speaking of ...
A recent study by Gal Zauberman ' 94, assistant professor of marketing at the Kenan-Flagler Business School, and John Lynch Jr. of the Fuqua School of Business at Duke determined that people are better at budgeting their nlOney than their time - tend- ing to underestimate future time conmutments. So how do study co-authors Zauberman and Lynch handle their time now that they know what hey know? They rely on more than their calendars. "We renlind ourselves that we think we're going to have more free time than we really will," said Zauberman."With conmlittee work or some trivia
ittle task that you say yes to without thinking much about it, you tend to agree with those things much more than you should. But what happens when it's something like your child's soccer game
or school play - things that will improve your life
in the long term? You want to ask yourself whether
in the long term you're going to be happy that you
radio documentary producer - when she can find the
"One thing became clear recently, that my life for
many years had not made time for my own creative
work - or exercising or caring for my house. I'm on
this ongoing quest for balance."
One way Dreyer avoids over-conmlitment at work
is by bouncing prospective projects off her manager
before signing on for them. Ifshe's overoptimistic
about how much she can take on, her manager pro-
vides a reality check.
Dreyer also has gotten professional advice on time
management, advice that has helped her recognize that
her expectations of herself were unrealistic.
"I was constantly feeling that I wasn't doing
enough," she said. "I still don't think I have a realistic
view of what I can do in a day, but it's berter. I've
learned a more realistic sense of time and how much
time each thing takes, and I'm beginning to acknowl-
edge my limitations."
As a student, Greg Thacker ' 96 said, his time-man-
agement method was to over-commit and then have to
provide a heroic effort to get everytlllng done. He
took on so much - working 25 to 30 hours a week
while going to school full time - that he ended up in
the hospital. "They told me my body had gone into
shock from lack of sleep," he remembered.
For a while, he kept up the pace as a project man-
ager at I:ntegrated Data Systems in Chantilly, Va. "I was
always working on four projects at once in an environ-
ment where most people were working on one. I did
it because it kept me interested and motivated, and also
because I was prone to over-invest myself."
Thacker does things differently now that he is, with
Gina Lamb Thacker ' 89, the parent of a 2-year-old son.
"There's been a realignment in priorities. I used to
think I was going to start my own business. I had a
world-beater mentality. Now, after-kid, I'm more satis-
fied with the level of success r have. I see starting my
own business as way too much time and energy taken
away from my fanllly."
How does he feel about the change? "Oddly
happy," he said.
Anne Neville ' 99 inU11ediately recognized the syn-
drome of expecting that more time will open up in
tlle future than she has available in the present.
"It's sort of like buying a pair ofjeans that are a lit-
tle too small because you think you're going to lose
weight," she said with a laugh. Now a fellow in the
California Senate, Neville said she frequently took on
projects she then struggled to complete.
"It's really easy to do if you're engaged in a lot of
areas, and my work so far has tended to have me doing
a lot of different things that are not necessarily part of
my job description and trying to augment my non-
profit salaries by consulting," she said. "It leads to some
Neville has learned that meeting deadlines is more
important in the working world than it was in her stu-
dent days. Grant proposals won't be considered if they
don't meet the deadline; information that doesn't reach
a legislative cOl1U1uttee in time nlight not be heard for
a year. "I balanced a lot when I was a student, but it
was a whole different kind of balance," Neville said."It
wasn't about getting funding for my job that was going
to allow me to pay my rent."
She's getting better at planning her time. "One of
the things I despised when it was first required of me
was establishing an action plan when I knew r had a
til/lied onfollowing page)
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