Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Finding the Time

I figured this week would be the most appropriate week to do an entry on time management. I'm sure this will not be the last of its kind; however, I felt that it was important to get out there.

This past week I started Grad School at Robert Morris University.  This has been one of the largest shocks to date, simply because I feel that I under-estimated what these classes would entail.  I find both of my current classes to be very enjoyable, but also very challenging with my current schedule.

Currently, I work anywhere from 45-55 hours per week at my full time job, I dedicate about 25 hours each week to my business, teach a fitness class on Wednesdays, and I would say juggle roughly 15-20 hours per week on my classes..this doesn't include household duties like cleaning, laundry, shopping, and finding time to work out. On top of all of that, football season is starting up and so are Friday night games meaning that each and every Friday I will find myself at a high school game taking pictures for Xfinity.

Now, most people would look at that schedule and freak out, and I won't lie I freak out a little bit too. I mean that is a LOT to take one for one person! But I am here to show you that it is not entirely impossible! Draining? Totally! Impossible? Not so!

So, personally, I feel that I have this mild obsession with the date. I have numerous planners...4 to be keep me on task constantly.

First I have my large weekly planner that I keep at work. This allows me to block out time for each work task that I have to do (did I mention it's the end of our fiscal year?) to ensure that I get the most accomplished in a single day. By blocking out time for tasks (and time to Facebook, Twitter, etc. so I don't go stir crazy) I can be assured that I am making the most of my day while in the office, staying efficient, and continuing to be a performing employee despite the fact that my life is spinning off into space.  Typically, I will look at my planner each day around 4, and if I didn't get to a task it's ok..I just highlight it.  I then put all of the tasks currently pending in my inbox into the next day's workday..and fit in the highlighted tasks where I can. This way, I leave with a clear sense that I know what's going on the next day..there is nothing left to think about..and nothing to lie awake in bed in plan. I know where my day is going

The next planner that I carry is my small weekly planner. I keep this planner strictly for personal events and school. In here I put all of my school assignments, but really utilize the personal calendar portion of the planner in order to schedule myself for photos, face-to-face meetings with clients for my business, meetings and calls with coaches, and when time permits a fun girl's night. This is just an easy way for me to flip to the calendar portion and be able to tell someone if I have a free night or not. I love it.

The third option that I use is the Google Calendar.What I love about the Google Calendar is it is very versatile.  iCloud makes it possible for me to enter my schedule into this calendar and have it sync up to my iPhone, our iPad, etc.  I can edit it on one of my huge monitors at work, or edit it from my iPhone.  It is a fabulous tool. One of the reasons I love it so much is that it allows you to color code your entries.  Currently, I also use this calendar to schedule more of my personal life simply for the fact that it does map over to my phone. Sometimes I don't have my weekly planner with me (because it's bulky and I don't feel like constantly lugging that thing around in my purse) so I rely on my iPhone to tell me when I have some free time available. Your phone also has a TON of apps that you can use to stay on task! Simply go to your App Store and type in "Time Management", "Day Planner", or "To Do List" and you will see that you have a ton of options to choose from.

Yes, I know that my large planner and my Google calendar could easily be combined into one...but honestly..if I get a call to attend a campus meeting I don't want to have to visually search through the spewage of work related tasks on my calendar. It's just too overwhelming to the I will continue to keep them separate.

As you can see there are multiple ways to keep yourself on task when you feel like you can't give your day one more ounce of energy. These methods will help you to pack your day in with everything that is needed in order for you to go to bed feeling like you accomplished something that day, but also allows you to schedule your own free time in. The problem is not that you do not have any time, it's in how you are managing your time.

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