Time Management 101 — Part 2

Time Management 101 – Part 1 explains how prioritizing, planning, and sleeping are essential to time management. In this post, Part 2 of the 3-part series, I describe how medicine, stimulants, and exercise also affect time management. I started writing this series for survivors of brain injury, but two readers pointed out that people who have not experienced brain injury first hand also benefit by improving their time management. I agree. Even though the posts I publish are written to help brain injury survivors get the most out of life after injury, I recognize the posts also help those who have not experienced brain injury get the most out of life after adversity.

Take Medicine as Prescribed

Prior to cancer and brain injury, the strongest medicine I recall intentionally taking was 1000 mg Vitamin C. I recall debating whether or not I should double the dosage during flu season.  For several years after my brain surgery, I was involuntarily taking several prescribed medications. I was cautioned that I could neither increase nor decrease the dosage without severely harming my body. I felt trapped – the medicine was making me sleepy, groggy, and foggy but I could not quit cold turkey. I spoke with my neurologist who explained, probably for the twentieth time, why I was taking the medication and what would happen if I quit taking it. Eventually, the neurologist decided that I was ready to taper off the medication over several months.

Even though I recognized that I could not manage my time when I was unpredictably sleepy, groggy, and foggy during my few waking hours, I also recognized that it was better to be non-productive than dead. Had I immediately stopped taking the medicine that was causing the problem, there is no doubt I would have caused a much worse and much more permanent problem. My suggestion is to focus on time management when you can and to recognize when you cannot. There is no harm in doing the best you can under the circumstances, but there is significant harm in pushing yourself beyond all reasonable limits.

Avoid Stimulants

Mod 500 Hr EnergyEven if we ignore the fact that cigarettes, coffee, and energy drinks contain ingredients that could kill us or make our lives miserable, there is no proof that these products improve our time management while we are awake. I am not questioning whether or not the products:

* Boost alertness.
* Provide benefits.
* Contain addictive ingredients.

All I am saying is stimulants do not improve time management.  The companies that produce and market these products spend multiple millions of dollars per year implying there is a link between staying awake and time management.  If the products worked, there would be no need to market or lobby because the benefits would spread quickly.

Please understand I am not suggesting you stop using tobacco products, drinking caffeinated products, or relying on energy drinks to stay awake. I just want you to be aware there is no link between the products and time management. You must decide for yourself whether or not the short-term illusion of benefits is worth the long-term consequences of using the products. I believe if you are tired, you need sleep not stimulants.


Numerous studies show that exercise:

  • Reduces heart disease.
  • Reduces obesity by suppressing appetite hormones.
  • Improves mood and attitude.
  • Improves oxygenation and blood flow to the brain.
  • Increases the quality of life and longevity.
  • Increases confidence.

The downsides of mild exercise include:

  • Sprains
  • Cramps
  • Exhaustion

Most of us will agree there are benefits and detriments of exercise. However, the purpose of this post is to connect exercise and time management not debate which words belong in a specific list. For those of us who take the bus to and from a gym, there is no doubt that exercise can be very time consuming. Even when we exercise at home with cardio equipment, therapy bands, or other equipment, exercise is still time consuming.   Whether you walk a little during the day or complete a few exercises at home, the benefits clearly outweigh the detriments because exercise improves your body and mind such that you think, work, and do more productively. Spending time more efficiently is a better use of your time and is, therefore, a time management tool.

Click here to read the next post in the Time Management 101 series.


Why is time management important to people who are unemployed (in transition)? Why should everyone care about time management? Does the prescribed dose of medication make you more or less productive and how do you know? Why do some people continue to smoke cigarettes or chew tobacco when there is so much evidence the use of tobacco products causes cancer, destroys brain tissue, and makes breathing difficult? If stimulants increase alertness, but not productivity, why do people use them? How can social media increase your time management? Which exercises increase time management?

Thanks to Charles, Wendy, Orman Clark, and MAD Magazine for contributing to the ideas, words, or pictures I used in this post.

Click here to read the next post in the Time Management 101 series.


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