How to Manage Your Time

We are faced with work, children, and housework everyday. Some of us do not have that much to do but most of us do. For stay at home parents we can get a lot of things done. But for the people that go to work all day long and come home and feel like they have so much to do or get done this is for you. Most of us have felt swamped at one time or another. With hectic work schedules, family responsibilities, and social engagements, there just doesn’t seem to be enough time for everything we need and want to do. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Although life will always provide us with its little twists and turns, once we learn to manage our time wisely, much of the day-to-day chaos in our lives can be reduced or even eliminated.

All time is not equal. If you’re a morning person, your morning time is worth more in terms of productivity than your late afternoon time. Now, obviously, if you have a full-time job away from the home, the decision of how to spend your 9 to 5 hours will largely be out of your hands. So, the best you can do if you’re a morning person is to try and take care of some of your intellectually demanding activities first thing in the morning, say between 5:00 am and 7:00 am. On the other hand, if you’re a night owl, working a full-time job probably won’t be much of a problem for you.

Once you have identified your priorities, look at all of your options for achieving them. Evaluate and move forward with the ones you feel are the most useful for you. The only time to consider changing approaches mid-task is when you know the change will save time. If you are in doubt, it is usually best to consider in the direction you started.

Start by making a schedule for yourself. Make at least an hour a day for yourself. Schedule time for you. Schedule a “personal time” appointment on your calendar each day. If someone wants to see you at that time, just say, “I’m sorry, I have an appointment then.” Whether you use this for personal reflection or as a few quiet minutes to catch your breath or simply time to think, it’s a legitimate use of time. And you will still get as much, if not more, done.

Managing yourself is about having goals, defining tasks and knowing what’s involved in them, and having a realistic understanding of yourself and how and when you work best. You need a balanced life, realistic expectations, and you need to develop a flexible, workable plan that will help you to achieve your goals. Be realistic. One way to set yourself up for a panic situation is to plan an unrealistic amount of work for one day/week/etc. Use your common sense to recognize when you have over-scheduled yourself. Enthusiasm is wonderful, but it does not add more hours to the day. Sometimes we can not get all things done in a day or a few hours. Make a list of what needs to get done and set goals. So pace yourself. Just don’t WASTE time.

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