I'm no fool. I know what's really important in this equation.
Still, as one thing after another edged out the writing I'd just pledged to do, I had to remind myself that time management in times of transition is different that day-to-day time management. And, when the transitions are as significant as a high school graduation, it's important to keep in mind that managing time is less important than making the most of it.
With that in mind, here are my three keys for keeping your sanity when your brain says, "you should be doing this," but your heart says, "you should be doing that."
- Be flexible. There's no harm in drafting a schedule, provided you write it in pencil. Things will change (that's why they call it "transition") and fighting that inevitability only makes us cranky and stressed out. Check things off as you can, and re-evaluate priorities as the day goes on.
- Be available. Times of transition are loaded with opportunities to do valuable things that aren't on the list. Knowing that this is the last week my daughter's schedule will be this flexible makes me more apt to drop what I'm doing when she wants my attention. This week, deviating from the schedule led to a long talk and a fun shopping trip -- well worth sacrificing the things that didn't get crossed off the list.
- Be patient -- and not just with others. All this flexibility and availability can be really hard, and can lead to frustration over all that's left undone. As I seem to be saying a lot these days, it's important to focus on the progress we've made, not the progress we haven't made, and, it's even more important to remember what really matters.
Transitions mean change and change brings challenges. When in doubt, take a moment to ask yourself what matters most. That way, you can tackle the most important challenges first, and make the most of every moment.
And that's a style everyone can get behind.