As we grow older, we take on more responsibility. You move out and go to college. No one is there to force you to do your homework or go to class. You get a job, but it’s up to you to show up and do your best. You have to pay bills, make time for your friends and family, take care of household chores, all while trying to maintain personal happiness.
In the face of stress or an overwhelming to-do list, it may be helpful to look at how you are managing your time. Not everyone is born with the skillset it takes to effectively juggle all of the balls in the air, so what can you do to become better at time management?
First, it is important to understand why time management is critical for a healthy mindset. It can give you the clarity to focus more fully on the task at hand when you aren’t also worried about scheduling space in the week for the other 20 things on your to-do list. It also helps you to lessen your overall level of stress and gives you a better sense of control over your life. You might even find that you get more done when you use your time effectively.
What can you do to increase your time management skills?
Be aware: It will help you to better schedule your daily routine if you think realistically about your time as a limited resource. Know how long it will take for each task and when you are best able to complete them. This could look different for everyone. You could decide to call your doctor’s office on the way to work or run an errand on your lunch break.
Arrange: Schedule your goals for the day. If you create an itinerary and plan the tasks you have ahead of you, it makes it easier to accomplish what you need to throughout the day. It also helps you to move on between tasks and takes away the fear of not being able to get everything done.
Adapt: When you manage your time, you have to acknowledge your boundaries. When you know you are supposed to be completing a project, don’t take a phone call from your best friend. Adjusting your priorities can make a huge difference in the way you accomplish your goals. You can always call your friend back, but you can’t get the time you lost before your deadline.
Write it down! Whether it’s in the calendar app on your phone or by setting alarms and reminders, it is easier to keep track of what you need to do and when you need to do it by using the tools available to keep you accountable. Looking back at what you accomplished for the day feels good, and just may encourage you to continue to move through your list
Say “No.” It’s okay to say no, even if it doesn’t always feel comfortable. If you don’t feel like you’ll be able to get as much work done if you take a break and go to lunch with your friend, or if you can’t handle another project at work, you don’t have to stretch yourself thin. It is good practice in both your work and personal life to set boundaries for yourself.
While these skills are a great first step towards becoming better organized and managing your time in a more productive way, you might also need further coping mechanisms. If you would like help on your journey towards a happier, healthier you, give Tx harmony Counseling a call at (832) 352-1600 or contact us here.