How to Manage Time More Effectively
The importance of time management cannot be overstated. As it relates to health, time management is one key to stress relief and better living. Following are some helpful suggestions on how to make time in your schedule and take time for you.
With simple apps on our phones, we now have more calendars and time management tools than ever. But none of these tools work if we don’t use them. The truth is, you will never get time to get everything done. No one “gets” more time – you can only make time or take time.
Taking Care of Yourself First
Many of us fail to take care of ourselves. We often make ourselves and our health the last priority on each day’s to-do list. Often, we take care of others first. For caregivers of all kinds, this approach to life management robs our bodies of energy over time. You’ve probably heard this analogy before: When the plane’s oxygen mask drops down, put your mask on first before assisting others. Time management is not selfish. Time management is smart.
You are Important. Prioritize Self-Management.
We all have the same 24 hours in a day and yet some people are more productive than others (without making themselves miserable!) When we don’t take time for ourselves because we’re too busy, that’s like saying, “I’m running on empty, but I’m too busy driving to stop for gas!” You wouldn’t treat your car that way. Please make time and take time to maintain the vehicle you were born with. Your body must last much longer than your car.
What’s your Time Management Goal?
Your first aim may be something modest, like cleaning out a cluttered closet. However, the suggestions below apply to grander ambitions. Your better living plan may include taking the time to plan and cook healthy meals, for instance. Perhaps making healthful movement and exercising daily needs to be a higher priority in your life.
Once we’ve decided why time management is essential to us, we will act on the how.
Time Management Techniques – Suggestions for How to Make and Take Time
- Don’t overload your to-do list.
That’s a prescription for frustration. Done is better than perfect.
- What’s on your to-don’t list?
If everything is a priority, then nothing is. Choose what’s important and do that. Watch out for time sucks, like scrolling endlessly through Facebook or spending your evening perusing the Netflix menu without actually ever watching a movie!
- Plan ahead and make decisions when you’re fresh.
A planned meal will likely be healthier, for instance. When decision fatigue and hunger combine, we rush to the fast food that sabotages our health.
- Do the tough stuff first.
Whether it’s getting some exercise or taking on a task you don’t relish, you will get it out of the way faster if you tackle it first thing. Otherwise, that task will hang over you all day and make you miserable. Worse, that task is less likely to get done the longer you put it off.
- Ask for help.
If you take it upon yourself to always do the dishes, someone is going to let you do that. You don’t have to do it all, and you shouldn’t have to do it all alone. Many tasks are better accomplished by someone else or with the help of someone else. This time management strategy may include trading expertise or time with someone, encouraging each other and being accountable, or paying to outsource a task. If doing your taxes boggles your mind, hiring a good accountant will save you more money than you spend on her fee.
- Swooping and sprinting makes time by saving time.
One mistake we often make with time management is thinking in terms of big blocks of time. Swooping is grabbing the laundry basket when you’re on your way downstairs, anyway. Maybe your next swoop is picking up a dirty dish on the way to the kitchen instead of clearing the table all at once. Sprinting is giving a task a limited amount of time. Ten minutes or fifteen minutes a day feels much more doable than cleaning out the entire garage all at once, doesn’t it?
- Tasks don’t have to be unpleasant.
A social occasion doesn’t have to begin with dinner on the table, for instance. Instead of cooking for family and friends, you could cook with them. Got a chore you aren’t pleased to do? Pump up the tunes, enjoy the music and sing while you sweep.
- Rewards are part of a good time management plan.
Too often we can feel too much time pressure. By taking the time to make time, you will have more time. No one gives us that time. We have to make time for reading and naps (and for massage appointments)! Take that time because of the energy you’ll receive. Find that time, and you’ll find your smile.
- Time management and self-care feel good.
It’s not about performing endless chores with gritted teeth and white-knuckling your way through life. It’s about making more time and taking more time for you and your health.
The word “equilibrium” means a state of physical balance and a calm state of mind. At Equilibrium, we will help you achieve that balance. Get in touch with us or book online and save time 🙂
~ Robert Chute RMT (Ret.) is the author of Do The Thing, The Last Stress-busting Book You’ll Ever Need.