By Kari Ramos, Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy Director of Counseling & Junior High Academics
As a school counselor, I very much look forward to the days when I am given the opportunity to teach in the classroom because it gives me a chance to interact with students in a larger group setting and helps me get to know them even better. I usually ask around and listen for themes to find out what issues or concerns are most important to students at the time. For this year’s 10th grade class, for example, time management was a hot topic. As we ring in the New Year and begin our second semester, it’s a great time for all of us to make a commitment to better manage our time – and our energy.
Time management is not only about managing the time that it will take to complete tasks and activities during the day, but it is also, and perhaps more so, about managing the energy that each task or activity will take. Booking up the vacant hours in a day without regard for the energy it will take to complete each task is a recipe for failure. So the next time you’re planning your day, or helping your student to plan their day, consider the energy it will require to complete each task. Ask yourself:
- How does this event affect me?
- Do I have the time I need to recharge?
- Can I maintain this schedule?
- If I can, will I even enjoy it?
Changing my perspective from time management to energy management has helped me become more realistic about what I can expect to accomplish each day and has reduced the negative thoughts and feelings that I may have when I look at my schedule and think, “I ought to be able to do it all.” Whether for students or parents, energy management is a key to managing stress and living a balanced life.