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5 Easy Ways to Manage Your Time

5 Easy Ways to Manage Your Time

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.

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Judi Gerber

Judi Gerber is a University of California Master Gardener with a certificate in Horticultural Therapy. She writes about sustainable farming, local foods, and organic gardening for multiple magazines. Her book Farming in Torrance and the South Bay was released in September 2008.

283 comments

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10:05AM PST on Mar 6, 2014

Probably one of the best, most useful blog posts I’ve ever read. I’m so glad I came across your blog, through Google. Using recording software ( http://www.replicon.com/olp/online-time-recording-software.aspx ), I do create daily, weekly and monthly to-do lists to keep track of my time.

It also gives me a great sense of satisfaction as I can check off each item in my priority list. That way I can sleep better and enjoy my weekends and find more free time without having work issues hanging over my head.

6:18PM PDT on Nov 3, 2012

Thanks

12:34PM PST on Mar 1, 2012

useful tips, thank you!

10:45PM PST on Feb 29, 2012

Excellent blog and advice. These actions on Disabled Greens News and discussion:
Actions for Black History Month, Prisoners rights, et al:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DisabledGreensNews/message/9130

This petition on change.org: Black History Mth: Acts: Thanx for all you do. Ciao. reality

7:52AM PST on Feb 29, 2012

Useful tips.

2:54AM PST on Feb 29, 2012

Some good tips.. I can't live without my lists..

12:27AM PST on Feb 29, 2012

Thank-you for the article again. Carole K. stated some very wise points. I used to be organized, timely, punctual, & got things done in a time efficient manner. Then, amongst other things, I developed a Sleeping Disorder with a Circadian Rhythm Shift. The former is not the same as Insomnia & the latter controls one's sleep/wake cycle. I totally shifted in May, 2009. Simply put, my days are your nights & your days are my nights. I am not only out of sync with myself, I am out of sync with everything & everyone else. It's hard to schedule appointments of any kind b/c I'm awake a night & sleep during the day. I am also severely sleep deprived as a result of the two. States are passing laws equating driving when one is sleep deprived with DUI. All things considered, I have more than a difficult time with time management (no pun intended).

10:17PM PST on Feb 28, 2012

This is a re-read article for me: a refresh, a renewal, a re-commitment to time management. Planning & prioritizing the resource of time in the most effective & efficient way enables a person to make the most of their own life force. Good review & will come back periodically when I need a reminder. Yes, you can keep yourself "on track"! Thanks again......

9:59AM PST on Feb 28, 2012

Thanks for posting.

8:03AM PST on Feb 27, 2012

Thanks for the article.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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