7 Time Management Tips to Help Your Work Week

Monoar Rahman/CC0

Monoar Rahman/CC0

Time is a coveted resource. More time to travel, more time to work out, more time with loved ones, more time to check boxes off our lists, more time to rest and the list goes on. We have the same amount of time each day, yet some days feel more productive than others. So is it really about the time, or is it what we do with the time that truly makes the difference?

Why is time management so difficult?

We over-commit. We stretch ourselves too thin. We struggle to prioritize. We put things off. We don’t set goals. We’re overstimulated. – Needless to say, there is an extensive and exhaustive amount of things that demand our time. Some of our time consumers feel like a choice, like having fun with friends. Other things feel like we have no choice, like meeting a deadline at work. So how do we balance those facets of life that we choose to spend our time on versus those that are required of us and can they coexist?

Consider your values. I find this is a helpful place to start since many if not all of our choices are fueled by our personal beliefs. What’s important to you? Dig deep here because when you start to explore this question, you’ll likely discover where your priorities lie and in turn start to find clarity on where you’d like to actually spend your time.

Why is time management important?

When we choose carefully, we feel more accomplished, productive and fulfilled, and you’re the only one can decide what that means to you. When we consider what’s important to us, we’re able to prioritize where we’d like to spend our energy.

When we know where we’d like to spend our energy, we’re able to better outline our day in a way that leaves us feeling satisfied and content once it comes to an end. When we feel accomplished, we have a higher sense of self-worth, confidence and mental wellness, which diminishes our stress levels and leaves us feeling happier and healthier. This fulfillment replenishes our energy stores and helps us stay motivated and focused. When we aren’t refueling our energy stores, we end up feeling more stressed and as a result.

What are some time management tips?

  1. Explore your values: As described before, this can serve as a helpful step to painting a clearer picture of where you’d like to spend your energy. When we align our lives with our values, our hearts feel fuller, our minds feel nourished and our lives feel richer.

  2. Set small, attainable goals: When we break down a larger goal into small, more approachable steps, we gift ourselves the opportunity to not only reach them but feel more accomplished as a result. When we attain these smaller goals, we consequentially feel more inclined to keep working towards the bigger picture and are more likely to reach it!

  3. Say "No.": How many different directions is your energy being pulled? Are you committing to too much and spreading yourself too thin as a result? Saying no can be difficult and can feel more like an energy drain than actually just doing whatever you are contemplating. But when we allow our bodies space to breathe, we feel more rested, rejuvenated and less stressed. Give yourself the space you need.

  4. Delegate tasks: Do you really have to do this ALL on your own? Asking for help can be tricky for some, but surprisingly enough, people are more willing to help than we may think! We have a tendency to get into our own heads about the burden it might cause or what it might say about us if we reach out, so instead we suffer and stress and push ourselves to the breaking point. Sounds silly right? Ask for help and share responsibilities if you can - relinquish some of that weight, you are not alone.

  5. Schedule realistically: Many of us frequently overbook ourselves thinking we can do it all. Maybe it’s a fear of missing out, or maybe it’s because we really want people to know how much we care? Whatever the reason, think about how you are spending your precious time. Are you going to enjoy your massage at 530PM if you know you have to be at dinner by 545PM? Probably not. Schedule according to your priorities and make time to be as fully engaged as you can be with them.

  6. Take a break: Self-care is so important here. When we are pushing ourselves to meet deadlines, or filling our schedules with coffees, lunches, dinners, dates, etc. we are depleting our energy and are emptying our cup, leaving us feeling drained and moody. Make sure to take time to practice self-care to restore your levels. Remember, you cannot pour from an empty cup.

  7. Limit distractions: Life demands our attention. There’s no question about that. But are there things in your space that are attempting to distract you from your focus? Silence your phone when out to dinner. Turn off the TV when working on a blog (uh hum..). Do what you need to do to minimize as much stimulation as you can so you may be as fully present as possible in whatever you are choosing to spend your energy on.

Remember, life happens. It can be hectic, busy and exhausting at times. So allow yourself some grace during those periods. Be as flexible as you can. I encourage you to lean into that unpredictability and check in with what you may need before hopping back into your to-do lists.

To schedule an appointment with Alyssa Cornett, call 737-226-8803.

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Alyssa Cornett, LMFT