When given a task dubbed “long-term”, we very often forget about it until the last minute or do not manage our time wisely enough and end up scrambling when the deadline arrives. As someone who has procrastinated as much as anyone does, I understand the rush you get when you finish that project moments before the deadline with a sigh of relief, thinking, “I knew I’d get it done eventually”. Some people thrive on that feeling of desperation; I on the other hand would rather not get an anxiety attack every time I accidentally forget about a task and then wake up in a panic in the middle of the night when my subconscious suddenly remembers I have something to do. Ask my roommate, it has happened more than once.
This summer, I decided to take my time management skills away from academics and to physical activity to see if there was another way I could learn to manage my time wisely and conquer a seemingly impossible goal. So, I took on a two-month long challenge of running 100 miles from July to August. This task that at the beginning seemed daunting has become manageable through correct planning and motivation to follow through with the task at hand. And I want to be able to brag about running 100 miles, of course. 100 miles is a huge amount of distance for someone to run, a little less than the length of 4 marathons. Who in their right mind would sign up for that? Well, me. Through the correct planning, I have turned this goal into a manageable plan that motivates me every day. With 31 days in July and August, I have 62 days to work with. Taking two rest days a week in order to let my body recover gives me around 40 days to run all of those miles. This means running only about 2.5 miles a day! When I first signed up for this challenge, I thought that there was no way I could follow through with it. I am not a long distance runner. I quit soccer four years ago and, to top it all off, I hate running. I’m currently 15 miles down after the first week of the challenge with 35 more days left to go! Being able to put that 20-25 minutes a day into running has allowed me to increase my endurance and start running longer distances and for a longer period of time.
Creating a well thought out plan helped me get on track to reach my end-goal. I may even be ahead of schedule! Proper time management and breaking up the daunting tasks of a long-term project will make the process less stressful, more manageable and you may even finish your project before the deadline! As tempting as it is to procrastinate, there is nothing better than relaxing the few days before a deadline and being able to perfect the work that you spent so much time on. This way, when the deadline does roll around, you are more than ready to show your managers you are always prepared and can manage your time efficiently.