Featured Picture– This week’s featured picture is of scenic Augusta , GA. Augusta is known for being the host city of the PGA Master’s and it is also the location of one of our physical centers as well as the home of one of our partnership sites with the National Guard Youth Challenge Academy (YCA)- the YCA Fort Gordon!
Time Management- Time management is most simply the wise and efficient use of time to complete all of the tasks we must accomplish on a daily basis whether those tasks are meeting deadlines for work, arriving to class on time, or getting errands done within a specific timeframe.
One of my favorite quotes about time management comes from one of my favorite President’s, Honest Abe Lincoln. “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” Lincoln brings up the most important thing to remember when discussing time management, that a failure to prepare and plan for how we spend our time will ultimately make more work for us!
For me, preparing starts and ends with scheduling. I use multiple tools and resources to help me organize and schedule my day. Three of the tools can be seen in the picture below. Pictured from left to right you will find my “Kind heart, Fierce Mind, Brave Spirit” journal, my jumbo desk calendar, and my magnetized floral notepad. Each serves a different purpose which I will breakdown for your below.
Kind Heart, Fierce Mind, Brave Spirit Journal– My journal is where I give a detailed description of my thoughts on all of the things I have scheduled for each day. For example, on days when I have a specific meeting with my boss or any other member of our organization I use my journal to write out notes on points I would like to cover in that meeting. I also make sure to explain why this particular thought is important to me. This not only helps me remember all of the things I would like to discuss, but because I operate under the rule of thumb that if I can’t write more than three sentences about why whatever I want to discuss is important than bringing it up in that specific meeting may not be the best use of my time.
Jumbo Desk Calendar- My jumbo desk calendar is the place where I do all of my long-term planning. This means all of the events in my professional or personal life that require me to physically leave the town I reside in, for the entire year, are noted here. This helps me stay organized and gives me a good overview of each month and long-range oversight of multiple months. For example, there are a few days during the month of March where my attendance elsewhere in the state is required. Seeing this on my calendar helps me plan how my time during the weeks leading up to this type of event should be organized.
Magnetized Floral Notepad- My magnetized floral notepad helps remind me of meetings or tasks that are urgent as I stick this on my refrigerator door. After much trial and error, I found that the refrigerator door was the best place to keep important tasks because not only does my refrigerator house all of my yummy snacks and thirst-quenching water, but it is located directly next to our coffee/tea station which is another place I visit quite frequently 🙂
Other Tools- In order to help remind myself further of my daily, weekly, and monthly obligations, I also use the calendar associated with my email account to create reminders for myself. I can vouch personally for the effectiveness of both the calendar/event scheduling capabilities of Outlook and Gmail. Since my email accounts are linked to my phone, these reminders which I already have written out in the other places mentioned above, are sent directly to my phone. This is helpful for me because in the event I am away from my journal, calendar, notepad, or any of these tangible reminders are misplaced, the digital reminder alerts me of something I need to do.
A day in the Life of the GACHS Virtual Learning Manager
The last tool I use which I find EXTREMELY helpful is a schedule template that divides my day into 30 minutes increments. You can find out what a typical day in the life of GACHS Virtual Manager can look like by clicking on the link below to view the specific template I use. For your convenience, I have filled out Monday to show you how I organize my time but have left the rest of the days of the week blank. You can download this template and customize it any way you would like :). Some people find that scheduling your day 30 minutes at a time is too strict of a schedule, but for me chunking my time this way is the only way to stay organized. If you feel as though this is too extreme of a time chunk, select the last tab labeled data settings and you can adjust both the time of day you would like your schedule to begin at as well as the specific time interval by which your schedule is arranged.
*If you prefer to find a different schedule template please copy and paste the link for the website below which has tons of different templates you can choose from*
Other General Time Management Strategies– Other strategies that I have found that assist me in efficiently managing my time are creating small breaks for myself (you will see several scheduled during my day) as well as making sure I take time out of each day to do one thing for myself. During the week this comes in the form of exercise but on the weekend it may be volunteering or pampering myself. Please feel free to drop a comment below in the comment box with any other strategies you have used in the past or plan on using to make time management work for you!
All of that is awesome, but what about managing my time as it related to my GACHS studies? How can you help me with that?
There are several tools that can help you manage your time in Edgenuity, one of these tools is your assignment calendar which hopefully you are using because you read about how helpful it can be in my first blog post 😉. Your assignment calendar can be accessed through the organizer in your lobby. Once you are tapped into your organizer, select reports, and then select assignment calendar. The assignment calendar will let you know the minimum amount of assignments you should be completing each day and each week. If there is a green check next to an assignment this means you have already completed it 🙂 Anything that is gray means you have not completed this assignment. I have seen many students find success by writing out which assignments they need to complete each day in each course when they create their schedule.
The other time management tools/tips that I have to share with you relate directly to next week’s topic: Academic Pacing. My pacing post will provide you with the different tools you can use to make sure you maintain (or help yourself stay ahead of) pace as well as the different tools that I use to help students stay on pace!
The Bottom Line
Whether you schedule your day out in 30-minute increments or find it easier to keep track of things you need to do weekly, whether you write out your daily tasks in a journal, using sticky notes, or keep your tasks and appointments scheduled on your phone, it is imperative to find something that works for you. Not only will you find success in your online courses but managing your time will help you get the most out of each day.
Featured Picture- http://shred360.com/augusta/
Abraham Lincoln Quote- http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/70-best-time-management-quotes.html
Schedule Template- https://www.smartsheet.com/free-daily-schedule-templates
Additional Templates- https://templates.office.com/en-us/Schedules