After a long career in construction, my husband decided to go back to school to find a new career path. His reasons were diverse, the practicality of a nine-to-five job, the desire to send our child to a great college and the cold hard fact that his body just can’t take the hard life of a construction worker any more. This meant it was also time for him to develop new time management tools.
In his old life, his time management strategies weren’t bad, his needs were just different. As a laborer, he juggled client interaction, vendors and individual jobs. It was hard and money was on the line, but when things got too tight, he could always adjust his schedule and re-schedule things to best accommodate all of the diverse needs in his life. As a full time student, however, he has found that time management techniques are much more difficult. In school you have more people telling you what to do, giving you work and supplying you with hard deadlines.
As opposed to the fluid strategy that worked in his old life, his new life imposes stricter deadlines and a workload not of his own making so he asked me to help him in developing new time management strategies.
My only advice was to prioritize his life as a whole. To define the “have to activities” as opposed to the “want activities” and to make sure he finishes what he has to do before even thinks about doing what he wants to do.
As you can imagine, this was a hard pill to swallow for a fully grown, middle aged man. However, when it gets to him and he needs a little encouragement I just remind him that all his hard work will one day help his child get a quality education and he’s miraculously all better!
Have you recently changed careers? Please share your experiences with us.