I am very busy this semester, but I also know I have chosen to be that way.  Most likely if you are in the same boat, you have made this choice also.  Embrace your choice and discover ways to make it enjoyable.

How do you manage your time?

Check out this article.

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