Get Into Time Management

Relax into Time Management Tips

by Vicki Handfield

Need More Time?

All of us have trouble with time. Time is so precious and we have all had the experience of needing more time, getting frustrated, making poor choices and wishing we had done something different. What matters is reducing the frequency of this exasperating situation.

Key Points

Here are a few key points to consider:

First, tension causes us to make poor choices. Learning to relax a bit when making plans for the day, the week, the month, creates a better internal environment. These strategies interact with each other. Making exercise a strong priority enables us to be more relaxed and make better choices. We tend to think more clearly when we exercise regularly. So combining exercise and time management is a good set of habits.

Second, being realistic makes a huge difference. How many of us have try to do too much, and end up frustrated instead of feeling satisfied with our efforts?

Third, being flexible while holding to the plan is a key as well. In other words, set priorities and stick to them.

Here are some of the basics:

Use calendars and consult them on a daily basis. Depending on what kind of work you do, you may need a calendar at work, or one you have with you at all times that combines both work and personal appointments. Some people need a calendar mainly for their personal lives, one that they keep with them. Some need calendars at more than one location, which is challenging, since information needs to be maintained at both locations. Paper and electronic options are available. Your choice will depend on your needs, habits and comfort level.

Take and keep notes. It is helpful to have notepads in several locations, such as kitchen, office, TV room, computer locations, work, purse, pocket, car. It helps to jot reminders or ‘to do’ items down as you think of them, then transfer them to your lists. We have gone way beyond the days of just grocery lists! We need lists for shopping, errands, calls, appointments, and just getting things done. It helps organize the mind when we write things down; and makes it easier to prioritize and schedule our time to get things done. Some people think this is too organized, it's good to try it and find what works for you, given your own lifestyle.

Our lives have become more complicated, driven, scheduled and busy. It is puzzling, since technology was always supposed to make things easier. It often seems that just the opposite has occurred. It is so important to get things under control, and feel better!

List of Time Management Challenges

In order to get started, make a list of time-related situations that have been difficult. We will look to see patterns and figure out ways to work on this so that things move more smoothly. Tell me what you have already figured out about your situation and things you have tried, so we don't try to reinvent the wheel. I will ask you the details about what you have already tried, so we can figure out what might work for you.

As we’ve discussed, many of the Get Healthy strategies interact or complement each other. Our ability to manage time is also tied to our assertiveness skills.

Often when people try to do too much, they become overwhelmed, frustrated, and exhausted. This sets the stage for poor decisions, lack of enjoyable personal time, and lack of exercise. This in turn leads to often being overweight, and leaves one vulnerable to illnesses and other negative outcomes. People who do too much for others often experience this set of circumstances and have trouble figuring out how to change things.

One thing that can help: Look at how much you do for others, including family and friends. Then ask yourself whether there is a fair exchange going on or is it one-sided. Look at the Get More Assertive strategies for information on this important topic.

Once we identify our goals and strategies, I'll give you a worksheet to use to chart your successes and areas that need more work. In the meantime, start seeing yourself being more organized and more relaxed as you go through your day. Develop these images, tell me about them, and write them down. These efforts help to clarify what you are trying to accomplish and help to embed them in your brain.

It is very useful to emphasize the positives when you are working to change habits. When you notice any self-criticisms, write them down and then create a positive statement to counter the criticism. An example of this is, "I'm so stupid!", countered with, "I can do better." It may sound simple, but it is highly effective. Self-criticisms tend to be self-defeating. Many highly successful people tend to be very self-critical and tend to believe that criticizing themselves is helpful. It may have been helpful, to a degree, when they were younger and needed some powerful motivation, but those days ended a long time ago. More likely, they actually ignored the self-criticism and persevered in their efforts.

Plan Rewards

It is also important when looking at time managememnt solutions, to plan some rewards for your success. Think of simple, everyday things that you have control over and make written plans to reward yourself for making positive changes. We will review your reward plan and your follow-through. Often people don't want to reward themselves for seemingly simple changes, but if you reward yourself, you will be more likely to build strong, lasting habit improvements; we are not immune to rewards!

If you have other concerns, please let me know by contacting me and I will help you to remove your personal roadblocks or potential interferences to successful time management.. As you make these changes, you will be pleasantly surprised at how powerful they are for you. When your time is managed, you can create time for yourself to be the happier , more content you!

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