Monday, May 18, 2009

Time Management

Time is one of those great things because unlike almost everything else, everybody has the same amount of hours in a day. How to manage these hours however can be a bit of a challenge! It wasn't until I started studying again that I realised that my time management needed a bit of work. There is just too much stuff going on for me to remember so I needed to make some changes to make sure I was going to fit everything in.

It started with getting a diary. I think out of everything this is my number one tool. I have gone through my diary and put EVERYTHING I need to remember in it. And as I am such a visual person or maybe just because I like colouring in, I colour coded it. As far as course goes I have assessment due dates highlighted in pink. The weeks before assessments I have what's coming up, so I can make a start, highlighted in yellow. Birthdays are in orange, elluminate in blue and everything else relevant such as days I am at work and massage appointments I put in pen. From there I have all the important, unchangeable things noted.

As well as my diary every week on a separate piece of paper I put all the work I need to do each week with regards to my course. This is everything posted on the blogs and the assessment work. I try put these in order of priority such as something that is due in on Wednesday I will definitely make time for on Monday or Tuesday. I don't like having things specifically programmed in at a certain time I just make sure that everything I need to do is on my 'to do' list and then just cross it off when I am done.

Tasks that I find difficult I will look at once and then go back to at a later date. Seems easier the second time you look at it. I also have identified the subjects that need complete concentration, these I do in the morning when I work best and have little distraction. Other subjects I leave until when Fergus is home from work. Especially anatomy, I make flashcards and then most nights in the ad breaks at some stage Fergus will test me on them. This is a good way to include him in my study as well.

One thing I have found as a distraction is visitors. On many occasions someone will just pop in because they know I am at home. The way I have overcome this is multi-tasking. In the morning after walking the dog I start my study. When someone else calls in this is when I do the dishes, fold the washing etc I have found there is no point wasting my quite time on housework. The other thing that has been effective is always having an arrangement of books on the dining room table. If people call in and see course stuff everywhere they realise I am busy and don't stay long. I don't mind them coming for a short time though, always good to have a break!

So now overall my time management isn't looking to bad. At least I'm not forgetting to do anything. I think time management is always going to be a 'work in progress'. You just have to be able to identify areas of time that you can't change and make the best use of the rest of the time that you can.

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