Student Sam R. Talks About Balancing Schedules

Posted on Dec 13, 2018 by Sam R.

As much as I may wish I could spend as many hours as I want in the build space, the day ends after just 24. Factoring in homework, band, soccer, school, a social life, and sleep presents a pressing issue, namely, how to balance my robotics schedule with the rest of life’s demands.

Planning ahead makes an overwhelming task list manageable, but sometimes direct scheduling conflicts are unavoidable. Prioritizing activities serves as a method to resolve these conflicts.

For robotics, this means deciding how many and which nights a week can be dedicated in the build space. Off season meetings, for example, often come second to other activities; I didn’t clock into the build space for nearly all of the soccer season. During build season, though, my priorities shift to favor of robotics over other commitments. I commit more hours per week to robotics, and schedule other events around those times.

Prioritization helps make personal choices about how you structure your schedule, but those choices must then be communicated to others. Communication plays a critical role in balancing a schedule. It allows you to better consider your priorities, lets others know what to expect, and can tell you what you miss.

When a robotics competition requires me to miss school, I have to contact all of my teachers about what I missed in class. Similarly, if I have a band competition on the day of a robotics meeting, I contact a programming mentor to let them know not to count on me for that meeting. Managing a busy schedule becomes much easier when you plan based on dynamic personal priorities, and communicate those priorities to those you work with.


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