Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Why can't there be 26 hours in a day?

If you are anything like me, there never seems to be enough time in the day. There are always more chores to be done, errands to be run, sleep to get, and friends and family to spend time with. Where does the time go? One of the things I have struggled with on and off throughout my life, is time management. I am constantly feeling as though I am running out of time. Believe it or not, there are some basic time management strategies that you can implement that will help you more effectively manage your time, feel less frustrated, and more productive.

1. Understand that you cannot do everything - we all want to be Superman and get everything accomplished and it is simply not always possible, learn to accept it. The most important things in life are that we are happy and healthy.

2. Begin your day with either a schedule or a 'to do' list, so that you have focus throughout your day and can cut down on wasted time.

3. When looking at our responsibilities for each day, start by selecting the 'must do's' and focus on those. In other words - prioritize. For example picking up the kids from school would be a must do, stopping at the bookstore could wait for tomorrow or the weekend.

4. Learn how to say no. If you are anything like me, you struggle to tell others 'no'. Often we do not want to disappoint someone or let them down, and we end up accepting responsibilities or tasks that, at the very least stretch us thin. It has taken me a long time to learn, but it is okay to say no, and we do not have to give an explanation.

5. One thing that is becoming more and more common in today's society is being able to be reached anywhere at anytime. While there are benefits to being able to be reached twenty-four hours a day, there are also benefits to being temporarily disconnected. As hard as it is to believe, it is okay to allow our phones to go to voicemail, or to allow that text to sit in the inbox. Allowing ourselves uninterrupted time to focus on a task, or interact with your family actually saves us time. The more interruptions we have throughout the day, the more time we spend restarting whatever project we are working on, or recapping a story a friend might be sharing with us.

6. Beat procrastination! Often times when we have a large task in front of us, or something that we are not looking forward to doing, we tend to put it off, and we waste time dreading the inevitable. Instead, break the task down into segments, and knock it out little by little.

Using these time management tips will NOT create more time in our day, no matter what we do there will always only be twenty-four hours. However, better time management skills will help us to be more productive with the time that we do have, and provide us with more control over our daily stress and energy levels.

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