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Bridges Blog Independent Living Resources Series: Juggling June 20204

Task Time Budgeting

Juggling June

Join our Project Coordinator, Chris Nusbaum, and our Director, Carlton Walker, as we dive into the “soft skills” we need in order to avoid a HARD landing!

  • June 4: Prioritization
  • June 11: Task Time Budgeting
  • June 18: Managing Calendars
  • June 25: Travel Time Budgeting

In this second blog for Juggling June, we discuss the task of budgeting. While we often think of budgets in terms of money, this topic involves a more valuable resource: Time.

First Steps

Last week, our Bridges Blog Prioritization post broke down the process of prioritizing tasks we must accomplish. Once we have established priorities, we must develop a plan to get those tasks completed. To do so, we must be able to budget our time effectively.

Judging Time for Task Completion

Many times, there is no fixed amount of time a task will take. Also, some people (including me, Bridges Director Carlton Walker) have difficulty judging the passage of time. Here are some tips that might help:

Use past experience as your guide

Past experience an be very helpful for time budgeting. For example, if you usually spend 10 minutes checking your homework and project assignments on your school’s learning management system (LMS), it’s reasonable to assume that time will stay somewhat the same each time you check. Also, the time it takes to get ready in the morning, including getting out of bed, brushing teeth, getting dressed, preparing and eating breakfast, etc., will likely be somewhat consistent from weekday to weekday.

It may seem odd to include mundane activities, like getting ready to start the day, in your time budget. Nevertheless, these tasks must be completed, so they must be accounted for. Also, using these relatively-stable task times, can jumpstart our budgeting of our day in terms of the time it takes to complete our tasks for the day.

If in doubt, overestimate

Tasks often take longer than we expect. A “quick” checking of emails and text messages might become a 30- or 60-minute task if there are surprises we don’t expect. Also, judging the time to research and write a paper can be quite tricky. By over-budgeting, you win no matter what: either you have budgeted a longer amount of time so you can get more (or all) of the paper written in your budgeted time OR if you finish early, you have extra free time to tackle other priority tasks – or to take a well-deserved break!

The More You Do it, The Better You’ll Get

When beginning any new task, like time budgeting, the process might be a bit difficult. This “learning curve” is just a reality of embarking on any new effort. However, as we engage in more prioritization and task time budgeting, these tasks will get easier. We’ll get a better feel for what really is a priority and for how long tasks might take. Remember: No one ever gets better at something by NOT doing it!

Next Week: Managing Calendars!

In next week’s Transition Tip, we’ll put our prioritization and task time budgeting skills to work as we discuss managing calendars. Of course, we will also explore the accessibility and features of digital calendaring systems.

Please check out the Bridges Technical Assistance Center Resource Library today!

Contact us

Follow the Bridges Helpdesk Facebook page for more transition tips, and please contact the Bridges Technical Assistance Center’s Free Helpdesk for Maryland Blind/Low Vision Transition Students, Families, and Educators anytime using:

This unique project is being coordinated through The IMAGE Center of Maryland, a center for independent living in Towson, and it is funded by a grant from the Maryland Department of Education Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services.

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