Saturday, September 10, 2011

Time Management

Taking time for lunch outside
This semester is really testing me in ways I haven't been before.

I've posted in the past about my habit of procrastination. Often I find that I work better under the pressure that procrastinating provides. Over the last few weeks, however, that has not been the case, at all. With the homework needed to stay on top of my Intermediate French and Finite Math courses, the 10+ hours of research work for The Doctor each week, as well as the reading for Cognitive Psychology and Behavioral Research, I am really being asked to accomplish more in a limited amount of time that I am accustomed. For ten years at the radio station, I essentially had 10 hours of work to get done in 40 hours a week, with the remainder of my time spent being on alert in case something went horribly wrong.

The thing is, I really enjoy my downtime. I like being able to have time to read Internet forums, watch The Young Turks on YouTube, read political blogs, watch the occasional documentary on Netflix. While I find that keeping up with politics is stressful, it is stressful in a way that I find fun. Having to constantly do work to maintain my grades is stressful, but not in a way that I find especially fun. The problem is that there is a specific goal in mind with regard to the school work. I HAVE TO make good grades. I don't have to know that President Obama's ridiculous "jobs" plan consists of 56% tax cuts for corporations.

Of course, procrastinating wouldn't be as big of a problem for me if I would actually do all the things I need to do. As I put things off, the stack of things I need to do constantly gets bigger, increasing the pressure until I worry that I might explode. And the work for The Doctor is a particular beast for me, because I hate the feeling that I am letting someone else down. If I make a C in French it doesn't hurt me, emotionally, as much as knowing that I'm slowing someone else down or preventing them from accomplishing their tasks in an efficient manner. That's why I was never meant for customer service. I despise slowing other people down.

I also know that I sound like a whiny little bitch to complain about my workload. I've spoken with women and/or read Facebook posts recently from female friends from high school about how they either did, or currently are, attending college with a full workload WHILE managing to raise young children as single mothers. I feel overwhelmed with what I already have, and I can barely imagine what pressure would feel like if I had even one child depending on me for their care and survival. All of these women have my full respect because I clearly couldn't accomplish what they have, or are, accomplishing. One friend is managing to care for two daughters AND maintain a 4.0 GPA! I'm honestly humbled.

I suppose time management comes down to priorities. I was talking to a friend about that issue just the other day. We brought up the questions of, "What is important to you? What fights are the ones you choose to fight, and which do you walk away from?" Those mothers achieve what they do because they have, rightfully so, put their children first. Caring for their kids is their primary priority, and getting a good education is merely an extension of that priority. Sure, they choose to attend college for their own improvement. But, that improvement will help them care for their children with increased salaries, knowledge, and potential health benefits.

If I believe that becoming a college professor is a main priority of my life, I can't allow my pursuit of that priority to be merely incidental to my existence, as I apparently have up to this point. My strategy of just ambling through life and going where it takes me isn't sufficient to the task of actually achieving long-term goals. But, change is difficult, and scary. I am afraid of so many things associated with changing myself: Fear of failure, fear of becoming something I don't like, fear of being committed to goals I can't easily back away from, and, of course, the fear of letting other people down. Though, obviously, I am not alone in these fears.

If I could only figure out how to balance social interaction into the mix a little better, maybe I'd be all set.

Have fun and keep living life... Or some approximation thereof.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...