So, how about those races I signed up for? Let’s recheck my calendar:
- September 27th – Peddle Paddle Run
- October 18th – Atlantic City 10K
- November 23rd – Philadelphia Half Marathon
And that fancy, schmancy training plan I made? Well, it started 2 weeks ago. Have I peen following it? Nope.
School started last week and while I’m busier than normal, I’m not so busy not to do my runs. I just haven’t made them a priority lately. Today, as soon as I got up, I went for my run. I have so much other work to do and now I feel like I don’t have the time for it. You know why? Because I drag my feet! No, not while I’m running. From the time I got up today to the time I got home from my run was 2 hours. 2 HOURS! I should be able to get it done in less time than that.
First problem is that I putz around when I get up. I need to just throw on clothes and go. Second, I tend to like to run at parks that need to be driven to. Maybe I need to just do my short runs right out of my front door instead. It is boring, there is no sidewalk, and it’s hot from the lack of shade but it would take less time. Third, I putz after my run too. I should stretch and get right in the shower (or eat first, whichever is more pressing at the moment).
Time efficiency used to be something I was good at but not lately and it needs to happen if I want to keep balancing so many things on my plate. These are some of my responsibilities right now (not in any particular order):
- 2 graduate classes
- Research project (mandatory for graduation)
- Practicum (as yet to be scheduled but should be about 250 hours for the semester)
- Grader for an undergrad physics class
- One QA shift at the hospital per week
- Half Marathon training
- Supporting Rob’s rugby habit
- Being a wife, daughter, sister, friend, etc. (i.e. Social obligations)
- Blogging (hey, it takes time!)
So I definitely have to be better at time management if I want to keep all of these things going. It really isn’t too much honestly. It only gets tough when I procrastinate or spend too much time watching TV or doing other mundane things. Like I said, I just haven’t been making my training a priority. I came up with a list of things to help me be more efficient with my time!
I know I work better at places like Starbucks because it is free from personal distractions. I can’t do anything but what work I brought with me. There are no dishes to wash, no kitty cats to pet, no TV to watch. Sometimes the laptop can get distracting (depending on if I’m programming on it) but that can be fixed by turning the wifi off. If I find myself unable to work at home, then pack up and go somewhere instead of just wasting the day away!
Work on One Thing at a Time
Multitasking doesn’t actually exist. What you are really doing is just switching from one thing to another without being efficient at anything. I work best when I start one particular assignment and work it all the way to the end. I don’t like stopping mid project for something else.
I’ve taken up the habit of writing a schedule out for myself right before going to bed. I jot down all the things that have to be done and put them in an order of which I am going to do them. I also schedule in my classes, travel time, etc. This way when I wake up in the morning, I already know what I need to do and in which order! No deciding when I’m tired and groggy and would rather lay back down.
Make Fitness a Top Priority
Did you ever notice how much better you feel after a workout? I really feel like it clears my head and wakes me up. Exercising first thing in the morning can help me be more efficient with my tasks for the rest of the day. The easier it is to concentrate, the faster I will work, thus saving time!
Break Large Assignments into Smaller Components
While I love to plow through the work, my research project will take months and can’t be done in one sitting. Breaking this larger project into smaller, achievable goals will help me move toward the finish line.
Sometime I can just run around in circles writing a blog post and not getting anywhere. Setting a time limit on the amount of time I can do something will help me be more efficient (or stop me from treading water). The key to this step is also knowing exactly how long something should take. This will take some observation before I can implement any time limits.
So those are going to be my six little steps to being more efficient with the hours I do have to work! This list doesn’t include downtime, which I consider a given. You can’t work all the time! But if you are a workaholic, that should be added to your list Now, I’ve spent more than enough time composing this blog post, and I need to get off the computer and go get ready for work!