Time Management, it’s one of those phrases that fill you full of frustration. You’re either amazing at managing your time, amazing at giving the impression you can manage your time or you’re amazingly hopeless at managing your time. I think I actually fall into two of these categories!!
I guess this is a term you only really hear about at work in your day job, you have a thousand and one things to do by a deadline, the papers are piling up, you have no idea where to start and your desk looks like ground zero of a nuclear explosion. So where do you start? like I said you can fit in to three clear categories, you are AMAZING and multitasking/prioritising/managing your time and drowning in paper work is your thing because you are SUPERWOMAN and know EXACTLY what is going on (this is not me) or you’re good at creating the impression you’re time management skills are the best and somehow, mainly with no sleep and an intravenous drip of caffeine hooked to both arms you manage to meet all your deadlines literally on the last second (I quite comfortably fit into this!) Or your working day is complete chaos and you’ve given up all hope of continuing to be employed let alone know where to start to manage your time (This is me at least once every other month!!). Now I’ve recently been introduced to a little exercise of figuring out where your time goes (You know who you are!!). I started it today and I have to say I was surprised. All you need to do is literally list everything you do through out your day and how long it took, include crazy things like toilet breaks, lunch, fags and more importantly how many times you’ve put the kettle on for tea!!! I was surprised because I’ve never before looked at how I spend my time and how long these tasks actually take me to complete, how many times a day I digress to complete other things that are nothing to do with what I do. Now I’ve been doing this job for four years and so long as I did everything I was supposed to in the time frame given I’ve never really given much thought to how I get from A-B.
I only mention this little exercise now because I think I would find it interesting to take it out of work, specifically in regards to my writing projects. Right now I only write when I can, I have no designated time to work on a particular project or do research and I normally find the one thing I can’t wait to do (Write!) is crammed in right at the end of the day, when I know in about an hour I’m going to have fallen asleep cuddled up to my laptop holding rough copies of pages smeared in bright pink highlighter pen!! There has to be a better way to identify a more appropriate time to do these things? A lot of people talk about the type of environment they work well in, this isn’t an issue for me, so long as I have the time I can write anywhere, admittedly I like to create my own atmosphere depending on the type of scene I’m writing, normally helped by Music (the key to all of life’s issues!) but it’s having the time to do these things. So my mission for the next 7 days is to determine where my time goes and more importantly why???
Feel free to share any tips and pointers you may have acquired along the way, as the header says I am somewhat an Amateur!!!