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Bits of time for bits of joy

College and career counselling involves so much variety, and we absolutely love that. No two days are ever the same. But the endless plate-spinning can sometimes make our days feel quite fractured, with snatched bits of time here and there that aren’t long enough for any deep work.

So, how do we make the most of these ‘offcuts’ of time, between appointments, calls and other demands?

At Step One HQ we follow the advice of time management doyenne Laura Vanderkam: “Use bits of time for bits of joy.” Work joy, in this case.

Even those small chunks of time that make an unexpected entrance can be used meaningfully, although you do need to plan for them. Have a list of jobs that suit a 10 minute time snippet, or half an hour. Emerging careers and courses can be researched, if you keep a list of them somewhere easy to access. You can keep a folder of student feedback and successes to cheer you on a hard day, but you’ll need a process for maintaining it. You can ‘drop in’ to a conference or event you couldn’t make with a quick look at the event hashtag on social media – but it would help to set up calendar reminders in advance.

Bullet journal page

You can probably tell by now that by meaningful, we mean those elements of the role that help keep you engaged and satisfied and learning. Email and admin are necessary – but they aren’t the only way to make use of little gaps between bigger tasks. And whilst we tend to underestimate how long things will take in the short term, we also overestimate how much time they will take in the long run. Investing just minutes every day in ‘unofficial CPD’ will elevate your practice over time, and probably sooner than you think.

How will you use your bits of time for bits of joy?

Photo by Daniele Levis Pelusi

Illustrated bullet journal page for guidance counsellors

Plan your week and your ‘bits of time’ with this printable bullet journal download:

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