What type of calendar or time management system do you use?
Time management is much harder for some people than others, yet it is a very useful stress management tool and life skill. Here are 6 time management tips to help you plan and balance your time.
Time Management Tips
- Use a calendar or agenda system to manage your time. Having some type of system other than your head is a very helpful habit.
- Block time for important things. Use your calendar to block time for more than just appointments. Block time for work, school, appointments, commitments, hobbies, self-care, fun, family, etc.
- Blocking time will help you easily see where you need to include more balance and where you can fit in the urgent things that arise. I am much less stressed if my week has a starting point. When urgent things pop up, and they do, I can look at my calendar to see where I have an empty block or time or what I can rearrange rather than feeling overwhelmed in choosing between the important and the urgent. Plan, then pivot.
- Finding balance may mean color-coding your commitments (easy to do on Google Calendar) so that you can do a weekly or monthly assessment of your time. Are you feeling overly busy in one category and neglectful in another or does it just feel like that? Have you adequately prioritized family and home commitments above work and self? Analyze your schedule for the past month. Are there things you can assign to other people? Reschedule to a more productive time or day?
- It’s OK to say no to things or to ask for time to decide. I know of one person who says they will get back to me in 24 hours but if I need to know right away, the answer is no. That’s a brilliant strategy to guard from over-commitment.
- When you begin to prioritize your time and balance your responsibilities, you can begin to set goals for the upcoming month, preplan some tasks, feel good about your time management, and maximize your efficiency.
Time Management Benefits
Time management helps you make the most of your time. We all have the same 24 hours available, but some make better use of this resource than others. I’m currently sitting by a lovely babbling brook in the shade of Duke Gardens writing blog posts while my mom and her friend meander the beautiful gardens for 2 hours. Why? Being the designated driver is a stress relief to us all. Knowing I can work on my portable device allows me to still answer client emails and write upcoming blog posts as I had planned this morning. I’ll join them at lunch and hear all about their garden adventures. It’s a win-win for us all. Getting outdoors is a plus for all of us.
When my mom moved in with us, these tips saved us time. I set aside two days a week that are more flexible when it comes to scheduling doctor appointments. We always start there. She also has access to my calendar and can plan her things around mine. Obviously, there are specialist appointments that cause us to rearrange our schedule but because I have events planned out on my calendar I pretty easily see what needs to be rearranged. Plan but pivot. Honestly, though, we rarely have to rearrange because we know where things can fit. Divine interruptions are opportunities to serve my family and friends. I want these to be a blessing and not a cause for complaint. While I’m a super planner, I also want to put people over projects.
The benefits of time management, such as these 6 time management tips, are the opportunities to carve out time to learn new skills, take on new responsibilities, procrastinate less, and schedule free time. You can smile more and sigh less!
There are plenty of resources to use for calendars and time management, but the best one for you is the one you will actually use! Maybe it’s a paper calendar. Maybe it’s your phone calendar. Maybe it’s a project management system. I tend to use Google Calendar for my events and Asana for my tasks. Read more here.
Want more tips about multigenerational living? Click here.
Table Talk: How can you put one of these tips into action this week? What is your best time management tip? Comment below.