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.