MY TOP 5 WAYS TO EFFECTIVELY MANAGE TIME AND SET PRIORITIES


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Since relocating two years ago, for some reason, I have fallen far behind on keeping up with everything and I can’t seem to find enough time in the day anymore to accomplish everything that needs to be done. It’s as if time has been cut shorter than usual. Feeling overwhelmed has a way of draining all motivation and can become wearisome. And it’s not that I’m not good at time management, it’s that there’s just not enough time TO manage. Who else feels the same way?

In this day and age, it’s getting harder and harder to meet the daily demands of life, even for people without children or even a pet like myself. With increased responsibilities at work, at home, rising expenses and longer working hours, one can’t help but feel rushed even in your own leisure time! And obviously, when we constantly try to do more than time may allow, we inevitably can become stressed and frustrated which can cause anxiety. I’m certainly one of those people who can’t even sleep if I don’t get everything completed that I had planned out on my daily to-do list. But really, what is gained by getting stuck in a vicious cycle of being frustrated with oneself - feeling either guilty or anxious over things we can’t control or unforeseen situations that we didn’t plan for. When I find myself in a tizzy over lack of time, what I do is take a few steps back and reevaluate what is consuming my precious hours in the day/week and make the necessary adjustments.

In some respects, managing time is like balancing a financial budget. If you try to squeeze too many things (which I tend to do) into the limited hours you have available, you are not living within your means timewise. Such a lifestyle inevitably leads to frustration, stress, and weariness. Time is like money, once it’s wasted, you won’t have it when you need it. So, learning to set priorities is key. The benefit: properly budgeting one’s time means time left over to do the things you enjoy.

Here’s how I go about doing that lately:

1. Prepare a list of things that are important, urgent or both. I determine the more important things in my life and assign sufficient time to these. Checking Instagram, Facebook and catching the start of a TV program may not be important. Think: strengthening my relationship with God, volunteering more time in my community as a lifestyle coach and mentor, meditating more, getting proper rest, reading and having “me time” and so on… 

2. Cut out time wasters. I cull out anything that consumes time and yields poor returns. Each person knows what that is for them.

3. Alone time. Lately, more than ever given my new environment setting meaningful alone time for me is imperative. That involves a variety of things. It is my solitude time to quiet my mind by either drawing up a good bubble bath surrounded by lit candles, doing some constructive meditation, stretching, reading, listening to favorite old records, flipping through favorite magazines, scrapbooking, cooking, entertaining friends, making cards – basically doing the things that help recharge my own batteries.
One cannot deny that alone time is a necessary tonic in today’s rapid-fire world. Tweet this: “Alone time is fuel for life.”

4. Digital detox. In the last few months, I’ve assessed my use of technology – determining its impact on my life by asking myself some of the following questions: 

Do I lose my inner peace (aka have FOMO) for not being on social media and when I do, does it bring me happiness or frustration and discontent with myself and my life? 

Ten years from now will what I’m so consumed with on social media now will really matter or make a difference in my life?

Is my use of electronic devices causing me to neglect the things that bring me joy, like spending time with my husband, friends and/or doing the things that matter most to me? See No. 1 and 3. 

It’s all about learning to set reasonable limits for how long I’ll be on and then stick to that limit. That’s why I’ve reduced my posting times to only twice a week when my schedule allows it, as my days/weeks/months are never the same.

Have you ever tried to go without using your electronic devices and internet access? How long did you last? I do when I’m on vacation or having a stressful week.

5. Keep a written schedule. Helps me to see what I need to accomplish because having a plan gives a clear picture of what’s important and where I need to be strict with myself (like saying “No” to things that I just can’t do) and at the same, where I can be flexible.

After all, how we spend our time is how we spend days and ultimately, our lives.

What has worked for you? Please share in the comment box below, as I'm all ears for more suggestions.

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