Disappearing Time

August 18, 2011

Some of the worst words a teacher can here are…summer vacation is over. It hurts to say it. It hurts to think it. Don’t get me wrong. I like what I do. I appreciate the fact that I am lucky to have a job, especially with what seems like billions of teachers losing theirs. Still, summer vacation is my favorite time of year. I love the peace of knowing I can go at my own pace, I am stress-free, and have much more time for personal enjoyment.

All good things must come to an end. This is my last week of summer vacation, and the hurried pace has already begun. The part time job I’ve had this summer has all of a sudden provided full time work. And I need to make some preparations before going back to school on Monday.

However, all is not lost. I have sworn to myself that I will be a much better time manager when school starts. Yes, I’ve said this before, and it seems like I became worse. This time is different. A while ago I shared a great tip from an author about time management. He suggested breaking the day into 15 minute chunks of time. 15 minutes is enough to accomplish something, and short enough to get back on track if we stray. When we consciously focus on those 15 minute bits of time and plan accordingly, it is amazing how much more we can get done. After a while it becomes habit.

What’s to gain? First, we are least likely to procrastinate. The result is then peace of mind. Remember how positive you feel when the to-do list is taken care of? This instead of the stress you feel when it’s not, and you have those uncompleted tasks clogging your mind. Also, when the necessary things are done, you will find that you have more time to enjoy yourself and do those fun things you’ve been putting off. You can’t lose!

As I said, all good things must come to an end. However, the time management lessons I learn over the next few weeks could be the start of great things. I challenge anyone else to take this same step. Break your day into 15 minute sections. Try to accomplish something in each of them. I definitely believe it will help you as it helps me when I stay disciplined with this approach.

Have an excellent day!