Time management is the bane of my existence.
One of the hardest things is making time to evaluate success and failure, catch up on to-dos, clock in everything you need to do. I struggle with this.
When you feel like you’re always behind the eight ball, there’s always something to do, always somebody else’s needs that you’re trying to meet, it can be hard to get it all done.
As parents, as careerists, as colleagues and partners, many people struggle with time management.
This fall, consider these tips for getting a handle on your time.
In business, outline your short-term and long-term goals. Then, make sure the activities you engage in are helping you get there.
Personally, set goals, too. It can be fitness or food, time spent with children, date nights, or just reading a book with a cup of tea. A long-term goal might be eliminating stress, and then short-term you create activities to achieve that on a daily basis.
Prioritize – and Learn to Say NO!
Setting priorities is essential to getting things done. Create a big to-do list, but then each day, write by hand on a little piece of paper the things that must get done that day. As you accomplish one, cross it off with a pen. There is a psychological boost when you cross that item off your list – feelings of goodwill toward yourself, optimism and achievement rush through you, fueling you to move on to the next task.
While we always want to help others, and some people struggle with guilt when they don’t chip in, it’s powerful and important to learn to say NO. When you over-commit, it’s usually because you want to please someone else. Before you agree to something, check in with yourself as to whether doing so will impede your progress to achieve your goals. If so, say no.
This is like laying out your clothes the night before, something I did as a child. That way, you don’t waste time searching for an outfit in the early morning and end up late to school.
Create your to-do list at night, for the day to come. That way you hit the ground running in the morning.
How many times a day do you check email? Cut it out!
Create blocks of time to focus on what’s important. Add email and social media time into that schedule, so you don’t let little things pop up that set you off course.
Whether it’s asking the kids to do their laundry, help fold sheets and towels, set the table, make their own lunches or even prepare a meal for the family once a week, you can delegate at home and at the office.
Letting go of control is a great way to manage your time. If you truly believe no one else can do things as wonderfully as you do, take a look at why you feel that way. Start to trust others. Empower them by letting them take on tasks. It will make you feel great in the end.
Sleep. Exercise. Eat slowly and mindfully Read the newspaper. Sip your tea brewed from leaves. Walk outside. Take time to care for yourself – no one else will.