The challenges of time management

Jake Keeley

Recently I was lectured on managing my time. Seeing as many of my classmates and I attempt to navigate both school and work, this seemed like it would prove to be a reasonable lecture. However, I was hit with the cold truth that there just aren’t that many hours in the day.

Time management has never been my thing. I thank my parents for getting me so involved in extracurricular activities, because I think this has actually hindered my ability to develop these time management skills myself. My day was already so scheduled that I really didn’t have to do much thinking, it was just following my parents to the car so I had enough time to make my next game or practice. As a result, I continue to find myself working until the last minute in order to complete everything that I needed to, perhaps as a way to replicate the pace my parents created when I was younger.

I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing.

Although it is nice to get out ahead of whatever demands I may have, this is not when I do my best work, nor is it when I work best. I continually find myself easily distracted by essentially anything when I’m attempting to work far ahead of the deadline. Yet the closer I get to the deadline, the more locked in I get.

If you’re disgusted with the way I work then you might want to stop reading right now, because I don’t use a schedule, calendar, or planner either. I know I’m the opposite of a good student, but planners have never done it for me. I’d rather keep everything in my head, where there is supposedly plenty of space for schedules. I’m sure there is plenty of research supporting the use of planners, but not only can I not keep up with my planner, I find it completely useless when I do.

Writing down that I have an assignment due next Tuesday when I already know I have an assignment due next Tuesday is useless to me. I suppose it is more effective if you write down everything when you get the syllabus, however I can’t imagine planning my entire week out, let alone an entire semester.

Ultimately, you have to do what is best for you. If that means you have to do all of your studying at 6 a.m., then do it at 6 a.m. If that means that you have to do it a week in advance then do it a week in advance. We are completely different individuals, and trying to generalize ways to manage our lives to all of us just does not make sense. So while I envy those who can plan out their days, weeks and months, that is just not me. At least, that is what I keep telling myself.