A Series in Time Management (Part 1)

clock

Is Time on Your Radar?

Time is either on your radar or it’s not.

Think about your household or the household in which you were raised. It’s likely you had one family member who insisted on being early to activities while another had the best intentions to be prompt but was always late. Whatever your family dynamics were/are, it’s certain that this was/is a constant area of contention.

Why does this occur? It’s all about an individual’s unique brain composition and its corresponding dominant behaviors. In the most basic terms, consider the right-brain versus the left-brain dominance. Those individuals who tend to be right-brain dominant typically demonstrate creativity and outside-the-box thinking and behaving while those who are left-brain dominant typically demonstrate specific, detailed, analytical, inside-the-box thinking and behaving. More basically, the two sides represent the free-spirited versus rule-following individuals: the time-unaware and the time-aware.

 

Is it Harder Managing Time These Days?

In ancient times, no. Not the Stonehenge era, but rather the 1960s and 70s. People were fantastic timekeepers and even time managers. Here’s proof. Everyone knew that Happy Days was on TV at 8:00pm on Tuesday nights on ABC. We knew it was over at 8:30pm when Laverne and Shirley began. Most of us even had encyclopedic recall of the weekly Primetime TV schedules. Resourcefully, we knew we could make a snack, let the dog out, put our dirty dishes in the dishwasher, move laundry from the washer to the dryer, or complete any other 2- minute tasks during a commercial break. For those of the younger crowd, if you didn’t turn on your TV at the right broadcast time, you missed the show, period. Options to record, stream, pause or fast-forward did not exist! We knew what 30 or 60 minutes felt like. We knew how to plan our day or night based on the television’s line up.

Today’s society, with the exception of sports fans and die-hard “must watch TV shows during their original broadcast” folks, does not focus on a TV schedule. Today, the sky’s the limit. Well, not really the sky, but 24 hours is the limit. Today’s screen-based entertainment can be seen anytime, anywhere, and be repeated as many times as desired. Catching the evening news on TV does not necessarily indicate it’s 6:00pm anymore. The “evening news” is on at least 3 or 4 times on each channel every evening. Cable news today is broadcast 24 hours a day. We have no clear barometer of time from TV anymore.

 

Solutions:

  1. Place analog clocks everywhere, especially in the bathroom and kitchen. “Face” clocks allow you to see time passing and allow you to see time as part of an hour. There’s a reason why every classroom in the country has the good old analog clock on the wall. Every student knows how much time is left in class at any given moment thanks to the analog clock. A digital image requires some math to determine how much time remains.

  2. Wear a vibrating wristwatch that acts as an alarm indicating a certain amount of time has passed. Watches today can do just about anything you need. Let it serve as a reminder that time both passes and exists. Again, an analog image is recommended. Yes, even the fancy smart watches can display a “face” clock image.

  3. Use timers; they can become your best friends. The timer I recommend the most is the Time Timer. It provides a graphic of time passing and has an optional ringer. They come is many sizes, colors and amounts of time. Take a look, it might change your life!

 

Time management is a skill that can be practiced and perfected just like anything else. To master it, you have to apply it to your personal life just as much as your professional. However, just when you think completely you’ve grasped something, you’ll find there’s always more to learn. Stay tuned!

Michelle Grey has been a professional organizer since 2003 and certified since 2007. While she works full time at Kinetix as an Executive Assistant, she still makes time for her clients on the weekends. She helps students and their families develop and improve their time management, executive function, and organizing skills. Michelle offers virtual and in-person workshops and in-home consulting. Her website is www.TheStudentOrganizers.com. Michelle is a Past President of the Georgia Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals. She also served as the Professional Development Director both locally and nationally. Michelle has a Master’s Degree in Organization Psychology from Columbia University and she enjoys learning about ADHD, brain function, personality, cognition, behavior, and executive functioning. Michelle has two grown children: a 26-year-old son who lives and works in D.C. and a 24-year-old daughter who will be moving to Atlanta in December after her 4 ½ year stint as a character performer for Disney.

Leave a Reply