Time Management

If you are like me, you find that your life tends to get busier and busier and you wish that you could find a way to cram a few more hours in each day.  Sometimes the demands of work, home, finances, and all the other areas of our lives that need attention can overwhelm us.  For many, the more that they have to do, the harder it becomes to get anything done.

Unfortunately, there are only 24 hours in a day.  So finding a way to juggle all that we have to do is important if we are going to avoid feeling overwhelmed.  Fortunately, there are a number of simple time management tools that we can incorporate into our lives that can help us squeeze more productive time out of our days.  While some of these tools may seem very simplistic and obvious, they can be extremely successful when used on a regular basis.

One of the most useful things that one can do to manage their time is to make a "To Do" list.  "To Do" lists serve as a road map for your attention.  By creating a list of the things that you have to accomplish and prioritizing their importance, you help identify where your energy is best focused.  Noting on your list “Due Dates” for completion helps in determining the importance/urgency of your tasks.

Work smarter, not harder.  Take the time to identify exactly what it is that you need to do, what you need to do it and plan how to get it done.  In essence, plan your work and work your plan.  

Organization is NOT a dirty word.  It is not impossible either. Many of us make repeated attempts at organizing our lives/work, only to give up because of the complexity of the task. Identify areas in your life/work where you can develop efficient routines or systems to manage your time or belongings.  Organization can help avoid wasting time by combining trips and not needing to look for what you need.

 Break big projects down into smaller ones.  Some things that we need to do intimidate us because they seem too big.  Break big projects down into manageable pieces, and then work on one piece at a time until finished.

 Try to finish one thing before starting another.  We can loose a lot of time bouncing from project to project due to the time it takes to get re-started each time we switch.  By working a project through to its completion you can build momentum and a sense of accomplishment.

Tackle the most dreaded jobs when you have the most energy.  By structuring your day so that you do the most difficult tasks when you are best prepared to do so.

Make sure to make time for yourself.  It is important that in taking care of yourself, spending time doing the things that are important to you helps re-energize you, lower your stress level and better prepare you to handle your workload.