Time management

I am extremely bad at time management, and I have no idea how to do it.

Sure, I know how some tips, and I can name them all: 
-Turn one scary big and murky task into multiple small tasks
-Give yourself daily deadlines so that at the end of the day you have done at least something
-Delegate tasks to other people and call it “leadership”
-Reward yourself after finishing every task

-Know that what you do now has consequences
-Be afraid of losing time, because if you sleep 7–8 hours a day, you only have 100 10-minute blocks per day to use
-Assign a reasonable number of time blocks to each task


In uni, when I have to write a final essay, I would assign an entire month to work on it. Then, in the first three week, I would tell myself to come up with an outline. I would read my Google Scholar search results, all the related notes, and then come up with an outline on the first day in the fourth week. In the morning of the last day of the fourth week, I would suddenly wake up and go, shit, the outline is completely rubbish and come up with an actually workable outline. It is usually the essays that go through all these steps that got me an A. So how much time did I really spend on writing one essay? I have absolutely no idea, but I am happy with the result.

Then I got a temporary English teaching job. The job started in May and will end in June, and all the tasks are related to invigilating and marking exam papers.

“Marking the Vocab and Grammar Paper should only take you one hour,” my colleague texted me, “mark it first.”

She told me that on Monday. It is now Wednesday night, and I am still marking the Vocab and Grammar Paper.

She probably didn’t take into account the drop in my productivity when I started waking up at 7am to go to school every morning. In the office, I had this weird terrible headache that can’t be solved with naps. When I got home, I will change into my home clothes, prepare to work on what I should have done in the office. Then I will have not done anything at all and my feet will automatically guide me to the sofa so that I would collapse on it for 3 hours. The moment my head started clearing up and letting me focus on work is 21:00. 21:15, however, is my family’s dinner time. And do you know what I am doing at 21:00 tonight? Writing this Medium article. I looked at the test papers on my desk and I want to cry.

Every day my real working hours start from 21:00 to 21:15, then 21:15 till 00:30. Only 3 hours per day.

I am an undergraduate, I want to stop sleeping, and I have no idea how to arrange my time.


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