Time Management Power Rankings

I’ve been in the Volunteer Blog Industry for a solid 3 months now and in that time I’ve learned two things. First, my grammar is atrocious. Second, if it’s one thing that drives readership and discussion, it’s power rankings.

During a month where the number of exams and papers are higher than the number of remaining class days, it’s important to think about time management, and where academics currently lie in the power rankings of your life.

Now a disclaimer, my rankings may be questioned or mocked, but they are MY rankings. I’d encourage you to place your top 5 in the comments.

1. Research/Experiments
After all, it is the reason we are here, right? While we all have other obligations, when pressed, I think we would all say on some level that our research is at #1 on most days, right? Thankfully, I’ve been here so long that classes no longer have a place on my rankings since I’m finished with my course load.

2. Sleep
I can’t stand the taste of coffee so getting a solid 7-8 hours of sleep is almost integral to having a productive day. I’ve often spoke to older people who use their age as an excuse to go to sleep earlier. If that’s the case, I can’t wait to get older.

3.  Basketball
My closest friends would say I watch too much basketball, but how well do LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Ricky Rubio really know me? Don’t worry, not a total waste of time as I often will watch games on my iPad while on the treadmill.

4. Teaching
Oh wait, I just finished all my teaching obligations outside the final exam!! If my bosses are reading this, it was absolutely #2, but needed a gimmick for this post.

4. Data Analysis
The beauty of my research is that it actually allows me to pile up data for months (I can say this from personal experience), without having to rush to get it done before starting my next experiment. Excel has become my best friend and worst enemy at times, with the amount of manipulation I need to do for Excel to make graphs, however with the help of macros and templates, Microsoft might need to go in my acknowledgements of my dissertation.

5. Video Games
Now that teaching is over, time for my old #6 to move back into top 5. Let’s hope this old friend (future Hall of Fame status in my Top 5) stays at #5 without going much higher.

So, as we wind down another semester, remember to focus on why you are here, but also don’t let graduate school overtake your life. Whether it’s basketball or video games, find something a little fun and stress-less to add to your Time Management Power Rankings this month.

What’s your 5 and should it change?

2 thoughts on “Time Management Power Rankings”

  1. Great post! I think it is a great idea for everyone to have a set of priorities. A personal mission statement to reference in times of chaos really helps to keep you focused and on task.
    Although, I’m assuming that you’re single because for my top 5, my wife would certainly need to be on the list… especially ahead of video games haha.

  2. Great post Brandon! Here are my five as of right now:
    1. Sleep/Health: one thing that I learned even as an undergrad is that taking care of myself should ALWAYS be my first priority, because it will affect everything else that I do.
    2. Job search: Yup, I’m getting ready to graduate so this is my second priority right now. Yay, and omigosh I’m shaking in my boots.
    3. Dissertation writing: I started working on my dissertation more than a year ago, putting in the chapters based on papers that were already published. Because of this, it’s more than halfway done, and I can shift it a bit lower on my list.
    4. Teaching: both classes that I teach I’ve taught before, which is really nice because I don’t have as much prep work to do, and I don’t have to worry about designing assignments and making rubrics as much.
    5. Reading (non-science-related): I LOVE to read, but I have to treat reading for pleasure as a reward, or else I’d never get anything done.

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