Time management is the practice of utilizing available time in an efficient way. Managing time and tasks each day can often be stressful and daunting. However, finding the best method to manage time can be an effective way to practice self-care.
Since adding hours to a day is not an option, managing and organizing your day to find the best use for every moment is key to a healthy balance. Failure to manage time can lead to missed deadlines, unwanted stress, and no time to improve your quality of life. Determining how to properly manage your time each day can help create a balance, reduce stress, and improve your overall quality of life.
How to Balance Your Time
Consider incorporating some of the ideas below to help find balance in any given day.
Track Your Time
Start by identifying where you spend your time. Perhaps you are spending too much time on emails, social media, or other browsing. There are many ways to keep track of time through apps, such as RescueTime or Toggl. Most apps will provide a report to identify where your time is spent. From there, you can adjust so you can spend more time focusing on what matters most each day.
Prioritize and Set Limits
Prioritizing important tasks and setting a time limit to each will help with distractions and procrastination. Determine what needs immediate attention and what is less important. Work on urgent needs first, and avoid procrastinating as it can lead to more pressure and unwanted stress. When tasks are prioritized, staying focused becomes easier. Use a calendar to help manage tasks and activities.
Planning and knowing what tasks are at hand will provide direction and focus on what needs to be accomplished. Spend time the night before, or make it part of a morning routine, composing a to-do list outlining the most important items. Once written down, be sure to stick with it and check items off as they are completed. Try to avoid multitasking and stick to your to-do list and deadlines at hand to stay focused.
Know Your Limits
Avoid over-committing and learn how to say no when your plate is already too full. When too many tasks are on your to-do list, consider delegating to help free up time and avoid burning out. Saying no is a good tool for self-care and for preserving extra time when needed. When feeling extra stress or fatigue, be sure to take a break to relax and refocus.
Deal with Your Stress
Finding ways to deal with stress will come in various forms for different people. Stress can interfere with staying productive, so find techniques that work and be sure to incorporate as needed. Some helpful ways to deal with stress might include exercise, meditation, chatting with a friend, or listening to music.