Learning Time Management Skills
By Rachel Shouse
There are so many tasks that we all have to complete in a day. Our obligations will vary, but the struggle to make it through our to-do lists is something we do have in common. Understand that time management doesn't mean a rigid schedule. It's simply optimizing your time. Seeing the results may take time. It's important to have realistic expectations, organize your tasks, be OK with delegating, make time for yourself, and stop being mean to yourself. Step-by-step, you'll get there.
Before you go creating the world's longest to-do list, be realistic with yourself. Think about how long certain tasks are going to take. If you have 30 minutes to get some work done, don't plan to complete an entire school project in that time. Don't expect yourself to fold a mountain of laundry in an unrealistic amount of time. Set yourself up for success.
Prioritize and Organize
Trying to sort out all of your thoughts can be difficult. To combat that, it's time to embrace a new list called a brain dump. On a normal sheet of paper, write down everything that you can think of. If playing with your kid runs through your head, write it down. You may have some extra work to get done, jot it down. After that, organize by priority. That ensures that what matters most to you gets done first.
Pass Off Some Tasks
Don't shy away from delegating tasks to other members of your family. If you're struggling to keep up at work, ask a coworker for some help. Having issues getting the dishes done, hand it off to one of your children, spouse, roommate, and so on. Be ready to do that in return in the future though.
Make Time to Relax
Some self-care routines seem a bit over the top. I like to set 15-minute timers. I usually do this between big tasks or when my kids have run me up the wall. I struggled at first, sitting that whole time. Trying not to work that whole time felt like forever. However, I've grown to appreciate them. Give yourself time, breaks, peace and quiet, etc.
Stop Being Mean to Yourself
Everyone has bad days. You may not always be able to get everything done. Life happens and you'll need to be flexible sometimes. You wouldn't expect your friend, sibling, spouse, or coworker to always get everything done. Not to be redundant, but be nice to yourself.
Time management is meant to help you. It takes a while to build habits and this one is no exception. Seeing the benefits may take a bit as well. Have perseverance. Learning a new way to handle your tasks is no easy feat.
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