I dislike the hype surrounding resolutions, and fortune telling that occurs this time of year. As a result I tend to stay away from both news and social networks and focus on my six month personal plans.
Six months may seem like a very short amount of time, but if a project cannot be completed in that amount of time, six month is surely enough time to accomplish much towards the project’s completion.
Planning six months ahead in education is a huge amount of time. It is more than one semester. It is more than enough time to complete a well-crafted literature review. It is also a good amount to time to set long-term goals that may need refining within that amount of time.
My plans for the next six months are still focused on my academic pursuits, but as I come to the end of my masters program, I realize that the nearly two years since I began this journey have flown by. Will I have the same sense of time as I near the completion of my PhD studies? Most likely, but I have learnt from my current experience.
I now value my free time and don’t spend much time watching TV. I now do one thing at a time and enjoy what I’m doing. When I take the dog for a walk, I’m experiencing the neighbourhood and enjoying my dog’s company. I’m not talking on my cellphone or thinking about a long list of things I need to do.
I carefully plan my time with friends and family so that I stay in touch with them. I don’t want to get to the end of my studies to find that I have no friend’s left and have alienated my family.
There is an abundance of distractions in life. I now know who and what is important to me and have gotten rid of the “filler” that cluttered my life. For instance, I have noticed that I seem to check four different news outlets about eight times a day to see what the world is up to. While I feel more informed, do I really need to have a news addiction? No, I am just filling time that could be better used doing something more fulfilling.
Most importantly, every six month, I evaluate what I’ve done with my life and refine my plans for the future. While my M.Ed. studies has provided me with many important learning opportunities, I believe the processes has given me the opportunity to learn how to be economical with my time. Each of us has only a finite amount of time, and time management is perhaps the most overlooked skill we should all acquire.