….but we are all fabulous.
What a glorious spring weekend!
We went to London yesterday for a spot of shopping – we visited the food market at the Royal Festival Hall and enjoyed fresh morrocan and bombay potato pastries whilst sitting looking at the river and watching the world go by. London in the spring time is lovely – everyone out at the first sign of sunshine. I also really enjoy visiting London or any really big city for the atmosphere – a buzz and sense of potential that can be lacking from provincial small towns. I always feel energized afterwards.
Back home today and another glorious day – our bulbs are out in the back garden
and when I went for a contemplative walk, crocuses were out in magical rings round trees.
I can feel really my mood lifting and a sense of possibilities awakening. Hope and energy which have been largely dormant in the rain and cold are starting to bloom.
I often feel a renewed sense of purpose after the summer when university term starts again – I have always loved that ‘back to school’, ‘new stationery’ feeling, but this lovely sense of rebirth and renewal I find so uplifting.
It’s the perfect time to take on a big project (which is fortunate as I am lucky enough to be involved in a big writing project – 100,000 words over the next 3 years) and to reassess one’s time management skills (or in my case lack of skills). I am excited and daunted by the work ahead and have spent some time thinking about how to find the time on top of a full time job to write the equivalent of a PhD.
I’ve had a look at time management strategies online and here are a few of the ones I have found helpful/thought provoking:
1. Set a regular time to check emails. Don’t have emails permanently switched on or be in reactive mode – just replying as they come in. This is a big one for me as I hate having lots of emails in my inbox. It means that constant interruptions pepper my days.
2. Think about what your goals or dreams are and make sure that as far as possible, everything you do is advancing them. Don’t waste time on things that aren’t.
3. Take regular lunch breaks/exercise. Don’t just carry on working an extra hour at the end of the day.
4. Make a list – I do this but sometimes am overwhelmed with big tasks (e.g., write research paper). I probably need to make a list identifying smaller sub-tasks which can be tackled more manageably.
5. Make use of downtime – I am planning on walking to work a lot since my car accident (can’t afford to replace my car straight away) – this would be a good time to practice this one – planning for day ahead as I walk.
6. Have deadlines – I respond well to external ones, but less well to internally driven ones. Room for improvement here!
7. Reward yourself for meeting goals – if I get things done, I tend to then look around for the next thing I need to do – perhaps stopping and appreciating smaller successes would be helpful.
8. Avoid procrastinating – this is a big one for me – I can waste a significant portion of time reading the newspapers online, playing Candy Crush, doing my finances etc. Anything but the main job in hand. I have abandoned Facebook recently which has been wonderful – improved my mood and saved time. But definitely more needed here.
9. Do something to just get started – sometimes the first step is the hardest. Definitely relevant to the huge writing project I have ahead.
10. Say ‘no’ to things. Someone once advised not taking anything new on without identifying something you would stop doing in its place. Brilliant advice, but hard to implement when you may be a people pleaser or have a persuasive boss. Since some other large work projects are likely to come my way soon, this definitely has to happen. No more of those social work tasks either like organising the Christmas party!
It’s impossible to just start implementing all of these, but 8 and 10 would be a good start. Any other suggestions out there?