Time management isn’t objective enough in most of its handling to be called a science, but it is certainly an active and fairly popularly-followed field.
I found out – I think while doing my first proper job, in 2008-10 – that taking my life as a whole, I run out of energy before I run out of time. I’m busy all the time, I fall apart. To keep going, I need to have rest periods in my life over and above getting adequate sleep.
So it follows that in my part-freelance lifestyle, while time management is important to delivering adequate product at or before deadline, I really ought to focus more on energy management, because if I overstretch myself and have to spend half a day or more crashed out to recover, then it can mess up everything.
Unfortunately, it’s a lot more difficult. Time management can start from time available, set bounds on working hours, estimate how long something will take, calculate necessary or possible input time. It’s much more complex – so that in practice I’m not going to try it – to estimate how much energy or alertness or whatever is absorbed by how much time of a given activity, so as to work out when I will hit the buffers if working continuously, or how much time off I need in a given week (since weeks are no longer that similar to each other). There are too many unknowns, not enough data, and too many of the variables are too hard to objectively quantify.
So a lot has to go on my general intuitive sense of levels of wellbeing and capacity; and space has to remain for sometimes kind of dropping out to compensate, because I can’t plan in the downtime effectively enough at present (maybe I’ll get better with practice).
When I was in a particularly bad period of my ongoing depression, I had various euphemisms for when I was too miserable to pretend to be actually fine, but didn’t want to cause the shock of answering ‘How are you?’ honestly. ‘Coping’ I think implied I felt on the edge of breakdown, ‘managing’ that I living my life but there was absolutely no fun in it. There were some little-used terms like ‘alive’ or ‘breathing’ which basically meant my mind was completely shot to pieces.
I think we could say I’m ‘managing’ right now even though I’m not doing time (and energy) management that well. I just hope it doesn’t sink to ‘coping’ any time soon.