The art of juggling, or Time management skills


Charlaine Harris' All Together Dead

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As those of you that know me or read my blogs will know by now I like nothing more than being busy. To meet this need I am constantly taking on new challenges – even if I haven’t yet completed the last challenge and how I manage to keep all my balls in the air is often beyond many people’s comprehension. Especially when they also hear about me having spent a night out on the town and not getting home till 06:00 then doing a full day of work or study straight after (even if it happens to be a Sunday)!!

People often say I must have excellent time management skills and be mega organised, while I would love this to be the case I don’t believe it is the whole truth. Many a time you will find me falling asleep during the day, popping round my mates for a quick cuppa that lasts 4 hours and wasting time looking at the latest fancy dress costumes on the Ann Summers website!! So, if I spend so much time procrastinating how come I always manage to get my assignments in ahead of the deadline, never miss an appointment and always get so much more done in a day than the average person? well, here comes the crunch – I JUST DO!!

There are no fancy explanations, I don’t subscribe to any of the Time Management Guru’s ways of doing things. Sure I have picked up the odd tip here and there from such things and often people have lent me books to read that aim to help you manage your time better (Getting Things Done and Relax, Focus, Succeed come to mind) but I have not yet read one of these kinds of self-improvement books in full – I just don’t have the time (sorry authors!). If I want to waste (sorry maybe that’s a bit harsh) time reading a book (that isn’t specifically required reading for a course or business), then I will read a book I am going to relax, enjoy and that will enable me to ‘take a break’ from the learning and doing, such as the latest fantasy book by Charlaine Harris or Kelley Armstrong and other such fantasy authors.

Personally I also believe that while what authors of self-improvement books write about may sound like perfect common sense and work amazingly well for them, we are all different and have to do things our own way if we are to succeed. Time management is not a ‘one-size’ fits all technique that can be learnt or taught. It is about doing things the way that works FOR YOU. Yes, we can all make use of a few tips that if we had thought of it in the first place we would have done it anyway – because it is the natural way we work, so it will be useful, but with other things we will be like ‘euughh, that sounds like it will take more time to set-up, implement and maintain than just getting on and DOING the thing that needs to be done in the first place’.

The main time management skills I ever learnt were the natural ones that we all get taught by our parents, at school and through our working lives – things such as ‘there are deadlines for things, they must be met or there will be consequences’ and ‘if you want to go somewhere/doing something you need to do it when the chance is available or you miss out’.

The main thing I have struggled with is other people’s differing priorities, if someone sets you a range of different tasks, none of which have any clear priority over another and the person hasn’t told you which things are considered a priority to them it is hard to meet their expectations – as your view of prioritising such tasks may vary hugely from theirs; for example with no given priorities I will either do things in the order they came in, or identify a priority order of my own… therefore things may not be done when the other person would expect (a difficult thing to overcome if you ask for clarification and are told its down to you to manage and prioritise your own work load) – you feel like screaming “I am but then you’re moaning I haven’t done such and such when you wanted it done” (arrrggghh – makes you feel like banging your head against a brick wall…) If you read this looking for the answer to questions such as that I’m afraid you came to the wrong place – I don’t have the answer (if you do please let me know!) sorry 😦

As for tips, if you really want tips for any thing feel free to drop me an e-mail: sharon@chrismarshallnetworks.com and I will try to help, who knows what I may do may be what you helps you, or not… But really its just about using your time in the best way that suits you and the demands on your time – there is no such thing as a quick fix. Good luck with the juggling! 😉

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2 comments on “The art of juggling, or Time management skills

  1. Thanks for linking to my blog, Sharon – and I TOTALLY agree about the “one size” nonsense. Just a hunch, but I think you DO have a time-management philosophy that you practice — “Do it t-totally your OWN way!” (coupled with some spates of unbounded BPD energy, I’m guessing – everything has its UP side)!

    I love the apparent delight you take in “coloring outside the lines” — no apologies, this is me, and I exercise my right to be exactly how I am — freeing up all the agonizing time that so many don’t seem to be able to avoid, myself included at times. I’ll be back to troll your blog after the the holidays (which means until 12th Nite for me).

    Merry EVERYthing that gets celebrated around the time of the Winter Solstice.

    Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, SCAC, MCC – (blogging at ADDandSoMuchMore and on ADDerWorld – dot com!)

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