That alarm starts ringing, its 4 o’clock, time to start getting ready for those 5 am workouts, then meetings, practice, class, study hall and home to do it all over again. For a good part of your life as an athlete your days were very structured and controlled. Every moment of the day accounted for in the grand ledger of your life. The quick reprieves in the offseason of a couple days here or a week there served as catchup time with friends and family for all the things you missed while you were away. So time management wasn’t really much of a thing, you had very little time to manage and had to stay on top of your responsibilities to remain eligible to do what you loved. Now is a different story, that rigorous schedule is gone you suddenly have all the time in the world. Now here comes the hard part. Do you have the discipline to manage it.
Time is a lot like money, when you don’t have a lot it is easy to know where it goes and to keep track of it. However, the more you have the easier it is to let it slip away if isn’t managed properly. The more we feel time slipping away and responsibilities piling up the more likely we are to want to procrastinate. The University of Manchester spoke about it saying, “Time management and procrastination are related: managing your time effectively can help you to feel in control of your workload, increase your productivity and improve your confidence.
As a result, you’ll feel less inclined to procrastinate and able to enjoy a healthy balance between studying and other activities”. That is what it comes down to, finding a balance between what you have to do and what you want to do. That sense of existential dread that comes with the flying around at the last minute and trying to get everything done can be avoided. By mastering or at least actively participating in time management you will save yourself a heap of stress and have more time for the activities that you actually want to get accomplished.
Make your life easier and follow some simple strategies to help yourself stay organized and stay ahead. Forbes wrote an article with 20 time management strategies from limiting time on tasks to actually focusing in on a single task. Now that I have more time this is what I struggle with most I try to give 5 projects a piece of my attention all at the same time instead of just hunkering down and knocking out one at a time. When I try to multitask tham all I maybe get one done and end up with 4 half baked projects. When I actually take the time to buckle down and focus I end up with 8 or more projects done in less time!
Find a system that works for you, if that is prioritizing your tasks or setting alarms and time limits. One of the biggest things that helped me was making a list in the morning of things I had to get done throughout the day. This allowed me to prioritize the harder and more time sensitives tasks earlier in the days so that if anything ran long, something less important would be missed (really helped when I was finishing school!) This week I want you to take at least 4 strategies from the forbes article and try to apply them to your daily life. Do this every week for 5 weeks until you have tried all the strategies. From there you will know what works best for you and have the tools necessary to succeed!