Whether you are a cheerleader, cheer coach, or cheer parent, cheerleading most likely demands a good amount of your time, and as much as we’d like to believe that the world revolves solely around cheer, it does not. So how can you effectively manage that crazy schedule without losing it? Quite honestly, managing cheer practice, pep rallies, competitions, games, fundraisers, team bonding events, school work, obligations to other organizations, and family time, while still finding a small morsel of time for yourself, is no easy task. Effective time management is the only answer to the hectic life of today’s cheerleader. If you can conquer the following time management do’s and don’ts, you will have no problem breezing through your daily schedule with ease. DO incorporate the following Tactics:
- DO Maintain a to-do list. This sounds elementary, but not only will it keep you from forgetting everything from important tasks to minor details, it will provide a sense of accomplishment as you check tasks off your list. The goal is to check off tasks at least at the same rate that you add more tasks.
- DO Set personal goals. Goals don’t have to encompass a lengthy time span. You can set goals for the day, week, or month to keep you focused. Write down your goals so you can constantly review them and ensure that you are still on track to achieving them. Goals provide you with a road map and a vision to arrive quickly at a desired destination.
- DO Know your limits. Simply put, you can’t do it all on your own. If you plan on taking on the world, make sure you have help; reliable assistance is always a plus. Avoid putting more on your plate than you can handle. You don’t want to get to a point that there is so much required of you that nothing gets done.
DON’T fall victim to the following mistakes:
- DON’T Fail to prioritize. Yes, most cheerleaders, cheer coaches, and cheer parents share multiple characteristics with Superman and Wonder Woman, but we are not immortal and cannot accomplish everything in one day. This is why prioritizing is critical. Outline what must be done immediately and what tasks can be postponed should time not allow for their completion. This is so important because without a prioritized list, less important tasks could all be successfully completed, while the important tasks fall through the cracks.
- DON’T Indulge in distractions. Distractions can be the end to a well-organized plan. You must manage distractions as well as you manage your list of goals in life. Weigh the consequences of partaking in distractions against the rewards of completing your outlined tasks before ditching your previous plans. For instance, it may be worth your while to DVR the finale of your favorite show to allow you more time to finish up that project due tomorrow and get an adequate amount of rest.
- DON’T Procrastinate. Procrastination is only the friend of people who speak in “should have,” “could have,” and “would have”. Putting off tasks for later that could be worked on immediately is a bad habit and often snow-balls, so avoid beginning it at all. Many times we procrastinate because we feel like we can’t finish the entire tasks at the time. There is no harm in not completing the entire task at one time, but the true damage is in not starting.