September 22nd, 2012

Armed Freedom

Space and Time Management

My roommate encouraged me to "get out" this weekend.  While I lay half-awake this morning, I went through all the possible outdoor locations where I could go to relax. The Waterfront?  Nah, I'd be a little too envious and regretful if I went there. The mall? The National Book Festival will be occupying all of that space this weekend. Fredericksburg?  No, I need to be back by 6pm for a service event. The park?  No, too many people.  The marble benches in front of the Adams building?  No, traffic can be kind of loud there.

Where, then?  It makes me sad to realize that I don't have a spot outdoors where I feel that I can go to rest (like the NC monument at Gettysburg), but I've been thoroughly enjoying the breeze from my window today.

While I was heating up brunch today, I remembered something that my graduate school advisor had told me.  It was around the time that I had been offered a part-time job, but I was nervous about the demands that this would put on my already hectic schedule. I was finishing my last semester of graduate school, was burned out, was working part-time as a teachers' assistant for two graduate level IT classes, and was very busy with my church.  I really didn't want to add any more to that list of responsibilities.  My advisor encouraged me that I could handle it all if I carefully managed my time.  I had never really thought about time management before. I simply worked on a task until it was done.  If a single email took me an hour and a half to compose, then that's how long I would work on it.  He proposed that I set aside a certain time block for email work, for homework, etc.  The idea seemed very practical, but I just couldn't see how I could set such strict time limits on my tasks.  

I feel the same way today.  I recently heard of a concept called "Executive Function."  Does anyone know what this is?  I still don't really grasp what it means, but it seems like it might relate?  Some personal observations on time management, planning, etc Collapse )