MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - There's many things that go into being a successful student, athlete...and Olympian. Two characteristics hard to master but necessary for that success are time management and goal setting. WMBF News reporter Meredith Helline asked for advice on how to do both heading in to this school year from USA swimming gold medalist Nathan Adrian.
Nathan Adrian, a star on the USA swimming team in Rio, compared time management to willpower. He said making time for what's most important, even if it's hard, takes a lot of willpower. If you master willpower, you're well on your way to improving with time management.
"It's walking into practice that way saying yeah, my ties haven't been great, but I'm going to be the best version of me possible," he said.
Adrian said doing something you don't want to do isn't fun, like making time for homework, but he said that outcome of setting your mind to it is worth it.
"Social media don't bother with that. And if you focus in for an hour, usually you get it done. You know, that's how it worked with me. I could either mess around for 3 hours, or 4 hours with my friends or I could go to a library, be in a quiet place, be alone, and just really concentrate for one hour and have the rest of the day free," Adrian said.
His best advice is to separate yourself, recognize what needs to get done and then allot time without a possibility of distraction.
When it comes to goal setting, he said to write it down. "A goal doesn't really become a goal until it's in writing," he explained.
That way, it's harder to ignore. Adrian said bite-sized goals are what to aim for. He sets weekly goals and feels the satisfaction when he achieves those bite-sized goals, working towards reaching the bigger goal.
It can be as little as doing homework as soon as your child gets home, leaving time for friends or sports later. He said the happiness of getting the hard stuff done first will hopefully lead to making a habit.
"Even if you don't land exactly where you want to land, as long as it's a good, healthy, positive goal, you're going to be better off. Because you set that goal, because you worked for it…than if you hadn't set it at all," Adrian said.