Scouting Report: The Time Management skill set is one’s ability to use their time and energy in the most effective way by being able to prepare, prioritize and organize.
Time Management – Something athletes, coaches and parents do not talk about enough. Why do you need it? Why it is important and how do you do it? Time management is important to reach your goals and achieve Peak Performance. Without it, it is easy to feel overwhelmed, burned out and not have enough energy to complete the important things. The more organized and automated your day is the more self-discipline, energy, and focus you have to direct toward the most important things (from getting your homework done, spending time with family, competing, or working out).
You may not have great time management skills because you fail to see the big picture and plan ahead. You should be able to look at all of your games, practices, school projects, family gatherings, etc. and mark them down on your calendar so you are aware when they are coming up and due. You also need to schedule how much time it will take you to do the task. For example, if practice is at 3pm and it takes you 20 minutes to get to the gym and you want to be there 30 minutes early, you may need to start getting ready for practice at 1:30pm - put on your clothes, pack your gym bag, make a snack, etc. This gives you more than enough time to leave your home around 2:10pm so you can make the 20 minute drive to the gym. Here's an additional tip: if you do not drive, make sure the person who is driving you to practice is well aware of your schedule and what time you plan on leaving. If you are using public transportation, make sure you are aware of the pick up times and/or contact your rideshare service (like Uber) beforehand so you can make it to practice at your preferred time.
Another reason people do not have the best time management skills is because they fail to prioritize. You may have a list of things to do but it is best that you prioritize the list. Two words to know is "important" and "urgent." For example if you have an exam in three days on 4 chapters and a quiz the following week on one chapter, both are important but one of them is urgent - the exam you have in three days. When it comes to prioritizing your work Steve R. Covey created the Covey Time Management Grid. This grid is divided into 4 equal parts:
Urgent & important
Not urgent, but important
Urgent but not important
Neither urgent nor important
By working on your time management and organization skills you will be able to:
1. Identify which tasks deserve and require the greatest supply of energy and focus so you can prioritize other aspects of your day around what matters most.
2. Display more willpower and discipline when building new habits or performing under pressure.
3. Consistently show up for practice/competition/workouts with more focus and energy because you have mastered the ability to let structure and automation guide your day.
4. Eliminate feeling overwhelmed. With you having so much to do and not giving each tasks a day and time when you are going to complete it, you’ll feel like your to do list is never ending.
5. Consistently be “all in” and fully present in every aspect of your life.
Building your time management and organization skills will drastically improve your ability to achieve your goals. The reality is most people are walking around day to day in a state of “decision fatigue.” They stumble from task to task, decision to decision, letting the day just dominate them instead of dominating the day. Select your planning day and start planning.
Sunday is planning day for me (see picture above). To the best of my abilities, I plan out my week. Time Management has allowed me to fully work my 9-5 job as an Environmental Health and Safety Engineer (I manage an entire region), take full care of my two year old daughter every day by myself (after my husband goes to work), successfully run I Am Mentally Tough every day, serve as the President of Lean In Central Virginia – all while providing myself the selfcare that my body and mind needs every day.
Game Plan: If I am not organized there’s no way I can be "all in" while wearing different hats throughout the day. Here are some time management and organization tips I want to share with you:
1. Write down your master to do list (get it out of your head and on to paper)
Another reason people do not have the best time management skills is because they fail to prioritize. You may have a list of things to do but it is best that you prioritize the list. Two words to know is "important" and "urgent." For example if you have an exam in three days on 4 chapters and a quiz the following week on one chapter, both are important but one of them is urgent - the exam you have in three days. When it comes to prioritizing your work, Steve R. Covey created the
3. Get a planner (preferably one that has a calendar, a place to write your to do list for the day and an area you can write down your schedule for the day (zoom in my pic to see an example)
4. MIT’s -Write down the top 3 Most Important Tasks that need to be done that day, schedule it, THEN DO IT!
5. Determine how much time you’re going to dedicate to each task
6. Be proactive and eliminate distractions (ex: put your cell phone in another room)
7. Set deadlines
8. Have an accountability partner
9. BOOKEND YOUR DAYS!! Have an A.M. and P.M. routine!
These are some basic tips that I use that has now become second nature to me. When I work with my athletes, one of the pillars we go over is time management. We spend a great amount of time creating a personalized/detailed time management plan. I cannot stress enough how important it is to manage your time. If you’re an athlete, parent, or coach and need me to work with you on your time management - I would love to help you.
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