Sunday, July 8, 2007

Managing Time

I must say that the skill of managing time is one of the most difficult skills to master. This has become more apparent as a few of us in the WOW 2007 team keep coming back to this theme in our blog posts.
I admit wholeheartedly to being perpetually in a 'race against time' with time winning hands down most times. How does one get a handle on this skill? In a discussion over the weekend, Susan Arthur (WOW 2007 team) who is currently an intern at Brunswick, spoke about the challenges of time management and meeting deadlines, particularly in circumstances where several people want you to complete their tasks asap. Everyone's task is a priority and they all expect you to meet their deadlines. How does one deal with this without sounding as if they are making excuses for being incompetent?
I find that I am constantly struggling to meet my deadlines as I prepare for my trip to the States. Travel arrangements seem to have taken up an inordinate amount of time. All sorts of things keep coming up that require immediate attention. At the same time I have a deadline for submitting my research report. I also have a deadline for my scholarship/fellowship requirements.
Chatting with another team member, Valentin Tassev, he admitted to wanting to do so many things at the same time, and the challenges of prioritising when your interests are so diverse. How do you master the art of streamlining tasks to get maximum results?
I get so frustrated sometimes. My solution is to focus on tasks that can be accomplished in the short term and then work towards the more difficult ones. Anything that is not immediately within my control is set aside to be followed up on. The thing is, I want to finish every task that I have for each day so I can move on to something else the next day. It does not always work out.
I am able to breathe a sigh of relief now, as I have concluded and submitted all registration requirements for the scholarship/fellowship at Bard College. I now have to book my tickets and complete the last task............finishing my research report. Then I can finally shout 'free at last, thank god I'm free at last!!'


Susan Arthur said...

Remember the rocks and sand... it sounds like you are getting the hang of prioritising your tasks though. It's great that you have all your administrative tasks out the way so that you can really focus on your research. Best of luck for the next few weeks!

Ijeoma Uche-Okeke said...

I'm working on it!! I'm glad the admin is out of the way though.

Susan Mwangi said...

Interesting this thing called life… Just when you think you have flattened one mountain of tasks, another set of assignments come along and you get totally absorbed in them… and so we keep going… and achieving our life’s goals.

I know this adrenaline junkie (name withheld), who has become addicted to the thrill of beating her deadlines and the rush of juggling multiple tasks. She gets all bored and jittery when she has no pressure and deadlines looming over her head. She has become a skilled time manager and achiever.

The good news is, she wasn’t always this skilled at time management. There is hope for all of us. We can all hone this skill over time.