Time management continues to be a tricky thing for me. Perhaps it is that all powerful phrase, “No,” that leads to my poor time management. I seem to have lost the ability to use that word that often. So, if you, like me, find that time is slipping away, let’s talk about steps of time management.
In going along with the current fad of Marie Kondo’s and decluttering, get organized! According to a University of Georgia Extension publication, disorganization leads to poor time management. One common method to getting organized is a method that many people might be familiar with, using the three-box method. Labeling the boxes, “keep,” “give away,” and “toss,” you can begin to weed through the clutter. With that clutter out of the way you can then begin a system of organizing information, with whatever method works best for you.
One thing that I have noticed is that even the busiest of people find time for what they want to do and feel is important. This isn’t a slight to anyone, but a reality. If you feel strongly about something, such as a community organization, you’ll find time for it, no matter what. This goes along with scheduling, which is not recording what you have to do. Scheduling is making a time commitment to the things you want to do. Good scheduling requires that you know yourself. If you know when you are the most productive during the day, you can then schedule your most challenging tasks for when you have the most energy. In scheduling your time though, beware of the temptation to overschedule yourself and schedule in every little detail and scrap of time. This is a trap I could find myself falling into. Instead, try to limit your scheduled time to about ¾ of your day, leaving time for other activities, that let you be you.One time management strategy that I struggle with is delegation. However, delegation can be a marvelous time-saver if you delegate things appropriately and to the right people. That allows you to move on to other tasks, that perhaps you have been procrastinating. Often these are unpleasant or overwhelming tasks. Try breaking some of these tasks into smaller segments that require less time and result in realistic deadlines. This doesn’t mean multi-tasking, as recent studies have shown multi-tasking doesn’t actually save time. This means finishing what you start, even if the task is small, before moving on to the next task.
Last, give yourself some attention, because if you aren’t healthy, no amount of planning and time management will make things better. You deserve time for yourself!