Monday, January 26, 2009

Something's Gotta Give...

I don't really have a story to tell today. I'm taking a break from grading papers, and contemplating my plan for managing my workload over the next 6 months (have you done this lately?----It can be fun....or scary).

Time Management is a sort of generic name for how you fit things into your day and get done what you need to get done. When I was teaching at Keuka last year, we had a unit on time management that had all these great tools for students to be organized and get their work done on time. For some reason, even armed with all this strategic paraphernalia.....many kids still attempted to turn things in late (even after I told them I don't accept late work---sorry, in the real world you have to meet deadlines even if you stayed up too late playing Guitar Hero!).

That situation was not much different than in real life. Most of us have an idea about what it takes to be productive and get things done. Sometimes we still don't do it that well, and some of us don't ever do it well. I've spoken to quite a few people this week at RIT who really are that busy. They aren't making excuses--they really have too many things going on to fit everything into a day. Interestingly, when I'm talking to people about their "issues" I often find myself relating to them. My current state of busy-ness results in me doing enough work every night to keep my head above water the next day---and my semi-panic feeling now is that I need to work something out so I can still get to the gym without feeling guilty or staying up till 2am. The gym would be the easiest thing to cut out, and the most disappointing to let go (I love-hate the gym, but that's another story).

What are some things you do to manage your time (or not)? Do you make lists? Print your calendar? Sleep? Complain? Procrastinate? Procrastinating is often one of those things you can use the "do it not wanting to" strategy for. Acknowledge the things on your list that are not desirable---but then do them and cross them off (and if you do something you had forgotten to put on the list, add it and then cross it off just because it feels good!).

I don't have specific advice for how to manage your time because different things work for different people. I know there are people out there who are much busier than I am. The only thing to do when you can't change your life-load is to change your perspective on it. If you do manage your time well, you will feel better and less stressed at the end of the day. Don't obsess if you couldn't go to the gym today---just go tomorrow! Things do not change just by feeling badly about them, and feeling badly snowballs into feeling badly some more.

Back to work!

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