I read recently that it’s a good practice to analyse my daily activities to see how well I manage my time or the lack thereof. With my full-time working schedule, time management is the utmost important factor in this dissertation journey.
Here is how my typical weekday is like:
6:00 a.m. Wake up, bathroom routine, check emails and Remember the milk to see what’s my to-do list for the day
6:30 a.m. Dress up and while waiting for the husband to get ready I check my Twitter updates and read some cool news from those updates
7:00 a.m. Out of the house on the way to the office.
7:30 a.m. Reach my office. Official work hour is 8:30 a.m. so I have around 1 hour to utilize for my studious work. Normally, I write my daily 300 words or write a blog post. If my inspiration is so dead, I will read an article or my Google Reader (RSS).
8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Official working hours. In between working tasks (if nothing urgent or major incident), I read articles and make notes, look at my outline again to see where to improve or what to target, check some references and read a few pages of a chapter of an academic book.
6:15 p.m. Reach home, bath and dinner.
7:15 p.m. Out from the house again for a tuition job around the neighborhood.
7:30 – 9:00 p.m. I tutor a 12-year-old and a 9-year-old boys in Malay (our country’s national language), Maths and Science. I work on this job every weekday’s evening except Wednesday and sometimes I have Saturday class with them too. Sometimes during this session while waiting for them to finish work, I use the idle time to write my daily 300 words.
9:30 – 11:00 p.m. Reach home again and spend some quality time with the husband, usually watch an episode of CSI – NY or half a movie before crashing to bed by 11:00 p.m. Sometimes if the husband is busy (yes, even at home because he’s a geek and he always has something to do at home), I take my iPad and start reading an article or a few pages of a chapter. I look at my to-do list one last time before sleeping to see what I have for the next day. Updating the to-do list is done throughout the day.
Reflecting on my typical day, I don’t know what else I could change for better. I don’t wish to give up my tuition job because I really enjoy the work and I truly love teaching/tutoring. Of course, I can’t give up my full-time job for financial reason. Regardless, I have put in as much effort as I can to progress forward in my dissertation writing. Small steps and slow but I’m happy to see some progress over the time. I also make sure I don’t sacrifice my family time or deprive myself some enjoyment as I strongly believe those happy family time can really help in motivating myself and to avoid depression.
I realize that it’s not true that one has not enough of time to do the dissertation. It’s a matter of how one manages time and make the best of the time one has. Not everyone has the privilege to work full-time on a dissertation and that’s not going to happen in real working life (even an academic, I’m sure), so it’s better to practice now to juggle the time between work, study and family life. Hopefully, this experience will make me a better person in managing my time. 🙂
Do you have better way in managing time? If you do, please share.