Do you ever hear that buzzing and pounding sound of your alarm, only to wake up and realize how late you are? You wake up wondering where that extra 15 minutes went that you had previously set your alarm for. Chances are, in that 15 minutes, you probably hit your ‘snooze’ button you hit your alarm button an average of 3 times (most alarms go off every 5 minutes when you hit ‘snooze’). Of course, this happens on day that you had the most ‘important’ meeting in the history of your work career and now you have lost a precious 15 minutes of your life. Time is of the essence as you are attempting to figure out how to get through shower, get dressed, grab your morning coffee, get the kids ready, figure out the days plans, pack lunches, and get to work in half the time. Days like these nothing seems to go right no matter how well your intent. It is a race against time, an unforeseeable rat race, a vicious chain and sequence of events; take a moment to think, if you are in a hurry, that must mean everything in perpetual motion is now in a hurry, kids, husband, work alike.
How often is your day like this? Has this habit taken form in other areas of your life? Are you finding it a continual frustration of hurrying from one destination to the next? Are you noticing time having a negative impact on your relationships in your life? What if this stressor could be eliminated giving you more time with your kids, your spouse while having ‘your’ quality time back and increasing your income? What if there was just one key, one strategy to unlocking unlimited success in your life? The key to answering all of this is simple, time management.
What does time management mean to you? Time management for you might mean eliminating stress, cutting out a few extra hours of your work week, having a date with your children just you and them, being able to go on a date night with your spouse. Here are a few simple steps that can be taken to develop positive time management habits:
1) Wake up earlier: If you know you are someone that hits the ‘snooze’ button at least 3 times, set your alarm an extra 15 minutes earlier and allow yourself that extra 15 minutes to wake up in the morning.
2) Plan for your day the night or week before: Decide what you are going to wear the night before, lay your clothes out for your children as well. If you are able, pack lunches the night before. Set your coffee pot the night before. Have school bags and brief case ready the night before.
3) Create a tracking system: Tell your appointments where they need to go Write down your appointments in a planner or schedule them in your phone and set a reminder. This is a good way to remind yourself of your next appointment, set your reminders ahead by 5 minutes, giving yourself ample time to get to the next task.
4) Meal plan: Meal planning saves time and it also saves money. You can find all kinds of recipes in Pinterest or on the Internet. I recommend cooking your meals on the weekends and breaking them down into weekly plastic containers that are easy to pre-heat on nights or days that you have many tasks planned. This will eliminate an hour of your day that you are cooking and will allow for that extra hour with your kids and spouse. You will also find that you are making less runs to the store which cuts costs on gas and time that you would normally spend at the store weekly.
5) Make time for yourself: You work hard during the week and noone is more ‘worthy’ of rewarding themselves than you! Set aside 30 minutes a day to relax, whether reading a book, taking a walk, soaking in the tub; whatever rewards you for your labor. You will thank yourself and feel less stressed. You will also notice others around you are no longer feeling your tension.; this will improve on the quality in relationships you have around you.
6) Make a task list: Make a list of the things you need to do the week or night before. Don’t get so absorbed, however, that you need to ‘conquer’ your list in a day. Instead take one task at a time and don’t forget to PRIORITIZE. Ask yourself, ‘does this need to be completed now or may I reserve this for later?’ Also, don’t panic if your entire task list is not checked off and completed for the day! Guess what!?!? Not completing your task list for the day means you are human!!! Allow yourself what I call, the ‘grace’ card. RELAX, take a deep breath, pick the top 3 things that need to be done for the day and remember to still reward yourself with that 30 minutes that I aforementioned above! The best part about tomorrow is that your task list will still be there. The next day you can pick three new things that you still need to get done that are next in priority. Pretty soon, you will realize how simple it was to get through your tasks and you won’t feel as stressed to complete them! Surrender and let go of the control, for tomorrow will have worries of its own.
7) Let go of control, learn to ride the waves of life: Not everything will always go according to plan. Why??? There is a funny notion called, ‘LIFE’; it’s the real deal and it does often happen to the best of us. Remember to take a moment to slow down, breathe in, and exhale, your stress is not worth negatively unleashing on to others. You cannot be there for others, if you aren’t able to be there for yourself first. Sometimes we get so lost in helping others, we forget to take care of ourselves. Learn to embrace daily changes and let go and delegate where necessary. You are not the ‘fixer’ and ‘doer’ of all things as my coach and mentor, Dani Johnson often says! If you feel you are these roles, then let go and resign from them!
8) Learn how to motivate and encourage those around you: Help others to get what they want and they will give you what you want! Not everyone will respond or lead the way that you want them to. Learn what makes those around you happy. Take a moment to encourage one or two people around you a day that you normally may not strike up a conversation with. Let them know that you appreciate them and value their time. All people in your life want to know is that they are ‘special and important’.
Time management represents FREEDOM in your everyday life. To learn more on how you can improve your skills with time management, visit this link and learn from mentor and coach, Dani Johnson, Set Priorities, Manage Your Time, and Live a Better Life.