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Of the Importance of Time Management

First of all, I’ll have to admit something. This blog entry was supposed to be posted on last Thursday. Instead, I started writing this late on a Sunday evening (also known as ‘the time to rest’). In my defence, if I and a couple of unexpected other factors wouldn’t’ve messed up my schedules last week, I would be writing about something totally different and not so important or remotely interesting.

Frankly, I did consider skipping my turn to blog. I thought if I couldn’t do it in time I probably shouldn’t do it at all, because doing something in a rush usually means it’s going to be – pardon my French – half-arsed. If there’s one thing I’ve promised myself that would happen this year, it’s that I’d try my very best not to ruin any good ideas or plans just because I left putting it into practice at the last minute. But as I walked to our office yesterday thinking about planning and rescheduling this week’s meetings and the use of working hours, I realized I could actually kill two birds with one stone if turned my train of thought into a blog text.

I am not too great with time management. I guess that’s quite a general problem, especially when you’re young and have five million things going on at the same time, such as school, hobbies, parties, friends, family, and otherwise excessive social life. Places to go and people to meet, you know. I used to be great at planning my life beforehand, but that was before I got sucked into the daily life of being a “student active”.

The first weeks of January were hectic, to say the least. Turn of the year is always challenging in OSAKO because that’s when the new board starts working and that means a lot of introduction of every aspect of our roles and jobs to the new board members. Unlike others in our board, I was a member of the board in 2013 also, so I had an interesting double role as I tried to re-learn everything I could, yet share as much as possible of what I’d learned before. On the side there was some extra work due the changes in OUAS, and some undone work from last year.

(Sidenote: read more of the new board in the newest Osakolainen, pg. 6-7)

Above all there was all of the things we’ll have to organize this year, which is a massive amount of everything. Most of our events need a lot time of planning and my promise to do it well doesn’t really help. I could bore you with details of everything we do, but I’ll just sum it up to save time and space: there’s a lot of places to go and people to meet when you’re working in the student union. Let’s just say there were many evenings I (and not only me) spent at the office. The whole beginning of the year remains as a blur in my memory.

I was still quite optimistic in late January that I could even the workload eventually. But as February came and my calendar got filled with too many happenings and meetings again, and everyone was complaining about how there isn’t enough time to do anything, decisions were waiting to be made. As I am the captain of one of the two ships of OSAKO, it is one of my responsibilities to make sure my team sails as smoothly as possible.

Somewhere along the road I had realized deadlines are not enough, you also need time to process – or in the case of this blog text, time to write. That time needs to be given, otherwise it’ll always happen “tomorrow”, whatever it is. I had to sit down and think. What’s priority, what can wait? I’ve found that it’s one of the most important skills you can have, the skill of focusing. That’s something we easily forget. We spend some time learning about learning methods at school, yet we forget to stop and check whether or not we’ve slipped into our old lazy ways regularly.

Even if my calendar looks messy looking back, there’s been some progress in my time management this year already. I should probably publicly thank our new event coordinator who unknowingly taught me how efficient tool Google Drive is. Also, I’ve learned how important it is that you communicate enough with your team, share the workload and plan everything together. Because nothing wastes time as much as doing the same thing twice.


Focus now because
there seems always to be time
to procrastinate


Pinja Laukkanen
Vice-Chair of the Board

PS. The next proof of our great planning is the Traditional Sledging Competition. You should definitely join in, just ask your friends to team up with you!


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