5 Tips For Time Management

Bkono By Bkono, 17th Jun 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>General Health>Wellness

We have all heard the saying "There are not enough hours in the day". As it turns out, there are ways to prioritize everything without feeling as though you are always running out of time.

Make Your List

Now, I know what you're thinking. I have tried this before and it didn't work, but I encourage you to try again. Often times, we are prioritizing everything in our head and attempting to lay out a schedule in this way.

Unfortunately, this is not the best method of scheduling the time that we have. What is ultimately happening, is our "to do" list in our mind is being given an undefined amount of time. We are therefore placed in a position where we know what needs to be done, but are simply hoping things work out.

Instead, why not start by writing everything down. You don't necessarily need to begin by placing them in an official calendar, but simply starting a list where you lay out the needs for the day. Follow this up with about how much time you believe will be needed for each event, adding roughly 30 minutes to each task just in case.

Once you have your list laid out, now is the time to prioritize. Start with the items that would be under a time constraint, such as a notary only being available from from 9A - 12P, and plan to knock this out before going to the grocery store, which is open from 7A - 12A.

Fortunately for most of us, there are items on our list that have a set schedule each day (ie. take the kids to school at 8AM), which help in setting out the planning process. Of course, the majority of what we accomplish each day does not have this luxury, so it is up to us to at least attempt what is most efficient.

Plan Ahead

Believe it or not, finding where to make the most use of your time, takes additional time to do. I know, it's a vicious cycle! However, it doesn't have to be as hard as it sounds, in fact it can take five minutes to do just before bed!

The night before a big day, begin writing down what time certain things need to be taken care of versus items that can be taken care of later, as referenced above. This is also a good time for brainstorming.

1. What needs to happen tomorrow and what can happen day after tomorrow?
2. Do I have more to do day after tomorrow?
3. Is there anything happening day after tomorrow that coincides with what I am doing tomorrow, that makes more sense for me to push it off a day?
4. Is it possible to share the workload? For example, you need to take your son to soccer practice on Saturday. Is it possible for him to car pool instead?
5. What requires preparation, perhaps you can knock that out first before your real day begins? For example, you promised to bake cookies for the church fundraiser. Perhaps you could plan to wake up 30 mins earlier and knock them out, allowing them to cool and be ready to go when your day is in full swing!

I realize that a lot of this can be a bit harder than it sounds, but taking a few minutes before you go to sleep, can help shave hours off of your day when you break it all down.

Be Realistic

If you are the type of person that tries to cram as much as humanly possible into one day, then not only do I salute you for your efforts, but I also get concerned that you may be setting yourself up for failure.

Although I strongly believe in making the most use of your time, you need to be understanding of everything that needs to be done and that you are giving yourself only 24 hours to do it (and that's if you stay up all night!)

One good step in the right direction would be to make a clear separation between what needs to be done and what you want to get done. This is incredibly important, as you will most likely lean only toward what needs to happen, which is obviously important, but making sure to scatter in items that you want to happen is key to a happier day.

Don't Be Afraid To Say "NO"

If you are the type of person that always wants to make people happy, or be as helpful as possible, there is nothing wrong with that. Sometimes, however, you have to know when enough is enough. At what point do you simply have to admit that you CANNOT perform a task on your own given the amount of time it would take.

Learning how to say no when something is asked of you, does not mean that you can't still be helpful. If you are placed in a situation where you know you can't accomplish the task at hand in the time allotted, now is the time to call in your arsenal.

1. Do you have a friend that would be willing/able to take on the task for you?
2. Was there someone you helped out recently that would be willing to reciprocate?
3. Is there a way to simplify the request into something that can be done more quickly by someone else?
4. Is there a small portion you would be able to start with, so you don't have to commit entirely?

When we are leading such a busy life, it can be hard to tell a friend, co-worker, or team member that we are unable to do something. A part of us feels as though we are disappointing or letting people down. You have to remember, these are people who are most likely leading equally busy lives, which is why they are asking for the favor. You may very well be the third person that has told them you don't have time to accomplish what they need. It's ok, it doesn't reflect badly on you when you explain how heavy your plate is. Remember as well, if the person asking appears frustrated or angry, it isn't about you.

It's OK To Relax

Life is intense, crazy, complicated and can have so many things go wrong. As a society, we have developed into a "Go Go Go!" mentality and it can be extraordinarily difficult to break free from.

Sometimes finding a moment for yourself can be the most daunting task out of all of them. You are hit with deadlines, last minute needs, and people yelling in your ear to go faster...FASTER!

Many of us hit a point where our muscles ache, we can actually feel our hair going grey, and our lives have become so overwhelming that all we can think to do is sit down and breathe for a moment. Finding a half hour in our schedule to sit down and do something that relaxes you (glass of wine, reading a book, sitting outside and getting fresh air) is by far the most important thing over anything else listed above. It doesn't hurt to make it part of your process planning the night before as referenced above. Relaxation doesn't have to mean an expensive one hour massage (or two depending on how hard things are), it can mean spending thirty minutes to play with your child uninterrupted.

I encourage you to always remember, you can accomplish many things in this life, but if you don't find a way to push something aside so you can have a few minutes of freedom, then life is going to get a lot more physically painful.


Health, Management, Time, Well Being

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author avatar Bkono
Knocking out life one article at a time

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