Balancing School, Work, & Writing

Time Management

Finding a balance between everything in your life is hard. Devoting enough time to this thing or that thing can sometimes seem impossible, how do you decide what gets precedent and what gets put on the back burner? How do you decide which task is more important? Which one to focus on? Time management, I have learned, is key.

When you’re given a list of tasks or duties, you need to decide which ones to focus on or prioritize. For me, I have school, work, and writing (squeeze a little housework and sleeping in there too). Of the three, the two that take precedent are school and work; and out of those two: school.

School has to be my top priority because I need to finish my education in order to meet my future career goals. Work has to remain a priority because a) it’s work; and b) I need work to pay for school. Basic human needs and functions come next, like sleeping and eating.

Wouldn’t we save so much time in life if we didn’t need to sleep? I would actually have time to write regularly if we didn’t need sleep. When you get right into the middle of something and the flow is going really well, but you’re eyes are closing and you can feel your brain slowing down… I find sleeping to be mildly inconvenient (but so, so nice).

It is unfortunate and disappointing that at this moment in my life writing has to be put on the back burner a lot. I try to squeeze in time whenever I can, but find it hard sometimes when I have a looming list of things to get done for school.

This is where the time management I mentioned before comes in.

When I have a lot to do, the first thing I do is write everything down. I always write due dates and important dates down in my agenda (as well as my writing schedule), but when I have SO MUCH to do, I also just like to make a list of everything that needs to be done.

From here I rearrange the list so the most important task is at the top (this is usually whatever assignment is due first), all the way to the bottom where the things that can wait go. This allows me to see how much time I have for each task. For instance, if I have an assignment due tomorrow and a writing post going up next Sunday, I’m going to make sure the assignment is done first. I’d rather be doing the writing post, but unfortunately the assignment needs to be done.

This can make things difficult when I have a list of assignments as long as my arm to get done and another list of writing posts as long as my other to also get done (which is why writing down when you need things done by is key). Going forward over the next several weeks I will really be testing myself to see how my time management is.

Can I keep on top of all my schoolwork? Probably. Can I keep on top of my regular work? I have no choice. Can I keep on top of my writing? Hopefully. And I can’t wait for the day where this list is shrunk down to my writing because my regular work and the answer being Yes, Absolutely.

Do you have any time management tips for your fellow writers? Do you remove all distractions? Do you set aside dedicated amounts of time to work on certain things? Do you set certain goals for yourself to help you achieve things? Or do you just wing it and hope for the best?

Let me know and hopefully we can help each other out!

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