PLANNING: Time management

“Minutes are worth more than money. Spend them wisely.” – Thomas P. Murphy

Time management tools

It’s all very well having a plan but you must have the time to implement that plan. Time is a resource that many Dual Career athletes feel they have little of, but with a little organisation and prioritization, along with some good decision-making it can be handled well. We here provide two tools to assist in the process, the first to help to plan the academic and sporting years and the second to plan your commitment of time per week.

Managing week

Download our Excel Weekly Time Manager Planner to help you and the Dual Career athlete plan their weekly schedule, that will allow them balance sport, academics, friends family and leisure.

This is a tool for athletes which Parents/Guardians can assist them with making a plan for balancing sport and academic demands. In this calendar you should try and include all key academic and sporting dates including qualification and selection deadlines and a lot of time and deadlines for ongoing course work. Provide sufficient additional time for study around exams. Make sure to think about holidays, family events, time for friends, rest and relaxation in this. Highlight in red any particularly difficult days or periods. If there are times highlighted that show potentially challenging times for the athlete, the Parent/Guardian should help them come up with a plan to mitigate, possibly by asking for some flexibility from either sport or study or potentially both reduced training load or flexible deadline for assessment. Encourage the athlete to deal with problems as they occur and not to procrastinate or delay. Encourage the athlete to complete assignments in chronological order.

Table 1: EMPATIA time management tool, excel WEEKLY planner

Managing year

Download our Excel Yearly Planner to help you create an annual plan with the Dual Career athlete. This tool is for Parents/Guardians and athletes to complete together and to help them, better, manage their time in school or university and to balance that with not just sport but all other aspects of their lives. The task should be completed by the athlete with the prompting and support of the Parent/Guardian. This isn’t a definitive schedule. You can create your own weekly planner using existing tools such as Microsoft Outlook or your smartphones calendar. This process just gives an indication of the time an athlete thinks they spend on something, what they actually spend and what they would like to spend.

Once you see the opportunities and deficits in time, the Parent/Guardian and the athlete should set about asking, how they can make the schedule they have look, more like the schedule they want and need and how to make that happen, who they need to have discussions with or any changes they themselves need to make.

Table 2: EMPATIA time management tool, excel YEARLY planner