WHAT’S ON YOUR TO-DO LIST? – Holly Foster Media


This week I have read so many articles on the dangers of digital technology that I feel like my head is going to explode. I also added a couple of articles about time management for good measure.

Don’t get me wrong; this is good stuff. But when you boil it all down, what steps can we take to manage our time so that we can (1) perform fulfilling work and (2) have enough of the downtime necessary for our overall good physical and mental health?

Anyone? Anyone?

Unlike the Economics teacher in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, no one has a perfect set of answers. Time management is a lot like diets; what works for you may not work well for me.

I tried some new time management techniques with my team at work, and they seemed to be somewhat helpful for everyone. For me, not so much. My to-do list is still long and my distractions are still, well, distracting.

But there’s hope.

During my (exhausting) research this week, I stumbled upon a book titled Crash Course in Time Management for Library Staff by Brenda Hough. Now I’m definitely not a librarian, but what the heck, a librarian really has to manage a lot of stuff — so I took a look.

Now I admit I didn’t read all 99 pages, but I did skim what I could see online and I found a statement that intrigued me.

“Effective time management is not about being a faster machine. Rather, it is about feeling less stress and greater satisfaction with work and life after work with friends and family” (Hough, 2018).

Here’s something Brenda has helped me realize. 

I most probably won’t get through my to-do list on most days, but that doesn’t mean I have poor time management skills. Priorities can change by the minute, so the ability to be flexible is essential. Helping someone work through a rough spot or answering a question when they just can’t seem to find an answer is rewarding. Distractions, particularly those from people, can actually be a stress reducer. And they definitely bring me satisfaction.

I’ll continue to work on my time management skills, but I’ll also add “helping people out when necessary” to my to-do list. Daily.

Thanks Brenda.

until nxt time …

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels


Hough, B. (2018). Crash course in time management for library staff. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited.

pmw8000. (2011, December 29). “Anyone, anyone” teacher from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off [YouTube]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhiCFdWeQfA.

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