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COLUMN: Time management is possible

How often do we hear others say “If I only had time” or “ I would love to, but I just don’t have the time?” As if we own time, or can somehow control it.

Well, we do have control as to how we use our time. Everyday, when we rush about, stressing, or doing things we hate. We have control in how we approach the tasks we set for ourselves. While midterms and exam time may be the most stressful, it also may be the best time to lessen our stress. One of the effects of long-term exposure to stress is that it kills your brain cells. So it’s in your best interest, if you want to pass that test, to not freak out.

Rather than taking the easy way out and just saying (and believing) that time is not in our favor, we could stop, breathe and think. We can plan our days, plan what we will do.

Some may say, “Yeah, but it’s not that easy,” but it is. Mostly, it is about prioritizing. Mostly, it is about choosing. Mostly, it is being conscious of the ways we already are using our time.

I bet if you added up all the Facebook, Twitter and/or mindless Internet searching, you just might be shocked and could think of ways you would rather spend that time.

Have too many chores and not enough quiet time? Instead of doing the dishes, or whatever it may be that you don’t want to do, put it on the to-do-later-shelf, and sit down with a nice cup of tea and a book.

In 2011, there was a survey by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that showed how Americans made use of their time. On average, about 7.6 hours were spent working.  When housework days came up, the people who did housework (like cleaning, cooking, working on the yard), spent about 2.1-2.6 hours, depending on if it was a woman or a man.

Now this wasn’t every day they cleaned or cooked, but the way I see it: If you really want some time, your place may not need to be perfectly clean. Skimp a little bit or work faster, cut that time a little and take 10 minutes that you would have used scrubbing the toilet and just have some quiet time.

I may not control time, but I know how to structure my day and make sure to make blocks of availability for myself with a little planning.

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