Priorities and Time Management
What are the most important things in your life? Your family, your girlfriend, your career, your school work, your goals? Whatever it is, I am willingly to bet that most of your time is spent with those people, at those places, or doing those things.
Problems arise when your time management is out of whack. You either spend too much time with one of your priorities, or you don’t seem to have enough time for any of them. You cannot be a complete person if you only have one thing that is important in your life. Once in a while, we all make the mistake of giving too much power to one aspect of our lives and the rest of our roles suffer. In my case, I was giving wrestling too much power and hence, my relationships suffered. If I learned proper time management techniques and strategies earlier in my career that need not have happened.
In order to have time for different aspects of your life, I highly recommend learning effective time management strategies.
Time Management Strategies
The first step is establishing what are the most important things in your life. You don’t need to give them a rank of number one or two. If something is either the most important or second most important thing in your life, it needs a lot of your time regardless of the order. Once your priorities are set, determine how much time you typically spend each day working at those priorities. After you do that, figure out how much time you spend doing things that don’t help you achieve or enrich your top priorities. For example in my life, things I don’t tend to need when I am pressed for time are watching TV, playing video games, and going out with my friends. However, that doesn’t mean that is what it should be like with everyone. Some people need to watch TV, play video games, or hang out with their friends to clear their minds or feel refreshed. Instead you may cut out something that I could not cut out of my life. To learn about my time management during my NCAA title run check out, A Day in The Life appendix of Wrestling with Your Destiny. Having a detailed planner helped me balance all of my roles and responsibilities.
Once you decide what is expendable in your daily life, you will see you have much more time for your priorities, regardless of how many you have. This is very important in college, particularly your freshman year. Many freshmen athletes have quite a shock when they head to college. They feel like they have no time, especially if they have to work on top of their academic and athletic responsibilities. What it will come down to is what you decide is important in your life. Do you want your high school and college days to be defined by having fun and partying or achieving athletic or academic greatness? Or both?
Can you have it all?
I say absolutely because I know that I did. Don’t get me wrong, I made plenty of sacrifices. One of the biggest sacrifices I made was never being able to study abroad. When I had to choose between partying and training, or partying and doing schoolwork during the season, I always chose training and schoolwork. If you want to be an exceptional athlete and student, there are sacrifices you will have to make, there is no way around it.
Remember there is a difference between a want and a need. Being able to recognize which is which can be difficult from time to time. But if you figure it out and the time you spend on a particular task is well spent, like watching tape instead of sulking about a loss, you have a better chance to achieve the results you are looking for in all aspects of your life.