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  • Writer's pictureMichael Gill

Time Flies

What is up with time flying by so fast?!

We are in June already and it seems as though we had just left the holiday season. As a parent of four kids, time management is always a bit of a challenge. I had to do a bit of a reset recently because the pandemic had altered the way I managed time. I am sure you can all agree that there was a lot less to think about other than the pandemic itself for almost two solid years. Things for me are starting to fall back into place again.

My children are engaged in their extracurricular careers again; meaning I am a consultant by day and a taxi driver by night. As I started modifying my schedule to make everything work, and I noticed that I have a pretty good system. My wife and I are a great team and she is a huge part of this system. We share duties as best we can, and we keep our schedules in sync as best we can so that we can support one another. Good time management involves true recognition of what each day looks like regardless of how confusing or cluttered or interfering it just might be. We need to be transparent with our schedules because they are what they are especially when you are trying to manage so much. A job, four kids, husband and wife time, dinner preparations and sleep. It can seem overwhelming when you first dive into it, but as you iron out the wrinkles, it gets better.

Right now, my kids are in school, swimming, piano, and soccer. Luckily everything is relatively close meaning the schedule does not need to compensate for long trips. And all the events are within reasonable time frames so as to not interfere with sleep schedules. After all, sleep hygiene is one of the most important factors in supporting a busy schedule; therefore, we consider sleep hygiene a priority.

Prioritization is important and should be used to determine which things are more important than the others. When we develop our schedule, we develop it around our sleep plans. We make sure that whatever it is we do does not interfere with the very thing that enables us to keep going. We then determine what extracurricular events provide the most benefit. For us, we determined that piano is the one non-negotiable activity that our kids participate in. We believe that it exercises the brain in both an analytical and methodical fashion as well as in a creative and artistic fashion. Playing the piano requires both hands so there is a bridge that gets developed connecting both sides of the brain. Other extracurricular activities are purely chosen by the kids; which are always swimming and typically soccer or dance. These activities are certainly taken seriously because we believe in staying committed, but we also recognize if there needs to be a schedule change that these activities are the ones we would potentially modify where needed. It is through the understanding of prioritization that makes this possible as well as non-debatable when a last-minute change needs to occur. We narrowed it down one more notch. We recognize that soccer is a team sport and that when you are a part of a team, you remain committed to supporting that team. So, soccer does not get cancelled or postponed unless we have no other choice. Setting priorities and understanding the details as to how each event fits into our daily schedule has made things easier.

The weeks do not always run as smoothly as we would like, but we have enough contingency built into our schedule to allow for slips or bumps in the road. We have backup! I know not everyone has access to additional family members like we are so fortunate to have, but if there is an opportunity to build a backup plan, then you should consider it. My mother and my mother-in-law are part of our backup plan. We have introduced them to our schedule so that when needed they can step in and help at a moment's notice. Both mothers have been to the grandkids' schools during a pickup, and both mothers have been to soccer practice and games, they are very well prepared to help us when we need it. Having redundancy in a plan can come in handy when something out of the blue impacts your schedule. Is it bulletproof? Not 100%, but it certainly has reduced the risk of our kids missing an event. When I step back and look at the plan we have in place I can't help but think just how comparable it is to recommendations that I might make to a client when considering how to plan a week and put it into a schedule. It's funny how day-to-day life and work almost mimic one another when it comes to time management and the strategies to make sure we have no scheduling gaps! Want to discuss your time management strategies or schedules for asset management? Reach out, a call doesn't cost a thing!

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