Managing your time isn’t something that comes naturally to most people. If it seems like you are always running late or don’t have enough time to do all the things you need in the course of a day, you might want to think about taking steps to learn how to manage your time more effectively.
The first thing you might want to do is make a list of areas that you believe are problematic. For example, not long ago, I would wake up in plenty of time to get showered and ready for work, but then I would start work on a project and lose track of time. The result? I was late leaving for work and inevitably get stuck in traffic, and I was late. It was just a few minutes late every day, but my boss saw a pattern and asked me why I was late all the time.
It was embarrassing to admit I couldn't manage my time very well, but it did make me take a look at my habits. I decided that I wanted to be a more responsible person and decided to take the steps to make a few corrections in my life.
Below are a few tips that helped me reach my goal, which have also helped me change other habits that were affecting me.
Make a plan, set a goal
Make a list of those things you want to manage. For each item listed, set a plan of action. Include what it is, how long it will take to complete it, and the process you will go through to accomplish it.
Deadlines are huge in my life, and for someone who is easily distracted, I can’t afford to let anything distract me. But life isn’t perfect, and things happen that demand my attention. Scheduling time, letting people know I will be busy, turning off my phone, playing soothing music; these are all ways to minimize distractions.
Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today
Don’t let procrastination steal your time. Push yourself to get the important things done first, that way you have more time to relax and rejuvenate.
Take breaks when you need them
Time management doesn’t mean you try to do the most amount of work in the least amount of time. It means being able to complete your tasks without feeling burdened and overwhelmed, giving each task the necessary time to complete. It means taking a proactive approach to your work load, as well as the discipline to stay on task, and on time.
Finally, give yourself room to make mistakes, because when we make mistakes, we learn. Knowing we will become better as we practice, just might be the motivation we need to keep trying.
Life isn't always easy, but it wasn't meant to be. Many believe the reason we are here is so we can learn and grow to be the best human being we possibly can. Others believe we are souls having a human experience, living this life to enhance our existence on another plane.
But life was also meant to be enjoyed. We seem to forget that when we experience some of life's more challenging circumstances. Maybe all we need are a few reminders about how to get the most out of our lives:
1. Take responsibility for your life. Stop blaming people for where you are in life. You made the choices that led you to where you are. If you want to change something, change it. You have the power.
2. Find Balance. Balance means something different to everyone. A good rule of thumb is to let your intuition be your guide. if you feel a little "off," take a few minutes to check in with yourself to figure out why.
3. Open your mind. Just because we don't see the world in the same way as someone else doesn't mean they are wrong. Listen to what they have to say. You just might learn something.
4. Be Grateful. When we are grateful, it is because we appreciate what we have. And when we appreciate what we have, you can't possibly be sad.
5. Remember that happiness is always within your control. Happiness is a state of mind. Though it can be difficult to see it, or understand how to get there sometimes, we really do have the power to change our thoughts. Changing our thoughts can change our attitude and lead us to where we want to be.
6. Take Care of Yourself. Many people don't take care of themselves because they really aren't sure how. Ways you can do this is to eat right, exercise, and socialize, but you are the one only one who knows for sure what you need. Hate to exercise? Start with walking and increase it little by little. Join a club or take a course. Cut out the fast food, and sweets. And make sure to pencil in some alone time to rejuvenate with a massage. (See #2)
7. Find your passion and your purpose. Someone once told me "Find your passion and you'll find your purpose." Whether your passion is helping others or writing a best-seller, your purpose will depend on what you do with it.
8. Keep Learning. No one knows everything, but the more you know the better decisions you can make. Read, talk to people who are experts in their fields, take notes, and then read some more. Knowledge is power.
No one is perfect. We all have set-backs and make mistakes. But every day is another chance to try again. And at the end of the day, if you can lay in bed and know you did the best you could, I'd say that was a good day.
I once saw a post that said, "Growing up is mandatory; growing up is optional." When we are little, we are told to grow up when we are acting like we are supposed to. But when we do finally grow up, we tend to forget what it was like to be a child. If you have ever spent time with a child, you know they are curious by nature and express their emotions without filters. Everything is new and exciting to them, every day is a new adventure.
We hurry to grow up and then wish we were little again, certainly not to go through all the lessons we have learned up to this point, but to experience the emotions and feelings that came with being a child.
We could learn a lot from spending time with a child. They can remind us what it felt like to be free and adventurous, and we can teach them not to be in such a hurry to grow up and enjoy being little longer.