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As I sat in standstill traffic watching the minutes tick by, I realized there was no way I was going to make it to my dentist appointment on time. I wasn’t just going to be late, I was going to miss it.

 When I could, I exited the highway and called the dentist. “Hello, it’s your worst patient.” Of course, the team at the dentist office was super nice and let me reschedule.

 Sitting on the road with nothing to do but stress, I realized this was the third time in three days that I had a schedule failure. On Monday I nearly missed my manicure appointment after a doctor’s appointment ran two hours late. On Tuesday I was told we need to find a new date to host our fall craft beer fest due to a schedule conflict at the venue (more on this soon — promise!) and then the dentist mishap.

 This pattern had to mean something. What was the universe trying to tell me? By the third scheduling snafu, I thought perhaps it was telling me to day drink, but I don’t think that’s the kind of message the universe sends.

 Then I started thinking about our management team meeting earlier in the week. We talked about bringing some team members back into the office, current mask protocols and the return of our events — as well as community events like festivals and fairs.

 It hit me — the universe is telling me that things are heating up and not just because summer has unofficially started.

 With COVID-19 cases on the decline and vaccinations on the incline, life looks more like it did in 2019 every day. Nothing says, “we’re back!” like orange barrels. After a year-plus of waiting, now is the time to manage our time because venues, schedules and — even roads — are booking up. So, here are some tips thanks to an entrepreneur.com article and how I plan to use them to get my schedule in working order.

 Embrace mornings, nights or weekends — the author suggests finding pockets of time with few interruptions to work on projects that need a lot of focus. I find that Wednesdays from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. are the perfect mid-week opportunity to edit and write.

 Schedule everything in one spot or organizational device — I fully stand by this advice. I’m old school and use a paper planner since writing things

down helps me remember what needs to be done, but use what works best for you. The last thing you should do is have some things on your digital calendar and some things on a piece of paper, etc. Organization is key to time management.

 Don’t panic when things don’t go according to plan — this is advice I could have used earlier this week. For lots of reasons — we are still living in a pandemic, for one — many people have a high level of anxiety right now. We all need to be more forgiving of ourselves and others for a bit when it comes to time management. Speaking of which, if you need a dentist who offers just this kind of forgiveness, I know a great one!

 How are you getting your time management skills back in order? Email me at ecaswell@mihomepaper.com.

Emily Caswell is the brand manager for VIEW Group, the branding division of View Newspaper Group.

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