How it Works: Time Management

It’s no secret that time management is a work in progress for me.  I know that through prioritization and better use of the gift of time, I should theoretically be able to accomplish everything I need to on a daily basis.

And yet…I still find myself struggling to stay “on task”–something that is, arguably, a bit difficult when you don’t work in a traditional work setting (with a manager, task lists, etc.); taking the initiative to get things done on your own can be a bit of struggle for some (*raises hand*).  Odious tasks may sit on your list, playing a distant second to activities like social media or TV (hello folding laundry)  Since welcoming our two children, I have become much better at managing my time, but still have  ways to go.

If you struggle with time management as well, here are three  things I have found helpful to keep in mind.  I hope they help you, too!

1.  Take advantage of your “peak time.”  For some, mornings may be the best time to tick things off a to-do list.  For others, late at night may be the optimal time.  Be you an early bird or a night owl, or something in between, chances are good you know when you function best–your “peak time.”

I’ve found I accomplish more to-do list items early in the morning, before the kids are awake.  I am also able to do things after the kiddos are in bed, but I am usually tired myself at that point, so try to ensure I get things that require optimal brain function done early in the day.

2.  Make a list.  This isn’t something that only Type A personalities do–it’s something most of us can benefit from.  I prefer the old-fashioned way of list-making:  I use a planner and a pen.  My to-do list for the day is usually a visual disaster; the shorthand alone makes my husband cringe, and at some point I may utilize an electronic list method, but for now, if it ain’t broke…

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Do all of the items get crossed off each day?  No.  It’s more of a list of goals, but when I have them written down, I’m more likely to accomplish them all.  Lists also make #3 easier…

3.  Prioritize reasonably…and practice grace.  That dental appointment you have on Tuesday will probably take (SHOULD take) priority over, say, finishing up a library book due next week.  Figure out what absolutely must get done, and make it happen.  At the same time though, give yourself a bit of grace if you don’t finish everything.  It’s okay.  Dust yourself off when those days come (and they will…a lot) and start fresh tomorrow.

…with a new list!

And on our list next week is a little break.  We’ll be back again with fresh posts the week after next.  Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss out!

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