If you are a graduate student, then you have too much to do and too little time to do it. At least, that’s what you’d believe if you took an eavesdropping stroll down the hallowed halls of grad student offices at any institution of higher education in the country.
Between teaching, attending seminars, writing papers, lab hours, and, oh, yes, bathing and eating, it is hard to find time to both pursue a master’s degree or doctoral degree and have a life. But there is hope for the harried: with a set routine and some tolerance for imperfection, you could make time management look easy.
One of the hardest things to reconcile as a graduate student is the nontraditional schedule. While 9-to-5ers might have some late nights at the office or even some weekend workdays, a student’s work is truly never done. Finish reading for seminar? Then you could be working on next week’s presentation. Lesson plans set for the week? What about grading those exams that have been weighing down your desk for the past couple days? Found time to squeeze in some visits to the gym this week? What about checking your OkCupid account? And even when the semester is over, you can’t help but think of the independent reading you should be doing for your qualifying exams even as you reach for Mom’s homemade pumpkin pie.
The first step in finding balance in your life is balancing the very driven attitude that has gotten you to where you are today with a more relaxed approach. This won’t just make your life easier, but could also save your health.
Adjusting expectations is key to time management, and I’m not suggesting slacking off—I’m promoting being realistic. For example, when you create a weekly schedule, factor in mundane tasks such as eating breakfast, taking a shower, and walking from your classroom to the library. A realistic schedule will not only allow you to set reasonable goals, but also permit you to enjoy a sense accomplishment at the end of the week rather than one of desperation.
Give yourself a break
Another way to be realistic with your time is to recognize that you are a human being. This means acknowledging and addressing your physical, mental, social, and spiritual needs. Try getting yourself to the gym, or to the park for a run, or even around the block for a walk most days. Give your mind a break and watch your favorite TV show or go to the movie on discount night (just be sure to pencil it into your weekly schedule). Schedule time with friends at least once a week. Practice meditation, join a religious group, or write in a journal. Taking care of yourself will not only benefit your sanity, but might give you an edge over your exhausted classmates.
Graduate school is not easy, but seeing it as part of your life rather than consuming your life will help you to get the most out of it.
Emily Matthews is currently applying to masters degree programs across the U.S., and loves to read about new research into health care, gender issues, and literature. She lives and writes in Seattle, Washington.
In the age of the Internet, it can feel as if you need to be “always on” and always working. It can be almost impossible to disconnect and enjoy the more mundane and human things in life, especially when you have cell phones, emails, IMs, social networking and countless other things constantly calling you back in.
This can lead very quickly to a feeling of overload, as if you’ve got too much to do and not enough time to do it in. This can lead to a variety of problems including depression, marital problems and even, perhaps ironically, poor work quality.
Simply put, finding balance in your life means more than just taking two weeks of vacation every year. It’s something that has to be worked and fought for every day.
On that note, here are five steps you can take right now to help you lead a more balanced, happy and fulfilling life.
1. Determine Your Priorities
You can’t hope to find balance in your life if you don’t know how things are “weighted”. Sit down and draft a list of the things that are most important to you. This can lead to some very big questions such as whether you put career before family, but if you can’t answer them honestly, you’re going to struggle to make decisions that will bring you happiness.
It’s important to keep in mind that this list needs to be a selfish one, meaning the things most important to you personally and not what others feel is the most important. If you can’t decide, try to imagine a life without one or more of the elements and see which, when absent, would hurt you the most.
2. Plan Your Days Starting With #1
Now that you know what’s more important in your life, it’s time to start planning a typical day or a typical week. When doing that, start with what’s more important to you and block out time for it. For example, if you have a hobby that’s important to you, set a side some time every day or week to to do it.
While there are some things that you may have to block in that might be a lower priority, such as hours you have to be at work, dole out your free time starting with what makes you the happiest and work our way down the list.
3. Drop What’s Not Important
If you make a long enough list, you’re going to find quickly that some things just don’t fit. Those that are lower down on your list need to be dropped from your life. At least for now.
This may mean that you stop doing some things that you enjoyed but don’t find as important as you might have once thought. Likewise, it might mean dropping or scaling back on things that you thought were important to you, but aren’t of as high of a priority as they seemed.
Some of these decisions will be painful, but they are most likely for the greater good. However, if dropping something does wind up causing more grief than it gains, you can always adjust your priorities later with this new knowledge.
4. Set Boundaries
Once you have your schedule, even if it is just a general idea of how you want to divide up your time, you need to set strict boundaries on how you spend your time.
The biggest rule is to never let lower priority things intrude on higher priority things. For example, if you put your family ahead of your work, remember that order when work asks you to stay late on a night that you were going to spend at home.
Though sometimes life gets in the way, it’s important to remember that there’s always tomorrow and you can’t let your lower priorities interfere with your higher ones, at least not without a very good reason.
5. Remember to Take Down Time
Finally, though it’s tempting to try and schedule an activity for every waking moment of every day, it’s crucial that you set aside some down time. This is time where you are doing nothing, or at least as little as possible.
Simply put, humans were not meant to be going every waking moment between morning and night. Whether it’s a few minutes sprinkled throughout the day or a block of time that’s just for you, be sure to have a time where you can do nothing but relax.
While there’s no real rule as to how much time you need to set aside, it needs to be enough for you to recharge and continue to face the day.
On a related note, make sure that you give yourself enough time to sleep. Though it’s tempting to skimp on sleep to get more things done, doing so makes you less effective and can make you far more miserable than leaving a few unfinished tasks.
The simple truth is that there is no magic solution to leading a more balanced life. The key is to determine what is most important to you, focus on those things and then learn to let go of the things that are less crucial.
For most, unfortunately, it’s the letting go part that’s the hardest of the process. The good news is that most will quickly learn to do that when they see how happy they are doing the things that matter the most to them.
So, while there’s always some initial pain with moving to a more balanced life, it’s quickly dulled by a much happier and more fulfilling life over the long haul.
Constantly arriving late at work is a great way to get yourself fired. Even if you are a wonderful employee in every other way, being persistently tardy is an inexcusable offense that can irritate even the most understanding of bosses. When you are consistently late, people often interpret that as a lack of respect for them and the job that you are doing. If you’re having trouble getting to the office on time, here are some tips that may help you eliminate your perpetual lateness.
1. Simply Wake Up Earlier
For some people, merely waking up earlier will solve the problem. Their lateness can be simply explained away due to the fact that they don’t give themselves enough time in the morning to get ready and drive to work. If you don’t get enough sleep at night, you may not be able to drag yourself out of bed on time, so try going to bed earlier – early to bed, early to rise!
If you accidentally fall asleep after you’ve turned your alarm clock off, consider having two alarm clocks. Put one next to your bed and the other one across the room. The alarm clock next to your bed should go off first, and the second alarm clock across the room should go off five minutes later. You will be forced to get up to turn it off, which guarantees that you will not fall asleep again.
2. Get Ready the Night Before
Prepare your lunch the night before so you don’t have to take the time to do it in the morning. Select and lay out your clothes the night before as well so you don’t have to take time to think about what to wear or to iron your clothes. Gather everything you’ll need and put it in one place so that you won’t have to run around looking for your cell phone, car keys, wallet or briefcase five minutes before you have to leave. Make sure you have enough gas in your car the day before so you don’t have to fill up on the way to work. You can also save time by showering the night before and getting a coffee machine on a timer. That way, your coffee will be hot and ready by the time you drag yourself out of bed.
3. Change Your Attitude
If your lateness problem requires a more serious fix than simply getting up earlier, think about changing your attitude. If you need to be at work at 8:00 AM, tell yourself that you really need to be at work at 7:30 AM. If you end up running late then you’ll be fine, but if you end up getting to work early, that gives you time to get your coffee and look smugly upon your fellow coworkers that arrived after you.
Even if there’s no indication that your job is in jeopardy (yet), stress to yourself just how important it is to get there on time. You may not have suffered any consequences other than a dirty look from your coworkers or a disapproving glance from your boss, but keep it up and you’re bound to see more than that. Don’t let it get that far – when you get up every morning, tell yourself that keeping your job is dependent upon getting to work on time. Remind yourself that if you’re looking for a promotion or raise, you can kiss it goodbye if you keep on coming late.
These days it seems that just about everyone feels rushed, with not enough time to get everything done.
It’s very tempting to schedule more activities than we can realistically manage into our day, too. But studies show that the stress of having more to do than we can manage, actually leads to health problems, such as increased blood pressure, gastric problems, anxiety and fatigue.
Effectively managing your time does require some planning and persistence. But, the payoff comes in being able to get more done, with less stress in your life. All of that equals a healthier, happier you.
Here are 5 tips to help you manage your time more effectively.
1. Keep a record of your plans.
Making a note of everything you need to do in advance helps you to control your schedule, and ensures you don’t miss anything that needs to be done.
To get a sense of the bigger picture, write down your appointments and activities for the week on a calendar, or a wall planner, then you can plan more effectively as a result.
Once you have your weekly plans set out in writing, decide which of those activities are most important, and highlight them in some way. This will help you to see clearly which are urgent, and which can perhaps be rescheduled, or eliminated.
It’s important to prioritize based on what is most important to you, rather than what you feel “should” be important.
Spending time with an old friend may be more important to your personal well being than taking on an extra client, or completing a remodelling project in your home. It’s up to you.
The more you prioritize your time around what really matters to you, the greater the sense of happiness and control you will have in your life.
3. Weed out the unimportant
If you find your schedule is over booked, it’s time to decide which activities you can cut back on, or eliminate altogether.
Perhaps an appointment can be rescheduled to make room for spending time with your family, take a course you’ve always wanted to take, or to simply allow for some chill-out time.
Don’t be afraid to be a bit ruthless in cutting unimportant activities out of your schedule in favour of the things which matter most.
4. Turn off the TV
Television is a wonderful invention, but unfortunately most people spend way too much of their time in front of the box.
There’s nothing wrong with watching a program you’re really interested in seeing, but if you find yourself aimlessly channel hopping, it’s time to get up and do something else.
5. Schedule some time for peaceful relaxation
Though this may seem counterproductive at first, it’s important to recognize the importance of “down time” for maintaining a sense of happiness and well-being.
Taking a few minutes each day to exercise, read a book, or simply engage in quiet reflection, will help to recharge your batteries for the rest of the day.
In fact, timeout to relax and rejuvenate actually makes us more productive when we go back to complete our daily tasks. Remember, constant stress reduces your ability to concentrate and get things done, while lowering your resistance to colds, flu and other health problems.
Ultimately, time management is simply a matter of becoming more aware of how you spend your time, and opting to spend it on what matters most to you.
Every family feels the hustle and bustle of daily life. Parents have an intricate balance of home and work life, and kids have school, activities, lessons, and sporting events, all of which are important. But, how do we make those schedules all come together? Here are some tips on how to organize your life to maximize your time with your kids.
Prioritize and Simplify
When each member of the family is running in a different direction, there aren’t enough hours spent together. Prioritize which activities are the most important and get rid of the others. If your child has homework, soccer practice, and piano lessons on the same day, maybe it’s time to think about which of those things are the most important. And the same goes for parents. If your down time is filled with hobbies, friends, and activities, prioritize which are the most important and cut out the clutter that gets in the way.
Turn Off the TV
With more than 500 channels to choose from, sometimes it’s hard to pull our kids away from the TV, but a lot of TV time could be better spent in a family activity. Get active and involved. Go for a family walk or bike ride. Go to the park and play tag.
Make it a Family Event
If you’re finding it hard to get everything done in a day, why not turn your every-day duties into family activities. Have your kids ride their bikes while you go jogging. Assign each child a task to help prepare for dinner. Have the whole family attend the soccer game together. Turn everyday activities into memory-building events.
Often we say we want to spend more time with our families, but the time just slips away from us. Instead, write down a concrete goal and put it in a place where everyone can see it. For example, reading together for thirty minutes. With a common goal, the whole family can hold each other accountable and it won’t be a forgotten promise.
Make a Weekly Family Night
With busy parents, sometimes an extra thirty minutes isn’t there. Try having a weekly family night that involves everyone. It could be as simple as playing a board game or a game of hide-and-go-seek. Even if it’s once a week, your child will form lasting memories of the time you share together.
Diane Johnson primarily writes about adult education, pell grants, and anything else that interests her. She enjoys traveling, reading, sledding, and sports.
Most people today have come to appreciate the good results of having the best time management exercises in their life’s dealings. It’s not only valuable hours that they save in the process, but it’s also finding more meaning to their day-to-day routines, particularly having enough time for themselves and their loved ones. With time management, their productivity at work has been constantly on the rise while their own pursuits for personal development are being well-tended.
It’s true that with mastering the basics of time management, anyone can enjoy the career at hand, and at the same time have a healthy social life, hobbies and interests and spiritual growth. In the earlier stages of managing one’s life, a usual learning would be appreciation of current career and home. This is usually followed by realizations of needed changes to achieve joyful satisfaction in both areas. Along the way many other essential actions are realized as well, like the need to get clear goals and plans, knowing one’s strengths and weaknesses, and defining courses of action to get a fulfilling life. Indeed, having the best time management exercises leads to many other developments in one’s personal life.
So what are these exercises about?
For starters, they’re the usual routines done with much thought on being productive at a given time. It’s not only about getting best results at work or in business pursuits, but also solidifying relationships and getting sufficient time for fun and other interests. Many people also consider these exercises as a means to get rewards after implementing tasks, such as vacations and splurging time and cash on themselves and loved ones. But for all people who have already started on their self-crafted best time management exercises, the end is all about success in all aspects of their life.
Here are the great ideas on making your own exercises for improving time management skills:
Time Management Exercise #1 – Set lifetime goals, shorter ones and the daily targets.
Apart from your grand dream of a comfortable life upon retirement, there are various aspects in life that need goal setting as well. In terms of career, envision yourself in five years or twenty years from now. As for personal life, set specific objectives once you’ve decided to spend the rest of your life with someone or on your own. Have goals as well in terms of your physical and spiritual health as their immediate results could do very well in your career and personal life. Do the same with your hobbies and interests, whether you want to do more woodcraft or master skateboarding in the next year, or finally sit down and write a book about your rustic town.
When a person has goals, every task becomes more meaningful and no time is wasted on irrelevant pursuits. Contrary to the belief that it eliminates the fun in living, having goals actually allow any person to find all the time for fun. Remember that when you implement time management effectively, you could insert frolicking with highschool friends or the gang at work on any given weekend because you have genuine free hours or days to do so.
Time Management Exercise #2 – Create your own systems of getting things done.
There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy in time management because it is a concept. Instead, with that in mind, you should implement time management with a system totally suitable to your way of life, career and goals. Mothers and retirees have different means in managing their time, the same way company executives and business owners have systems fitted to their rank and lifestyle. Even with the people in your workplace or your husband or partner, they have different systems in handling their time wisely, and it’s apt for their specific interests, objectives and capabilities as well.
With this in mind, you must create your own time management exercise. Some people work effectively with schedules and “to do today” lists, many others divide hours accordingly and some opt to work on the first hours of the morning when they are most productive. There are also folks who are more productive when working alone, while so many others get the best output when working with others.
As for you, it would be for your own good to design your time management system. To do so, consider your best attributes and areas needing extra attention, like tendencies to ignore growing clutter or spending too much time on an irrelevant pursuit. Knowing the “plus” side and the “needs improvement” aspects would help you balance out your course of action.
Time Management Exercise #3 – Don’t waste time and design a productive you.
It’s important to get rid of the time wasters if you desire mastery of the best time management exercises. It might sound appalling if you’re told to limit time online, particularly social network sites and the news on celebrities. But it truly is a time-waster, like watching too much TV and hours on video or online games. Even checking emails and mobile phone dependence should be shifted as well, and limit your time on the PC and gadget.
The other time wasters you must definitely eliminate from your life include the habit of procrastination, not putting limits to your social life and not cleaning up. If you recall those instances where you put off tasks for another time or the next day, and think of the stressful episodes you had just to get them accomplished at a limited time. Then count those weeknights you spent partying or dating someone you have no interest in having meaningful bond with. To end, count the wasted time and minor accidents you got into because your desk is unkempt. Add these with the long, messy hours of cleaning up two-month’s worth of clutter at home. Now you get the picture why you should never procrastinate, not waste time on unimportant social pursuits and to always have your spaces clean and orderly.
Once you identify your long-held habits of wasting time, plan out the course of action to finally get rid of them. In place of these non-essentials, fill in the free time with the good, meaningful fun you want. Or you could put in more hours working on important tasks at work or finally have time to visit your parents.
Time Management Exercise #4 – Live healthy in all aspects of life – all the time.
In the end, it’s never fair to yourself when you push too hard to be successful. Many people to attain the material security by working at every waking hour, saving time with preserved or pre-cooked meals and fastfood and end their day sleeping with dreams of work for the next day. At forty three they have all the financial security they need, and in a couple years more they end up with two or more serious ailments, further complicated by stress and obesity. You might think it’s not possible, but when you look around you’d see the truth. OK… OK… It’s not you but it could be if you don’t watch out. That is why this last reminder is in place.
It might sound repetitive as you’ve heard it since childhood that health is wealth. But that’s the truth and yet, it’s what many people don’t care much about until they get sick. Health is an investment, and not a gift that everyone should work on at all times, regardless of career, economic status or age. As it always have been, a productive person is one who has time managed well and keeps his overall well-being on constant watch.
The best time management exercises would always indicate the same idea on health as well. Apart from eating nutritious food and being consistent on a workout routine, you should also find time to relax, de-stress and meditate. It’s fairly easy to integrate all these healthy activities once you have a well-managed time. However, you should have the strong will to start a good diet, find a suitable exercise or sport , and pull yourself away from the hectic schedule to relax. It will not be easy to achieve discipline in these switches to a healthier life, but it is highly likely to work once you decide with conviction.
Like the people you admire for having a look of bliss on their faces despite a busy life, you could be successful in your pursuits as well. Firstly, it’s accepting the fact that you have a choice to be that way and doing the right thing to be that kind of person with that kind of life. All that is possible when you make sure you’ve devised the best time management exercises that would work for you.
Why do we manage our time? We do it in order to make to the most efficient use of it.
I’m sure many of us have experienced situations where, if we had managed and organized our time better we could have done something a lot better or prevented a lot of nonsense from happening.
Time management allows us to do many things. It allows us to prioritize activities, schedule the appropriate amount of time for each activity, make sure that we do everything we need to do — because one you’ve put something in a schedule, it’s much easier to follow through. You’ve written it down and you’ve scheduled it in, as opposed to saying “Oh, I’ll get around to that.” So time management allows us to do many things. Fundamentally, it allows us to choose our time and plan it out…ahead of time, as opposed to just “figuring it out” and potentially getting sidetracked and mixing activities together.
There are a lot of advantages to time management. It allows us to hone in on certain activities. If time isn’t managed properly, then many different priorities will constantly be running through your head, “Oh I need to do this. Oh I need to do that.” If you know that you have things scheduled, then you don’t have to think about them.
But what are some ways in which people take time management too far? These are the type of people who I would classify as being more concerned with managing their time than actually enjoying it, or being fully engaged in their activities.
The reason we manage our time, in the first place, is so that we can perform activities at their best. But a lot of people get into this trap of being more concerned with “following the schedule” than actually enjoying or getting engaged in activities.
To take an example, it’s similar to the person who writes a perfectly detailed travel itinerary that takes everything into consideration, but then during the actual trip he can’t actually enjoy it because he’s so concerned with following the itinerary to a T. He’s always checking up on everything, making sure everything is going to plan that he can’t actually focus on the activities that he’s planned. He’ll be on a tour or exploring some area and he’ll be thinking of how he needs to be at a certain place by a certain time and whether his time is being used efficiently — when the itinerary was meant to make sure everything was organized smoothly so that he’d be able to enjoy the trip. What ends up happening is he lets the itinerary take over his mind and destroy the purpose of the trip.
A lot of people do this with time management. They get so used to this organization; it makes them feel so good. But then they can’t even “chill out” and relax during their activities. They’re too concerned with how efficiently their time is being used. And many activities, if you want to perform them effectively, require your full focus. If you’re working on a project or playing a sport, you need to be fully focused on the task at hand. You can’t be worried about how well you’re currently following your schedule or whether it needs to be updated. You need to have your “head in the game”, so to speak.
So what many people have with time management is the selectivity. They’ve selected the right things. They’ve scheduled the right things in. They have that selectivity, which is great…but they lack that depth to get “fully engaged” in the activities that they’ve scheduled. So what you want is both sides of the equation. You want to keep that selectivity, but you also want the ability to focus on a task and reach that level of depth where you become fully immersed in the activity.
by Mark Swan
Visit his latest website at http://www.bestmultivitaminformenshop.com/ which helps people find the best information on products like the multivitamin for women.
Do you ever make a to do list and give yourself a certain amount of time to do each thing but then when your time is up you only got a portion of your list accomplished and just wish you had better time management? If you said yes you are not alone, we all go through this on a daily bases but luckily I have 12 tips on how to manage your time more wisely, effectively, and efficiently!
1. You need to spend time planning and organizing
Give yourself 15 minutes to sit down and make your game plan and organize everything that needs to be organized. This is crucial because if you go through and make a quick list of things to do that is not effective at all, you could have missed important things or rushed through it and put things that might take more time than what you actually got!
2. Set Goals
Make sure you have your goals set for long-term work and short-term work. If there is some type of goal you want to achieve give yourself time to achieve it, whatever it may be. The only way to achieve is acting on it. Instead of putting it on the back burner and letting it sit there for awhile put your step to achieving your goals on your to do list. A little of time spent on it adds up to a lot of time spent on it!
Make sure you have your priorities straight. If you have something that has to get done, get it done! Why put off tomorrow when it can get done today. If you put your priorities first you will find yourself spending less time on them than you thought you would. If a priority of yours is spending time with your family, do it, then get your list done. Don’t let that time pass by because you will be thinking of it that whole time you are working on what ever you may be working on!
4. Use your to do list
Like I said earlier making a to do list, make sure you use it. There are so many times when I will spend the time on making a to do list then set it down and go do what I think I should be doing then look back at my to do list and notice how many things I forgot! A great tool to use is Gmail calendar. This is such a great tool, we can make an efficient to do list and always have it open in a tab to make sure we are getting it done!
5. Be flexible
Make sure you are flexible with your time. Give yourself more time than needed to accomplish a task. This is very important because don’t forget about transition time between things to get done. Sometimes you can spend 5, 10, 15 minutes between each task! So make sure you are flexible with your time!
6. Consider your prime time
Lets say you have a break when working or doing some type of activity around the house, job, or life in general. Is that break a prime time for your to work on your to do list? Most likely it is not. Make sure you find a good time slot that is your prime time. Whether it be early in the morning, afternoon, or at night. This is important not to be scattered with your work because many times we find ourselves forgetting to finish something that we have started. Sometimes I think I will have enough time to write an article or post and not finish. That evening I will make my list of things to do and then when working on stuff I remember that I did not finish a task that I started!
7. Do the right things right!
This is so imperative on whatever you are doing. If you are writing an article make sure you are doing it right and giving it your 110% effort. The worse thing to come across is when I read an article and you can tell the author just wrote it for quantity not quality! Make sure everything you do is amazing content and it represents you how you want it to. The quality of your presence is so important, don’t let one article ruin your reputation.
8. Eliminate the urge
If you stumble upon a great website that seems to distract you, you must eliminate that urge to go on. The TV can always be a bad urge to, if you have the TV on in the background and you are trying to focus, just turn it off. The TV will grab your attention and suck you in. Before you know it an hour has gone by and you haven’t started anything.
9. Do not double task
There was a study that I was reading up on that the average person that double tasks spends 80% more time on the two tasks put together than if you would have done the tasks separately. Double tasking makes it so you are not giving your 110% effort towards one task and can easily get distracted doing other stuff besides what your plan was to do. just trust me on my judgment don’t double task!
10. Avoid being a perfectionist
The sad truth is is that nothing can ever be perfect. So avoid attempting to be a perfectionist. If you are working on a task and feel that something is not perfect only give it a few revisions because if you try to make it perfect you will spend hours on trying to fix something that is not fixable. People love the way you are thats why they are readers, viewers, followers, and friends of yours. There is nothing to prove to one. So when you write something or make a video just give it your best shot and if its not perfect in your own eyes thats ok no one cares.
11. Conquer Procrastination
This is probably the most important tip of them all. Procrastination. We all hate the word but we all do it anyway. Like I said earlier why put something off till tomorrow if you can get it done today. Procrastination is nothing but evil, it brings stress and lost time in the long run that you could have used to work on something else. So when you tell yourself you will get it done today, you tell yourself right back and say NO I will get it done NOW!
12. My favorite tip – REWARD!
Every time you accomplish a full list of things to do reward yourself. This is so important in life. Make sure you give yourself a pat on the back and say Good Job for what you just did. Rewards can come in so many shapes and sizes! Whether it be taking yourself and the family to a movie or simply relaxing on the couch and watching some TV, whatever you love to do make that your reward when you get your list done!
Kyle Nelson helps people financially, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Learn more at: http://www.kyle-nelson.com
We all hope to get more time from our day. Most of us, I imagine also want to be happier. This article discusses ways to better manage your time that will help increase your overall mood.
1 Limit television watching to one hour a day
By setting this time restriction on your television habit, you have retrieved so much more time to do all those things you want to be doing. What’s more, time spent away from the television will be far more fulfilling and meaningful then merely watching others do their thing. Since you only have an hour, decide what you want to watch. If you can, record your favourites so you know you have something to look forward to each night. This way you are also taking control of TV time — watching what you enjoy, rather than whatever is on.
2 Get some exercise
You may be wondering how adding something to your day will save you time. Because exercise brings with it multiple benefits. It’s your stress reliever, your time-out for the day and your mood booster. You are also doing your body lots of good, which may help prevent health difficulties later on in life. Think of the time saved not having to go to the doctors? As a further happiness booster, it gives you the ideal opportunity to set and achieve your own personal goals and challenges. How satisfying.
3 Set and prioritise your goals
I’ve just mentioned setting goals as part of your exercise plan. It’s worth mentioning them in their own right however. If you can set and prioritise goals, it allows you to focus on doing the important things each and every day. Your goals can be short ones that are achieved in a day or longer ones that take months or even years to achieve. For longer goals, break them down into achievable chunks. As a consequence, not only are you getting things done, but you are giving meaning to your day, which is bound to help you feel happier.
4 Don’t waste your time on meaningless or pointless tasks
So if goals give you meaning, it makes sense to not waste your precious time on stuff that you get nothing from. I don’t mean routine tasks like the washing up, after all it can be satisfying having a clean house. I mean that one more game of solitaire that you’re playing because you’re procrastinating and are getting nothing from it. If you can identify what your pointless tasks are, resolve to stop doing them. You can make better use of your day. Ask yourself if it is getting you towards your goal?
5 Make lists
Each day, write down in order of importance, the things you need to do. Be as clear as possible, so you know what you should be doing. Having a list will give you focus. It will also help you feel organised and in control. Be realistic with your lists, however. Knowing you cannot accomplish absolutely everything will help ease a burden you may have created for yourself. At the end of each day, review your crossed-off items, and feel happy with all you have achieved. As for anything you didn’t get done – just put it on tomorrow’s list.
6 Stop multitasking
You may think that multitasking is a great way of using time effectively, after all you are doing two or more things at once. However, it just does not work. You cannot give your all to two tasks which means it is highly likely that one or both tasks will be completed less than satisfactorily. This means having to do them over. So save time and get it right the first time. You will end up feeling far more satisfied. What’s more, by engaging in activities this way, you put yourself in a great position to experience flow, which is a great source of happiness. With a flow experience you are totally focused on the job at hand and afterward feel pretty good about yourself.
7 Focus on the here and now
This relates to the previous point. By attending to what is going on right now, your concentration levels will be far greater. This means limiting your distractions, no matter what you are doing. Distractions come in varied forms: email, other people or your own thoughts. If you have a lot to do, it’s easy to fret about what may happen in the future, or what went wrong yesterday. By being present in the present, you are in the best position to ensure your future will turn out fine.
8 Get support from others
Don’t try going it alone. It won’t do your health and happiness much good. Being able to turn to others and ask for help, will relieve your stress. You may even live longer with supportive friends and/or partner in your life. Of course, to save time you really should delegate. It could be the help of a co-worker on a project or your teenage son’s assistance with the shopping. Hand whatever it is over to someone else, then trust them to get on with it.
9 Increase your courage
Do you have the courage to say no? When people ask you to do something, do you add it to your pile of duties? Even though you know you don’t have the time or you simply just do not want to do it? If you can be honest and true to yourself, you will feel so much better for it. You are freeing up valuable hours to do the things that are important to you. Honesty and courage are both character strengths that are worth nurturing.
10 Take a break
Working until you are burnt out is not time efficient. Nor is having less sleep, because you will end up working at half capacity. You need the mental and physical energy to get the most from the time available to you. So be okay taking regular breaks. A few minutes throughout the day, time off at weekends, short vacations (a long one would be even better) — it all makes a difference. And make sure you allow enough time to sleep each night. Life will feel more manageable, and you will feel more in control and ultimately happier.
Copyright Julia Barnard
Julia Barnard is a counsellor and author living in Adelaide, Australia. You can discover more ways to be happy through her book: Promoting Happiness: a workbook to help you appreciate and get the most out of your life.
When we’re busy, a peaceful life can seem out of reach. And these days, almost everyone seems to be busy. Have you ever used any of the following common phrases: “I think I can work that in,” “I’ll manage,” “I’m crazy busy at work,” or “I’ll squeeze that into my schedule?” Even the words we use suggest that many of us are over-committed and stressed.
1. Learn To Say No
The first step toward living a more peaceful life is to learn to say no. What’s more important… being the world’s best multi-tasker or being able to complete one task really well? Usually we try to do it all when we’re trying to please someone, but when we take on more than we can handle, the quality of work suffers or we only do half the job-and then no one is happy. So learn to set boundaries and know that it’s okay to simply say no if you don’t have the time do something well.
2. Focus and Be In The Moment
The next tip is to be truly present in the moment. This means focusing on what, or who, is in front of you rather than thinking about all the other people you need to see or things you need to accomplish. Try not answering your phone or checking your emails next time you’re at lunch with a client or a friend. Chances are you’ll gain so much more from the interaction by simply being present. And try to cut down on multi-tasking… if you’re on the phone, be on the phone-don’t also watch TV. Or if you’re emailing someone, concentrate on your email-don’t also be chatting to a co-worker. Now this isn’t always going to possible, but at least be aware of when, and how, you split your attention and do your best to keep multi-tasking to a minimum.
3. Estimating Your Time Properly
Tip three is to really understand how much time your daily tasks take, such as events, meetings, workouts, and errands. Try tracking your schedule for a week and even time yourself. Perhaps you allot yourself an hour to go the gym, but realize it really takes you an hour and a half. Or perhaps that 10 minute trip to the grocery store ends up being more like 30. Once you have a solid grasp on how long it takes to accomplish your daily routines, you can schedule the appropriate amount of time.