It’s one of those mornings when you hit snooze too many times and as a result wake up late. Since you’re running late, on a whim you decide to skip breakfast, grab a quick shower, hastily dress, and run out your door hungry, irritable, and somewhat ready for another day of work. On your drive to work, you realize that you left your cell phone at home along with your daily vitamin. In this frustration, you decide to reflect on last night when you sat in rush-hour traffic on your way home, finished your weekly proposals, cooked dinner, went to the gym, bought groceries, and took your daughter to her daily gymnastics class. All of these after-work activities stressed you out and produced an unwanted headache that kept you up for most of the night. You sigh and think, “If I only had more time.”
Does this sound familiar? If it does, don’t worry because you’re not alone. In the last 25 years, our leisure time has been reduced by 37 percent, while our work week has increased by a full day. Most of us lead busy lives that cause unwanted stress, which can produce long-term health consequences such as heart disease, stroke, and gastrointestinal problems.
Do you want to reduce stress and have more time for relaxation, family, and leisure activities? If so, time management is your answer. Time management is a set of skills, tools, and systems that work together to help you get more value out of your time while improving your quality of life. The following steps will help you manage your responsibilities and relieve you of unhealthy tension so that you can enjoy your day-to-day routine and lead a healthier life.
Organize Your Space
Before you do anything else, you’re going to have to organize your space. As a whole, Americans waste more than 9 million hours each day looking for misplaced and lost items. If you organize your home and office, think of how much time you’ll save looking for things. You’ll have fewer interruptions, experience less frustration, and will be able to locate important articles, documents, and files in a timely manner so that you can continue finishing what needs to be completed.
Plan and Schedule
It’s important to remember that calendars, appointment books, and to-do lists will serve as reminders and help you identify deadlines. Spending 15 minutes every morning to update these tools can save you up to 6 hours a week and you’ll be able to successfully make use of your schedule. Additionally, by having a thoughtfully planned out schedule you’ll be able to:
Prioritize and Set Goals
It’s essential that you prioritize your activities on a daily basis and set attainable goals. Focusing on the results that are most important to you will help you achieve the greatest benefit possible with the limited amount of time available.
If you are confused by what your priorities are or have many different priorities, look over your to-do list and choose the most important things and do these first. By realizing goals, you’ll feel accomplished and be motivated to continue finishing lots of things on your to-do list. This will result in completing work and having more free time.
Procrastination is one of time management’s biggest enemies. Procrastination is a destructive habit that impulses you to put off important tasks over and over again. You are procrastinating when you do something more enjoyable or comfortable than what you should be carrying out. Some people are so strongly affected by procrastination that it negatively impacts their careers and personal lives.
Here are tips that will help you overcome procrastination and allow you to successfully manage your life:
If you’re tired, it’s no use having priorities and a beautifully arranged schedule since you’re likely to not stay on task. You’ll be more vulnerable to interruptions during the work day, which can consume 10 to 20 minutes in getting back on track, not to mention the time spent conversing with the interrupter. Exhaustion happens to all of us and can have a negative impact on successful time management.
Some steps to combat exhaustion and fuel your energy:
As you can see, a little organization, prioritizing, and planning goes a long way. By implementing these tools, beating destructive habits like procrastination and exhaustion, you’ll allow yourself to have more free time. Time management will let you spend quality time on your hobbies and enjoy stress-free days. Time management will give you more time in the mornings to eat breakfast, calmly shower and dress, and not leave behind important items like your cell phone and vitamins. More importantly, by incorporating these time management steps into your daily living routine, you’ll be a more successful individual and have more time to finish your proposals, cook dinner, buy groceries, workout, and take your daughter to her gymnastics class.
Publish date: June 27, 2008