Organization WISE

Do We Need Time Management Advice?

Credit: flickr / John-Morgan

We’re having an event at WISE next week, we were hoping to have someone from SASS to come and give some advice on time management. But SASS is never open, and now we have something much better.

But when I was panicking for a speaker, thinking about maybe asking another student to speak I started to wonder if there’s any point giving time management advice.

For me, time management consists of carving out the  quiet time and space that I need to create. One of my office mates and I were talking yesterday, and he’s the same way. Our supervisor, though, was saying that he needed a little pressure.

I have a friend who plans every minute of every day in this insane spreadsheet that has her working from 6am to 11pm (she actually sticks to it too), and another who discovered the need to be more organized last semester, and for him it consists of notebooks that he writes everything down in.

For me, I take a more technological solution. Everything is digital, and my calendar and todo list are always accessible via my iPhone or whichever computer I happen to be working on. My boyfriend is different again, he doesn’t seem to have a todo list or much in the way of a calendar, but he somehow stays on top of everything. Honestly, most of what I’m doing is in my head as well. However if I don’t write it down it makes me anxious. My boyfriend doesn’t seem to have that problem, though.

So I’ve started to think that we don’t need time management advice so much as a series of questions to reflect on.

  • Do we need clear spaces? If so, how can we better carve them out?
  • Do we need stuff scheduled every day in order to pressurize us?
  • Maybe we need a balance of both? For me, I like 2-3 days clear, the rest scheduled.
  • What’s the best fit for us in terms of how we store our schedule? Do we need a notebook or diary, or is an electronic device better (note, you need to remember to charge it).
  • How are we at balancing our time? Do we need to schedule “me time” or “organization time” or does taking breaks for these tasks come naturally?
  • Do we need a more regimented approach, such as “work on X for 2 hours and then work on Y for 1.5”?
  • Or does a more relaxed approach of, “work on X on Wednesday” work better?

What do you think? What questions do you ask yourself in order to manage your time better?