We only got 86,400 seconds in a day to
Turn it all around or to throw it all away
We gotta tell them that we love them
While we got the chance to say
Gotta live like we’re dying

Kris Allen – Live Like We’re Dying

Ever find that there is never enough time in a day? Or that any plan in writing is thrown out the window, with only half of it completed by the end of the day? Ever find that, regardless of the planning, it seems impossible to strategically and efficiently use the 24 hours (or 16 hours awake) in a day?

Okay, maybe Kris Allen’s song is not exactly in the right context, but I gotta love the song. Anyways, the point is that we all have 24 hours in a day, maybe 8 of which are for sleep, and not everyone knows how to use them properly. Like many, the hours fly by when in a “Flow” State, which consists of a state where the superego is muted (people aren’t obsessed with self-correction). Artists spend days creating music or pieces of art while Athletes spend that same amount of time practicing and perfecting their skills. At the same time, authors (amateur or not) would spend that time writing stories from their heads or reading up on something that they find deeply intriguing.

All of this sounds fascinating, but what the heck does this have to do with managing time?!

Absolutely nothing… except for possible reasons as to why we might lose track of it.

Having attended a few workshops at Concordia, I learned that making a schedule helps… except if you don’t have anything to remind to stick to that schedule. Last semester, I had a detailed schedule, and I mean detailed – down to every 15 minutes, I had a plan of what to do. The problem was that there was nothing to remind me to stick to it. I would put post-its all over – on the computer, my phone, my notebook – did nothing. Those post-its ended up wasted as I got into the flow state at 7 in the evening and realized that it was 10 when I started to yawn.

Now, what to do about it?

Jokingly, I would think to use the Apple Watch to remind me that I have other more important things to do, but we can’t all afford a smartwatch that starts at 450 CAD (which is 520 after taxes in Quebec [math nerd]) (if you have one, I will call you lucky/fortunate).

Realistically, there could be a number of ways to manage time. Cue…. The timer (*dramatically plays the piano* dun dun duuuuun)

With today’s technology being in almost every corner, it’s starting to look like a timer might be a good idea. It’s loud, sudden, quick to move and, if the timer happens to be an iPhone/iPod, it could bring us back to reality. The only problem is that it’s not the best idea to use in the Library, where some librarians don’t let you breathe.

Managing time is something of which is constantly readjusted, especially in school life, no matter the level. If not a timer to scare the living daylights out of you, get creative! Maybe put a bright light source attached to a timer and have it go off at a certain time – once it goes off, you would notice a difference in brightness. In a quiet environment, maybe turn off the vibrations, but leave the earphones plugged in for the timer. By better managing time, stress goes down and… well, life seems a little bit brighter (until the next task, anyways).

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