Getting it together: the remix

Time management

More stories from Faith Hultman


Time management. The bane of my existence.

I once wrote an article for this very newspaper about how procrastination should be considered a life skill.

I was wrong.

There’s only so far you can skate through utilizing your best procrastination techniques. Eventually, there will be a responsibility that is too vast and multifaceted to push off.

The Edtpa is one such responsibility. The Edtpa is a massive, lengthy exam consisting of three sections. Passing it is required to receive your teaching license in the state of Wisconsin, among a multitude of other states.

Without going into too much detail, the Edtpa has been haunting me for more than a year. Its spector lurks in my dreams, but its actual existence lives in my reality. There was no way for me to procrastinate on the Edtpa and still receive my licensure.

Those of us who are still sliding through on procrastination — even though our high school teachers told us it wouldn’t be like that in college — should know that it ends for all of us. There will be a day that you suffer as I have.

This semester I’ve been learning how to break lengthy tasks down into daily chunks, which I force myself to complete as soon as I get home. Here are some tips.

Get a planner and write in it religiously. My planner includes such imperative tasks as “get gas,” “buy coffee before school” and “take out trash.” Think Kavanaugh level of detail. Make it impossible to forget even the tiniest thing.

Once you have everything — and I mean everything — in the planner, sort it in order of when it needs to be done. I’m not organized enough to actually write it all in order, so instead I label each task with a number.

The second I have free time I get to work on the list. If you’re like me and struggle with wasting time when you “take a five minute break,” then don’t. Just do it as soon as you can and cross it off.

The feeling of crossing a task off a planner is one I went without for years on years of my life. I was missing out, because now it’s one of the most satisfying parts of my day.

There’s something to be said about the quality of my day if the highlight is accomplishing basic tasks, but that’s how disorganized I have been in the past. It’s a highlight because it shows character development and skill acquisition.

You too, dear reader, can achieve the feeling of developing a skill you thought was impossible. All you need is a planner and the willingness to check tasks off a list.

This semester I’ve successfully not procrastinated on a career-defining task, and I’m proud of myself. In this one area, I’ve gotten it together.

Now it just needs to stay together for the foreseeable future.

Next week I’ll be back on the meal-prep grind (I forgot again this week and now I’m out of microwavable quinoa packets). My room will be clean, and my outfits will be picked out the night before.

Hultman can be reached at [email protected]