Monday, March 21, 2005

Time (Mis)management

I'm rubbish at managing my time. Today my Mum arrived for a short stay and I spent over six hours (SIX HOURS!!!!) cleaning the house before she saw it. Of course it took that long because I (=we) had let it get out of hand. So now it's mostly clean and the piles of papers that were in the living room are now piles of papers behind the closed door of my study (along with piles of baby clothes that I hesitate between keeping for ever and ever and e-baying mercilessly for a quick euro). The question of time management has come up on a couple of other blogs I've been reading. First of all chez jill/txt � who has a great list of suggestions which I have shamelessly pasted below with a couple of omissions:

1. At start of week, write down what needs to be done before next Monday
2. Prioritise ruthlessly. Absolute necessities get done first. Accept that many things won’t get done. Learn difference between what must be done and what doesn’t really need to be done.
3. Own research is an absolute necessity, but should get carved into blocks of time that probably don’t coincide with teaching.
4. Only check email once a day.
5. Learn to be realistic about how much time things actually take.
6. Prep next Monday’s lecture before Friday
7. Never complain about having too much to do. Just say no to new tasks.

And then on incorporated subversion » Knowledge Workers - academia and the Google 20% there was this:

"us in ol’ academia have been working on the 40:40:20 rule for some time now where 40% is teaching, 40% research and 20% admin… "

Ha-ha-ha. That sounds like a man rule. If only it were as simple as that. And what happens on weeks like this when you have a sick child at home, or the weeks when you just can't be bothered with the admin stuff, or the months when you just have so much teaching that it's hard enough to find time to go to the boulangerie and buy some bread never mind think about research? Time management is impossible because time is slippery and tasks slither through the interstices of timetables.


Bee said...

Goethe said "One always has time enough, if one will apply it well"

I, however, tend to agree with Oscar Wilde:

"One can live for years sometimes without living at all, and then all life comes crowding into one single hour"

I guess I have been permanently mismanaging my time as every single hour seems very lively to me :-)...ouf

Deborah said...

There are two categories of people in this world, the busy ones forever tidying and being active and the slobs who put their feet up instead of doing the dishes .....and who let the dust accumulate
One of my friends gave me a fridge magnet which says 'Dull women have immaculate homes'
that says it all, and who is the friend? why Lesley of course