It seems like thereís a national day or month for everything and hereís another one: February is National Time Management Month. Although it is sponsored by the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), who no doubt are looking to drum up more business, it does make sense.
Think about it, February means that the holidays are long over and the New Year is well under way, making it the perfect time to take control of your time and rebalance your life using at least one of those new calendars you might have received over the holidays.
As I wrote about last summer, I have been struggling with this since long before the holidays and even embarked upon a project to simplify and slow down my life.†During this time, I found that the major thing missing for me was planning and time management.
I found that it was really more about time management, and slowing down was just part of it. So, I have been exploring some ways to make more of my time and thought Iíd share them with Care2 members.
Here are some simple ways to manage your time and take some of the stress off.
First, plan ahead as much as you can and be realistic about how much you can fit into the day, the week, and the month. Planning more is something that most of us struggle with and for me, it is something I am still working on.
Next, have a schedule and/or use a planner to schedule your appointments and your tasks. It sounds so simplistic, but it really works. Just stick to it, and make sure to schedule some time in for yourself. Rank these tasks in order of importance.
Which brings me to the third tip: prioritize! Make a list for the week and arrange the items starting with the most important. That way you know what to expect and what you think needs to get done first. We often focus on the tasks that are low priority, sort out what can wait, what canít, what is important and what isnít. Note, do not put down what others think should be done first. Too often we get sucked into what are other peopleís priorities.
Another great way to stop wasting your time and get yourself moving is to break those projects/tasks that you have been avoiding down into smaller, sequential steps. I have found that by doing this, I can get positive reinforcement as I check off each step and it helps me move through each one more quickly. You can see the progress being made as you check them off, which in turn, motivates you to keep going.
Lastly, no matter how quickly you think you can get something done, always allow twice as long to do it. This is partly due to the fact that things take longer then we might think they do, but it is just realistic to allow for interruptions, which are inevitable and which can throw us off schedule more than many other things can.