my time management

There is so much to do, so little time- and i waste most of it. i can talk to students about prioritizing and making a schedule, but i have a hard time sticking to it.

So, even as i try to manage time, i find a fail often. Sometimes i succeed. However, time seems to always manage me.

In the book “blink”, Malcom Gladwell writes of an experiment on the good samaritan. The study shows it doesn’t matter how much a person believes in helping someone in need, or if they have recently studied the passage- or even if they’re about to speak on the topic. What controls their behavior when seeing a person in need is their perception of how much time they have. If they think they are late, they don’t stop. If they think they have time, they do stop. Regardless of their convictions on helping people in need.

After reading that, i have noticed how often my behavior is affected by my view of time. If i feel i am running late, i am a lot more abrupt with people as i am leaving, i don’t stop and talk with people i bump into, and i don’t strike up conversations or help people on the street.

There are all sorts of small things that affect our behavior. Lack of sleep, feelings of busyness, feeling late.

Personally, i want to be a person who shows and gives love at all times.
but the problem is- i can disappoint someone by showing up late, or by blowing someone off. What do i choose? Both seem to suck. What if i trusted people believed the best in me if i showed up a couple minutes late?

i guess, if i could consciously choose, i would choose to love in the moment- give all i could to the person i’m with. And then when i’m with the next person, give them all i can too.

But maybe it comes back to time management. When i arrived at Michigan the staff team was reading a book called “margin.”

What i am realizing now is, i need more margin in my life. That is, i need to put an extra few minutes inbetween events so i’m not rushing from thing to thing.
For one thing, literally running place to place stresses me out.
Secondly, it creates an environment where i can stay longer to talk with people, or allows for interruptions and unexpected events that occur- and seriously, living here- the unexpected has become expected.

i need to build margin in my life, just like 1 hr classes are 50 minutes long. Sometimes i don’t know what to do with that time, but maybe i just need it to breathe. My IPP test tells me i tend to overwork myself and burnout, perhaps building in margin into my life, i will be able to enjoy it more- y’know, like literally stopping to smell the roses once in a while.

Because, i want to manage time, not let it manage me.


3 thoughts on “my time management

  1. Great post!  do you find, as I do, that the more “margin” time you try to put into your schedule, the more crises come your way – things you know you can’t walk away from?

  2. I know you already know this, but John Ortberg claims that he takes an entire day every so often and schedules nothing. He spends the entire day on other people. That sounds like a very refreshing day to me. If I could let go of my schedule, I feel like my life would be much more enjoyable.

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