Do you think learning time management strategies has to be a complicated and stressful process?
If you want to hone your time management skills, then one of the very best things you can do for yourself is to relax and take things easy.
That’s right, time management strategies don’t have to be an exercise in stress!
Calming your thoughts, relaxing your mind, and taking an objective view as to how you are spending your time will provide you with useful feedback.
You can use this newly-found information to help you make smarter decisions in future, be it this week, or in eight months’ time.
In this post, I offer several short and sweet tips to help you boost your time management skills…the stress-free way!
Do your best to take these no-nonsense tips to heart.
Stop the blame game.
Do you tend to point fingers when things become a bit tough in the time management department?
Unfortunately, this is not the best use of your time. You’ll become increasingly frustrated as you cite all the many reasons why time is working against you, and your goals.
Instead of pointing fingers, how about flexing those digits, and putting them to work in your favor?
You can save yourself from a stress-fest by actively looking for solutions instead.
Take a deep breath and ask yourself this simple question: what small steps could you take right now to manage your time?
What appointments could you reschedule, cancel, or rebook? Could you give yourself a buffer of time when traveling to meetings?
Could you give yourself more time to complete a project or assignment? How about creating a detailed and specific work schedule?
Whenever it seems as if things are against you, remember, you can control your own actions, and your own schedule.
Focus on improving one aspect of time management.
You’d like to arrive on time for work meetings, run errands in the morning, and meet your personal self-development deadline of writing in your journal every single day.
Sounds a bit overwhelming, right? Here’s some good news for you: you don’t have to change all of your habits at once!
Instead of trying to change your entire schedule, try working on improving just one key aspect of your schedule.
This process will keep you focused and motivated to stay on track.
From the example above, you may decide leaving your home on time is the best place to focus your time management energies.
Once you’ve made the decision to be punctual, you can set small achievable goals for yourself over the coming weeks.
Perhaps you may decide writing in your journal is highly important action that you’ll want to do first thing in the morning.
In this case, you’d schedule time in your schedule and give yourself ample time to physically write a page or two in your notebook.
You may find focusing on one aspect of your time has a wonderful ripple effect on the rest of your schedule.
So, what aspect or aspects of your schedule could use a bit of a touch up or tune up?
Don’t expect miracles to happen.
Think you can drive to that doctor’s appointment across town in ten minutes when you know it takes at least thirty minutes to get there?
Yeah, that scenario is probably not going to happen anytime soon…
Let’s face it: you cannot walk from one place to another in the blink of an eye, you can’t write 50,000 words in one hour, nor can you “make up” for lost time while driving a car in a safe and composed manner.
What story or stories are you telling yourself when it comes to traveling or the time it takes you to complete a task, project, or assignment?
Are you truly being 100% honest with yourself?
Resist making broad statements about time that you know in your heart of hearts are not true.
You’ll just set yourself up for disappointment, lateness, and a potentially stressful situation.
Instead, it’s best to focus your attention on facts. Sticking to the facts gives you something tangible to work with when it comes to planning out your hours and minutes. You have finite and specific amounts of time to manage, add, delete, and maintain.
For instance, how many minutes does it take you to comfortably travel from your home to the studio or the classroom? When is internet traffic the most busy during the daytime at home? What’s the best driving route to take to get to the doctor’s office in the early afternoon?
Practice makes perfect.
Just like anything in life, practice makes perfect. It takes time to manage your time. What’s more, it takes time to become a better manager of your time.
Okay, so you accidentally double-booked your Friday night with phone calls to two different friends, sorely underestimated the time it would take you to finish updating your website, and spent your entire lunch hour shopping for your sister’s birthday present.
It’s all going to be okay. Really, it is!
The more you practice time management, the better you’ll become at managing your time. Every bit of attention, care, and thought you give to your calendar is a step in the right direction.
Gracefully acknowledge your scheduling mistakes, set deadlines for the future, and then take action.