David Scheidemantle and “The Art of Time Management”

By Sydney Sibelius ‘18
Staff Writer

David Scheidemantle began his time management workshop by saying: “You can only manage you.” In “The Art of Time Management—A Training with David Scheidemantle” hosted by the Laspa Center for Leadership, Mr. Scheidemantle provided tips and skills for time management. On the evening of Thursday, February 11, Scheidemantle discussed these tools with a classroom full of interested attendees.

The audience was filled with busy students, parents, and Scripps faculty, there to hear about ways in which to be more productive and manage their time better. Scheidemantle is no stranger himself to having a full plate and maintaining a busy schedule.

Currently, Scheidemantle is President and Managing Partner of Scheidemantle Law Group P.C. Though he practices law now, he attended the Juilliard School as a violinist. He has been concertmaster of both the Juilliard Symphony and Philharmonia, and continues to play to this day.

In 2014, Scheidemantle founded the Scripps-Scheidemantle Law Internship for rising-first-years at Scripps, and has continued to have a positive relationship with the College.

Scheidemantle began the training by explaining the concept of self-actualization, which is when a person is in a calm and happy mood and is able to achieve their full potential. Additionally, Scheidemantle claimed that we do not manage time, but instead manage activities. And in regards to managing activities in the most beneficial manner for each individual, Scheidemantle went over a list of tools to utilize.

The first tool is the notion of acceptance. It is necessary to accept yourself and the current situation in order to capitalize on your future potential. He then explained that every individual needs to create their own blank canvas; people have to find what they need to do in order to focus on tasks with singularity.

While some individuals need to have a clean desk to start working and be productive, others may work better when their workspace is messy. Scheidemantle explains that each person needs to find their best situation for being able to focus on one individual task and not be distracted.

The second time management tool that Scheidemantle explained is the notion of living in continuua. There are a variety of continuum scales that affect the productivity and output of individuals. It is necessary to consider efficiency versus thoroughness, the outcome in comparison to the process,  and the big picture or smaller details. Being a perfectionist means that you may be very thorough, but not get as much other work done, and individuals have to choose where they want to be on the scale to maximize their output. The same applies for being more worried about the final product, or the process of getting there, as well as if you are going to focus on the big picture or look at the details of everything. Understanding your place on these scales can help you to make a decision based on where you want to be on the continuum.

One of the final tools was the notion of preparing for work versus actually doing work. It is possible to procrastinate in creating a clean canvas, and many times procrastination is fueled by not knowing what your next action is.

The fourth tool which can help you to effectively manage your time is to plan your distractions, and integrate them into your list of overall tasks. When creating a to-do list, it also helps to break down your tasks into manageable chunks. For example, if one of the tasks you need to do is finish your thesis, it helps to break that down into smaller tasks. Instead of just writing “finish thesis” on your list, Scheidemantle explained that it can be helpful to be more specific about what you need to do. “Edit chapter 5,” “set up appointment with reader,” and “finish conclusion,” all seem more manageable when you see them on a list then “finish thesis” would.

For help with creating lists, Scheidemantle demonstrated the aid that internet-based methods can provide. Trello, an online tool for managing products, is beneficial in creating lists and helping organize activities. Evernote and Toodledo help organize lists, and Zapier connects all of your online bases into one, and are all also internet sources that provide time management aid.

Scheidemantle ended the training by sharing the concept of sharpening your saw-- taking the time to take care of yourself so that you can be productive and get more done in the long run. With the metaphor of cutting down a tree, it is beneficial to sharpen your saw before you begin to reduce the total amount of time that it will take to cut down the tree. However, an individual may not take the time to sharpen the saw, and they will be stuck spending time trying to cut down the tree with a dull saw. Take time to sharpen your own saw, so that you can personally be able to handle more and be more productive at the same time.

If you have more questions on time management tools, visit the Laspa Center, CP&R, or the offices in the Tranquada Student Services Center. The internet-based management tools are all accessible online; you can easily find them with Google, and you can create a free account on each site. Expect more trainings similar to this from Laspa to help you perform at your best and be a leader in your life!