Do you ever feel as though there simply aren’t enough hours in the day? You’ve written out a to-do list and, though you’re exhausted, notice there is still a large number of items left to check off your list. You now feel deflated, but vow to get the rest of your to-do items done tomorrow…along with tomorrow’s to-do list. I’ve been there. You’ve been there. Let’s be honest, we’ve all been there…The busier life gets, the more it seems we have to do–it’s almost as though the universe knows when you have a lot going on and it decides that is the perfect time to tack on an unforeseen circumstance or two to your already full list of things to get done. Again, there just aren’t enough hours in the day…or are there?
If you’re nodding in agreement or perhaps find your mind wandering to the rest of the tasks you have yet to check off for the day then perhaps this blog is for you–perhaps you, yes you, could benefit from learning some time management techniques. The best thing about the techniques I am going to share with you is they can benefit not only you, but your child as well! All of these techniques can be shared with your child and/or teen in order to increase their task-related effectiveness and productivity while decreasing levels of stress and feelings of dissatisfaction and disappointment.
Though it is impossible to create more time in one’s day, it is possible to take control of the time you have and use it to your advantage. The first step in implementing time management techniques successfully is to recognize what is most important to you–what are your priorities? Maybe it is making time to feed your family a home-cooked meal each evening; maybe it is exercising for thirty minutes three times a week; or maybe it is finally getting around to cleaning out your car, garage, etc. List these out so you know what tasks, once completed, will leave you feeling fulfilled and accomplished.
The next step to implementing these techniques is to be realistic. You’re one person. Life can be hectic. Be kind to yourself. The third step in implementing successful time management techniques is to take care of yourself. Sleep. Eat. Self-care matters!
If you would like to learn more in-depth time-management techniques for you and your family then I encourage you to reach out to us–We’d be happy to talk more with you! For now, however, I have listed some helpful techniques below:
1) Top 3–
Instead of creating a to-do list each day riddled with countless tasks pick three things that day to accomplish. They can be big tasks or little tasks, but choose three that are meaningful to you and focus on completing those before moving on to other tasks. This is where it might be useful to spend some time reflecting on what your priorities are, so you know where to focus your energy.
2) Small Goals–
Sometimes people place lofty goals on their to-do list when in fact they should be broken down into smaller, more manageable goals. For example, if your task is to “remodel the kitchen”, it might be helpful to break that down into smaller tasks such as: set a budget, choose an aesthetic, purchase supplies, etc. This not only helps to keep you focused on your end goal, but it can also feel good to celebrate little victories along the way to accomplishing a hefty task!
3) Stay Organized–
Whatever this looks like for you: desk calendar, daily planner, Google Calendar app…it really doesn’t matter as long as you find something where you can keep all your schedule related information together and it is in a location you will check regularly.
4) Pre-Plan: Know what your schedule is going to be for the next day the night before and plan out when you will have time in your day to dedicate yourself to your Top 3.
5) The Two-Minute Rule:
This one is really simple. If it is something that can be done in two minutes or less–just do it. Need to send a quick reply to an e-mail? Just do it. Need to call and refill a prescription? Just do it. Need to wipe down the counter-tops? Just do it. Saving small tasks for later just adds to your to-do list and ends up bogging you down in the long run.
Misra, R., & McKean, M. (2000). College students’ academic stress and its relation to their anxiety, time management, and leisure satisfaction. American Journal of Health studies, 16(1), 41.