In the same way, we need to structure our time according to the natural rhythms of our lives. We need to sleep enough, to eat regularly, to rest and exercise every day. We need to allocate enough regular time to meet the needs of our formal and informal education, something that should become a lifelong habit. The management of our time will be better for it in all respects of our learning, living, leading and working. We can’t take ourselves too seriously all of the time, but if we want to be taken seriously at all, keeping our commitments and appointments by maintaining a calendar well is a good starting point.
We also need to learn sufficiency. We can’t possibly get it all done and certainly not on time. When we have made our choices and worked well towards our goal, what we have done is what we have done. Sometimes, we will need to put in some very long hours, but this should never become the norm. We have personal and private lives to lead, and relationships to which we must tend. We need sports, games, hobbies and other activities to add variety and interest to our lives. Fitting everything in can’t happen, so we need to know when we have done enough, what needs to wait, and what can’t or should not get done. We also need to understand when to say “not yet” both to ourselves and other people. Gaining in character and competency is the work of years not days.
When all is said and done, then, we will most likely get the results we deserve, whether pleasing, disappointing or a combination of both. We can use and should use experience to reflect on what we have done and might do better (and indeed reflection is another thing we need to fit into our lives so we can build routine habits of evaluation and goal-setting).
As with our accommodation, the existence of an orderliness to the way we manage our commitments to ourselves and others in the time available is not only positive for our own growth, wellness and security, it is an important indication to others of the way we care for them and how serious we are in our desire to honour our obligations to them. Attracting to ourselves a reputation for reliability and the well-practised habits that lead to it is important. If we do what we say we will do, then people will be much more likely to see us as people of integrity. Our character will be judged well if our good intentions are matched by our actions and their impact. In the end, the responsibility of ensuring that our lives are well-lived and worthwhile is up to us. The quality, rate and frequency of our very practical skills of managing our time are indicators of whether or not we are genuine about The Pathway To Excellence.
We can contemplate our Calendar and Time Management by considering the following questions:
- Do I keep and update a calendar, using it effectively to organise, schedule and meet my commitments?
- Do I accomplish what I need to do each day, ensuring that I meet important goals for my personal life and education?
- Do I review, at a regular time at the end each week, how things went during the previous week and what I should prioritise and accomplish in the week ahead?
- Do I have good study and work habits and strive to improve them?
- Do I take time each day to relax and exercise?