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Time Management: Why we should make this a priority

misslorsx profile image Laura Jane ใƒป4 min read

Introduction

Time... Time... Time... a word we hear a lot of, but also something we don't have a lot of, how many times have you said 'It's on my to-do list', 'i'm on it' or even 'Don't worry we have the time'.

But in all honestly, do you ever stop and think if you do actually have the time, the time to do what you said you were going to do, or if you are just saying it in the hope you might actually find a way to fit it in.

In this article I am going to discuss time-management, how I manage my own time between being a parent, studying, and working, along with some tips to help you try to manage your time effectively.

Your a parent, student, and you work too, there is no way you can do it all!

Actually, yes there is, you will know yourself whether your a parent or not, that there is always a way to manage your time effectively, whether it is the use of wall calendars for important events/tasks or for the most digital-focused individuals, Google calendars/events.

Finding the right balance for the things in your life that require the most attention is admittedly so hard in the beginning - You find yourself contemplating every decision you make, whether it's working that extra 30 minutes past your work finish time to get that task complete, which will make your company happy, but then you miss out on having tea together with your family...

How would you handle that situation? what would your response be?...

I found that looking at my schedule for the week and fitting in where I could spare time for even a little task - something as simple as writing this article, without it affecting my family time, was hard.

I felt guilty for opening up my laptop daily when I needed to attend a tutorial or finish an assignment, or even just to tweak a project, especially when my children would approach me, and it soon became the norm for them to say 'Mum is doing work again' - It hurt, it really did, and when they first said it, it made me contemplate the decision I made to move into tech, I'm not going to lie it was tough.
Especially when certain tasks/events were running into valuable family time.

I began to feel overwhelmed, worried, and anxious all of the time, and felt like I had overcommitted to a lot more things than I had time for. It's a situation I vowed never to be in again.

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So, How did I resolve It?

In the beginning, my mind felt all over the place, I struggled to fit everything in, so I ordered a planner from Amazon and cleared everything in my schedule for the following night and worked out what I could do and when.

I soon realized I wasn't going to be able to please everyone - and I had to make cuts somewhere, most of all learning to say NO, which is something I really dislike doing and feel awful about.

I also sat down with my children and explained to them why I was doing what I was doing, and began trying to include them in little computer-related activities, so they could see some fun from the thing I spent most of my time on, along with explaining the end goal - Which was to earn more money so we could do nice things.

I felt that something so simple, and explanation, was all they needed.
Maybe they were confused as to why I was always busy, but after that, they seemed happy and accepting, and didn't ask me again after that why I was working.

I put all my tutorials on the calendar which resides on my office wall right in front of me, so I could glance up quickly to see what I could do, where. I included all of my children's, my social, life admin, and studying activities. This made it SO much easier to manage, and I suddenly felt organized once id finished it (3 hours later!) - It honestly so felt so good.

I am really good friends with a few of the ladies on Twitter, and we have all been so busy recently, but we know this and always check in with each other when we can, which always helps if your having a bad day or you need some moral support.

Some tips to help you manage your time effectively:

  • Prioritise:

Prioritizing things took many sacrifices I must admit.

I thought what was more important?
That TV program I had been eager to watch, or the Assignment, which wasn't due in until next month, but I could make a start on now?
Step back and think about your current free time before committing, there is no worser feeling than saying yes then having to cancel later.

  • ASK FOR HELP!

This goes without saying, but if you are struggling don't be afraid to reach out, its hard at the beginning, but it gets easier, once you gather that support network - it becomes invaluable. Something as simple as asking someone to read over your code to see if there is anything you have missed can give you that new and different perspective.

  • Take that break:

Take a 5/10 minute break from your task to think and reflect, not to mention just to give yourself a quick reset. it is really important to keep yourself feeling fresh, and preventing that burnout. It can work wonders trust me!

  • Learning to code... CAN WAIT!

If you are struggling to grasp some concepts of coding or are just feeling tired, take an extended break and do something you enjoy doing, it really helps. Having a day or week off isn't going to affect your progress, and we all are on our own individual journeys, It's not a race!

I really hope, as with all of my articles, that it reaches and helps at least one person.

Thank you for reading!

Discussion (5)

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jonlim profile image
Jon Lim

Thanks for sharing!

I've also run into a similar issue around trying to balance work + career development + personal interests + trying to take care of the home.

Serious props on the physical planner / calendar. It makes it easier for you the see everything you're doing in a day, and also helpful for others to understand how you've planned your day as well.

Other things I've done to help around planning and time management:

  • Turn off / close / block "distraction" sites and apps, like Reddit, or Slack, or emails, or even DEV.to; if I can't see it and don't have the option to check it except for certain times of the day, then I won't be tempted to be distracted when I'm doing what I said I would be doing
  • Have strict "working hours"; I dedicate 9-5 every day towards work, and those are my working hours. I have a ceremony for starting my work day, and a ceremony for ending my work day, and I do not check anything related to work outside of those hours (aside from emergencies).
  • Keeping a prioritized list of TODOs for different things I want to do. This is mostly for work, because I want to accomplish specific things in a day, so at the start of the day, I jot down anything I have to do, and at the end of the day, I re-prioritize the TODOs and add any notes (because I may have partially done something) for the next day. This is part of my ceremony in ending my working hours, and I've found it to be helpful for alleviating mental overhead in unfinished work.

Lots of strategies to try, and figure out which ones work for you. Keep at it!

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misslorsx profile image
Laura Jane Author

This is some more awesome tips! Thanks for commenting and sharing with us! Have a great day!๐Ÿ˜Š

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juanfrank77 profile image
Juan F Gonzalez

It's interesting how we've seen the term "Time management" being used for years already when such a thing doesn't even exist.

Time is the only resource that we can't control in the whole sense of management, there are other resources under our control that we can manage (like money for instance). Every day we get an allowance of 24 hours and whether we spend them wisely or not, they'll be gone at the end of the day.

I've been pondering and reading about a more suitable term for this concept would be "energy management" or "self-management", things we can actually control.
Nir Eyal even goes to say that all "time management" is "pain management".

Don't want this to sound like a critique on your article, I think there are solid strategies here that I'll be trying out but the article gave me the chance to put into words what has been doing rounds in my head over the last months.

Also, props to you for getting organized and all your responsibilities 'managed' ๐Ÿ˜‰

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misslorsx profile image
Laura Jane Author

I donโ€™t really want to get in if itโ€™s time/energy management. I appreciate what your saying but to me itโ€™s time, because itโ€™s something I need to get my task done. Energy I have a lot of. But thank you for responding. Have a great Day!

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mariosknl profile image
Marios Kanellopoulos

Such a great article Laura! Thanks for sharing this amazing tips. I will surely try to implement some of them when I'm struggling with my coding journey. Have a good day!

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