Time management reflection
When I applied to the dental hygiene program I knew how much time I would be in school but I didn’t realize how much time I would need outside of class for homework and studying. When I laid out all the class syllabus to input study time, family time and obligations, I became overwhelmed and started to think that I was not going to be able to make time for all the things needed to be done outside of class. My original plan for the fall quarter was to continue working during the weekends. I quickly realized that it was not going to be possible, especially if I wanted to dedicate enough time to study and do homework. On top of having to do school work outside of class, I also have house obligations such as chores, grocery shopping, and taking care of my two dogs. Completing the 24/7-time management planner helped me see where I am spending most of my time, and what I can do to cut out or minimize to help me succeed in the dental hygiene program.
Scheduling in a specific day and time during the week to meal prep, will save me a lot of time in the mornings and will keep me from feeling rushed. I plan on giving myself three hours a week to do all my grocery shopping and prepare all my meals for the week. not only will this save me time, but it will also save me money and keep me from buying unhealthy foods throughout the week. My commute to school with traffic is normally 30min. If I wanted to sleep in I could leave my house half an hour before class, but I don’t like to feel rushed. I will plan to leave the house an hour early to avoid accidents, traffic, feeling rushed, and to allow myself to eat breakfast once I get to school. During meal times such as lunch and dinner, I plan to give myself an hour to eat and relax. I think it is important to enjoy meals and take the time to appreciate them. Not only will I use the time to eat, but I will also use it to relax and get my mind off of school and work for a while. Relaxing my body and brain will then help me concentrate and focus on studying.
Although relaxing is important, I also need to make sure I am staying active and healthy. Although I would like to spend more time exercising, I know it will not be possible. On average I plan on giving myself six hours a week to do any type of activity. Going to the gym would be ideal but it would not be time-efficient. It would take time to drive to and from the gym and by the looks of the planner, I can use all the time that I have for other things. Most of the physical activities I plan on doing involve my two dogs. I plan on mostly going on runs and walks in which my dogs can participate. This will allow me to spend time with my dogs, and keep them and myself active.
Having two dogs is very therapeutic but it can also be stressful having to take them to their appointments and cleaning after them. Not only do I have to clean after myself, but I also have to clean up after my dogs and pick up around the house. In my schedule, I have given myself an average of three hours a week to do household chores and errands. I am very lucky to live at home with my parents who help me around the house and with my dogs. This will make it easier for me if I ever feel the need to take more time for studying or homework. They are very understanding of how much time and effort school requires.
Most of the time slots in my schedule are taken up by hours spent in school and the hours I will spend studying or doing homework. On average I will be spending 35 hours a week at school (in classes) and I will be spending a minimum of 27 hours a week studying. When I look at the schedule I have created, I feel like not enough blocks of time are spent on studying. When I add up the hours I will be spending on studying I feel more condiment because it is more than half the amount of time I will be in school. I am very lucky to live with a family who is very supportive and who encourages me to take more time on schoolwork if I ever feel the need to do so. The amount of time I have to study does not stress me out knowing I can always take more time to study or do school activities.
My school hours and study time unfortunately, take up most of my time and leaves me very little time for myself and my family. I decided to combine my ‘me time’ and family time because either one will give me a break from school-related work. I have planned to spend time with my family around my schedule but, that does not guarantee me that my family will be available at those times. If everything works accordingly, I will use the weekend to spend time with my family and boyfriend. If my family is not available during these specific times, I will use my time wisely and spend more time on studying. I am lucky to live with my family because I get to see them every day, but that does not mean I spend much time with them. We all have busy lives and schedules that we all try to workaround.
My family has seen me go through the dental assisting program this last year and they are very familiar with how much time is needed for such a vigorous program. When I showed my friends, family, and boyfriend the schedule for the first year of dental hygiene, they were not surprised. They are all 100% encouraging and happy that I am finally going to do what I have been planning and talking about for years. My parents are very supportive both emotionally and financially. They know that because the program is intense, it is best not to take on a job. They have given me the choice of not working and just focusing my time in school. My boyfriend is also very supportive and encouraging. He helped me with my errands, chores and studying when I was in the dental assisting program and he has offered his help me now and in the years to come. I am truly blessed to have a wonderful support group (family, friends, and boyfriend) that will help me get through the next few years