Time management is one of the most talked about conversations in individual and family therapy. Balancing the many struggles in life is a hard task. When we struggle with balancing, we tend to see the pillars of our lives as problems rather than accepting them for what they are. We tend to either focus on all of our problems all at once, or narrow our focus to one problem while neglecting the other areas of our life.
The first step to accomplishing anything in life is to breathe. Sometimes when we get stressed we unconsciously hold our breath. If we do not breathe our bodies begin to tense and our cortisol levels increase. Cortisol is the stress hormone; cortisol is not necessarily bad, but in high amounts it can cause serious health issues. When you breathe, your heart rate slows down and your central nervous system relaxes. If you do not believe me try it for yourself! Inhale for four seconds, hold, and exhale for four seconds- Do this 4 times in a row and you will be able to feel your mind grow fuzzy and your body slow down.
2. Take back your time
It is time that you gain back control over the life that you want and deserve! Time organization can help with that. Figure out what a perfect day is for you, from the time you wake up to the time go to bed. Figure out what things you get done better in the morning, afternoon and night. For instance, if you do not have the energy to workout after a long day's work, then you might need to workout in the morning. Figure out how much time you need and wake up that much earlier. Instead of waking up at 7:30, maybe you need to wake up at 6:15 in order to work out and shower for the rest of the day. Figure out what works for you, and how you can best conquer it.
3. Make appointments for yourself
Another part of time management is making time for all of the things that are important to your day. For instance, dedicate 30 minutes of your morning to answering emails, or meditate. Determine what your priorities are, and calculate how much time you need to accomplish these tasks and put them into your daily schedule. This can also create habits and structure.
Setting timers is a great way to take control back in your life. Sometimes we feel overwhelmed with the long lists of to-do’s or tasks to complete. If you have a lot of things on your to-do list, then try setting a timer for each task. You can use the alarm on your phone or your watch. Determine how much time you need for each task and set the timer. This way you do not have to worry about getting lost in your work, because you can trust the alarm to alert you when it is time to move forward. Remember, it is important to take breaks in between tasks. Set a 5-10 minute alarm in between each task, so that you can rest your mind and body.
5. Make Lists
Lists are another great way to organize your priorities. Lists can help people figure out what we need to get done. One way people get “stuck” with lists is that they put too many tasks on their lists, or the tasks are simply unrealistic. This can lead to the task not getting completed and can consequently lead to a person feeling defeated. Try making a list of things you need to do and prioritize them from top to bottom. Make sure that at least some of them are items that will be easier for you to check off. The more you check off, the more motivated and accomplished you may feel. Also, try making a list of goals you wish to attain each day of the week. Assign certain tasks for certain days, this way you are focused on a specific item for the day.
How on earth could sitting still and doing nothing create productivity? This is is similar to the concept in number 7. Essentially, when you need to get things done, you must be at your best, yet, you will probably not be at your best when you have a million thoughts going on inside your mind. Meditating is a tool that is helpful for those to gain back control and find balance in their lives. Meditation is not just sitting on the floor chanting with your palms up. Mindfulness can simply be a moment where you focus all of your thoughts on the present experience. Sometimes, in order to be productive we have to slow down.
If you have ever been on an airplane, then you have probably heard the stewardess or steward talk about safety before taking off. They say, “in case of decreased pressure in the cabin, oxygen masks will drop. Put YOUR mask on, before helping others.” This is because, if you pass out before helping someone who needs your assistance, then you are both in jeopardy of not getting what you need. If you are not well, you cannot expect to help another person, do a task at work, or take care of your children. Self care is one of the most important concepts of life, yet it is something that people often neglect. Figure out what you need in order to“save yourself,” and then carve out a chunk of time for this daily. It does not have to be something big, or something expensive.
We hope these tips help you gain a sense of control over your routine & schedule. If you have chronic stress problems or find yourself constantly spinning in circles when trying to knock out your to-do list, counseling can help. For more information, visit, our website or make an appointment.