I have always juggled various activities for as long as I remember. School/ soccer/work, School/ work/work/ fun, school/work/work/work/training/volunteering/ fun. I've learned that I can juggle quite a lot at any given time. My 1st Master's Degree seemed easier for me years ago. I was still in Tiffin, classes were held all day on campus Saturday and I worked a full time and part time job during the week. Easy peasy! I wrapped that degree up in 1 year! Oh yea, go me!
It was a bit more difficult this last year, finishing my M.B.A., studying for my personal training certification, training, and lots of work and lots of unforeseen events such as my Grandmothers' deaths, sprained ankles, and trying to help and participate in anything that I could in order to please others. Scheduling was a nightmare and I missed a couple of meetings or events either because I wrote them down wrong and got pulled into putting out another fire.
I am a go getter and I like to accomplish things that I say I will accomplish so regardless of how much I have going on I do my best to make the time. I won't commit to something that I cannot do either due to time or it just isn't feasible. I also learned by trail and error. For instance, I know that with my current workload I cannot train for long distance triathlons or runs. I will get burned out and everything will suffer. However, it is not something I will sacrifice. Compromise! This year I'm training for all short distances. No run over a 1/2 Marathon, and only sprint distance triathlons.
I used to be a profession "planner person"; literally had the goal and planned out how to get there step by step down to the minute. Then I learned that things don't go as planned, they rarely go as planned. I do my best and take advantage of the free time that I have when it becomes available. I also learned to say "no" when I know that whatever is asked of me would be too much. For example, if someone asked me to be her bridesmaid right now (highly unlikely), I would have to say no.
I have my priorities, things that are a must including work, Mayor work, and I know that I have to train/workout/practice yoga to help keep me focused and happy. I will not compromise those priorities. But, I also want to work on obtaining various certifications/ continued education, etc. Looking back on my life, one would say I always have to have a full plate. And that statement would be correct because I want to enjoy life to the fullest and not miss out on any opportunities or enjoyments.
There is a little tool that I started using last Spring. Since facebook and smartphones were born; I've noticed that so much time is wasted scrolling newsfeeds or "chatting", etc. Plus there appears to be this immediate need from people- they must have answers NOW! (that will be another blog post as I am fascinated with how our society has changed with this social media). At any rate, I still plan my days in advance, keeping in mind that things change and I will have to cancel or rearrange some things. Alas, I use a little tool, it's called a timer.
Whoop, there it is! This has been most helpful in my need for studying/ reading on various topics at the same time versus being dedicated to only one book at a time, etc. It was quite helpful last Spring as I was wrapping up my 2nd Master's Degree and "trying to study for my personal training certification" ( I didn't pass it- I tried to shoot from the hip but came close- I will be retaking).
I have been using this little timer to help limit the time I am on facebook, in front of the computer, meditating, reading, etc. 1 hour reading this book, 1 hour reading that book, 10 minutes meditation, 30 mins on facebook, etc. It's a great tool and when that timer goes off, rather than staying glued to my computer making sure I don't miss an important facebook newsfeed or staying deep in a book, I stop and begin the next timed task. I don't time everything. I have work hours that I have to commit to but I also want to make sure I don't spend all my free time glued in front of the TV ( I watch no TV during the week- unless I need a day off). It is also important that I have meditation time (just not 30 minutes of meditating) and it is important that I read...a lot, I read a lot.
Maybe this little timer will help you manage your time, maybe not. Regardless, we all have the same amount of time as everyone else. It just depends on where your priorities stand, what's important to you, and how to make the most of every minute.
Where do you stand with your time management? Pay attention to much time you spend on facebook, how much time you spend at the water cooler gossiping, how much time is spent watching T.V., etc. Just pay attention to those things. You don't have to give them up (although I would recommend giving up gossip because it's not useful and no good comes from it) but you may see that you do have time for other things, if you so wish.
May the time be always in your favor.
Believe Love Understand and Empower!