During a professional development on Executive Functioning last week, they expressed the need for students to Chunk. “Chunking” is looking at the big picture of an assignment and breaking it down into bite-sized chunks of Time.
Have a 5-page paper due in 2 weeks? Here’s how you back-track and pencil in smaller tasks… so it’s not the night before with 5 empty pages before you.
To varied success, I use a chunking practice for my own time, much as I use a spending plan for money. To write my “time plans” I sit with a hot cup of coffee, a fresh piece of paper, and (most importantly) a pencil. From there, the first item is always, “8 – 8:05am: Coffee and Time Plan.” And I catalogue the day’s tasks on.
The frothy thing about a time plan is that it’s…fluid. Moveable, crunchable, expandable. And by “frothy,” I mean “maddening beyond all belief.” Took 6 minutes to write your time plan, not 5? Mom call you at 8:10, during your 30-minute journaling? Run into a friend at the store and spend 15 minutes in a chat? **Eek!**
Time plans are fluid because my day is not a Swiss clock. I find this troubling.
When I put my time into a plan, I feel like I have order, control over my day, my life, my emotions, destiny, successes and failures. But time, and experience, are wily bitches and I can’t pin them down any more than a mud wrestler.
Because I’m scared, much as with money, that there will never be enough. Our time here is short. Yet I don’t want to strangle life so firmly that I don’t enjoy it!
Time is not to control, but to partner with. Time is a kid running up a forest trail ahead of you, then lagging behind to witness a beetle’s progress up a leaf. I must be open to that fluidity… but I also must have a general map of our path through the forest.
There can be side trips and cavorting in crystal streams — indeed there must be, or I shall die — but without a destination, I am too lost in the forest of life (and procrastination and Netflix).
So my task for now is to be looser with my time, to recognize the abundance of it. To deeply know that if I aim my time in the direction of my dreams, there will always be enough — whether or not I finish my blog at 8:55am.