What Is Time Management?

  • Published
  • By Mr. Rusty Schmidt
  • 501st Combat Support Wing

I’m going to turn back the clock a few years to when I was just a Staff Sergeant in the Air Force.  The year was 1996, the place was Fairchild AFB and the building the Wing Safety Office. I had just cross trained from being a Security Policeman to a Safety Technician. A lot of my job was to teach newcomers, Supervisor Safety Training, and other classes, plus do briefings for new contractors, attend meetings, and conduct inspections.

I would come in the morning and fire up the old computer and start working on reports, about an hour into the day one of my coworkers would ask me “Hey Rusty, didn’t you have a meeting at nine?” Of course it’s already 0905 and I would fly out of the office. I just didn’t have a good way to track all the meetings. 

My supervisor at the time came to me and gave me a small binder with a calendar inside and told me to write down all my appointments. I still have that binder to this day and use it every day.  So is time management about just making your appointments on time? I don’t believe so.

I would argue that good time management allows you to spend time with family, friends, doing activities that you enjoy, and yes making it to appointments. Some days we make it all happen but there will be days that will challenge you and some days you will not make it all happen. It doesn’t mean you failed it just means that you were overcome by events and you will make it happen next time. I would be remiss if I didn’t put in a huge plug in for spending time with family, friends, and doing activities you enjoy. These help recharge your batteries and make it easier to go to work and attend those meetings.

I’ve talked a lot about scheduling your time, but how do you get better at it? There are classes you can take and people who can give you advice, but remember there is not one solution that fits all. Sometimes it’s all about trial and error. Find what works best for you and stick to it. Mine was a supervisor that cared about me enough to give me a binder with a calendar. I wish you the best of luck in finding your way.