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By CMSgt. Rachel Hammer
/ Published May 15, 2023
U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Rachel Hammer, 561st Network Operations Squadron Senior Enlisted Leader poses for an official photo. Hammer advises the commander on all enlisted matters that provide cyberspace operations, cyber effects, planning, support and sustainment activities across the Air Force Information Networks. (Courtesy photo)
Time. This is a word that we often associate with not having enough of but is in fact something that we all have the same amount of – no more and no less. What we do with our time is what we have control of. To maximize time, you must manage it, so I ask you to consider and reflect on the questions below…
First, what do you have to do? What are your responsibilities and tasks?
Honestly, write down your to do items, this can be on any sort of medium to include an old fashion pen and paper. Capture your daily, weekly, monthly, semi-annual, annual, etc. tasks as long as you just WRITE IT DOWN! There is no way to manage your time unless you know what it is you must do.
Your tasks are often associated with your responsibilities. Are you a supervisor and need to give a follow up feedback session covering your ratee’s performance? Do you need to get your annual training requirements accomplished? In the Air Force currently, we have AFFORGEN and Ready Airman Training requirements that take a significant amount of time to complete and take deliberate effort and time to accomplish.
Finally, be sure to include tasks for YOU as a non-negotiable item to do, one thing that comes to mind is physical training. Get your physical training in as it is good for you and your wellness.
Next question to consider on managing your time is when are you most productive? Morning, afternoon, evening?
Think about what tasks you need to accomplish and which of these tasks require the greatest amount of focus. Take this into account when building out your schedule of your to do items.
For me, I am a morning person, from experience I know I can get my most difficult tasks accomplished in the morning because that is when I can concentrate, focus and complete those tasks; I always feel better when I am more productive and fully maximizing my time.
Something else to ponder is how often do you procrastinate completing a task or even worse avoid doing it?
Perhaps you are putting off your to do items because they are too long, too hard, you do not know where to begin, or maybe you just lack the motivation. As Greek philosopher Socrates once said, “To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom.” That wisdom comes from understanding your habits, motivations and tendencies especially when it comes to managing your time and completing your to do items. Procrastination and avoidance are what eats away your sense of accomplishment and affects your ability to manage your time, leaving you with that feeling of not having enough of it.
Finally, while we cannot make more time, we can identify what it is we need to do, write it down, schedule it and get after it.
Ultimately, understanding your habits and tendencies are some of the essential elements to make the best use of your time. Having honesty with yourself on how you are spending time is important as Airman and Guardians in our armed forces so we can spend more days thriving rather than just surviving.
So, what are you doing with your time?