Spring is around the corner (thank goodness it is because if I have to deal with one more frozen water bucket I think I might lose it for good). Recently, I'm finding myself facing a new set of challenges each week. Many of them revolve around navigating between schoolwork, barn work, hobbies, and family/friend time. When I have limited time at the barn due to the stack of homework waiting for me on the kitchen table back home, efficient time-management is key. So ho
w do you manage time wisely? You could figure it out from trial and error, or you can check out the tips below! My gut tells me it will be a bit of both (and that's a good thing!).
1. Staying Focused
This is the hardest for me to do. I'll be a whole three minutes into cleaning stalls and suddenly I'm surfing Spotify for music to play, or taking a break to clean water buckets. I've been better at this as of late, but for those of you that find this is a persistent issue, making a list of what you need to do and checking it off may sound old-fashioned, but it works! And for those of you that are a little more "hip" and "tech savvy", you can find some great apps specifically for keeping equestrians/barn rats organized. Some of which include:
2. Working Logically:
Once again, this is a suggestion that seems so straight-forward. But let me be honest, I am guilty of being completely and totally chaotic. Disorganized. Spazzy, some might say... Working logically simply means designating tasks in a sensible order. For example, on days when I know I have limited daylight, I choose to ride before I do chores so i can take advantage of the evening. If I were to do it the other way around, I would end up taking horses out to pasture in the dark. Not cool, man, not cool.
3. Use a Mental Checklist
Okay so at this point, I'm just playing Captain Obvious. This goes hand-in-hand with tips 1 and 2. I recommend saving the hand-written lists to break one larger task into several smaller tasks in order to stay focused. As I run through my day, keeping a mental checklist of the things I need to do keeps me aware of how I spend my time. Be careful, some people might find this stressful if it becomes something you do as an incentive (Ex: I still have to feed, do laundry, make dinner, clean the living room, and do homework before I can sleep). Some might see it as motivation, but in my personal experience, it usually just leads to a very overwhelmed and exhausted person. However, taking a short five-minute break to gather your wits and recount your list of chores is a great tool to help you stay focused! It might seem difficult to do at first if you are finding yourself bogged down with chores, but with practice, you'll reap the benefits (I promise!).
As you enter a new week, keep these tips on your mind, especially on those days when the only thing you can think of is sleep or the newest movie release on Netflix. But at the end of the day, the satisfaction of knowing I've worked hard and worked well still surpasses my desire to collapse on the couch and binge t.v. ...usually...