The following post is from Bernice Wood of Living the Balanced Life: Is Time Management Really Possible?
Many of us are on the hunt for better time management skills to get everything done. Covers of magazines show time management articles. Blog posts and e-zines share tips for managing time. The shelves at the bookstore constantly have new time management titles.
There are lots of tools available on the market to help us as well — Life Your Way has some great FREE printables, I have a post on Tools for Productivity, there are all kinds of day planners for sale in stores, and let’s not forget the awesome tools for our smartphones!
The magic answer.
We are all looking for that magic bullet, that great tip or technique that will finally help us get it ALL done, to manage our time. The thing is, we can’t really manage time. Time keeps on marching on, no matter what we do.
What we are really looking to do is manage ourselves within our time.
To manage our lives, our circumstances, in the time we have each day. This looks very different for each person. Managing time for an at-home mom with toddlers and preschoolers will look very different from a woman whose kids are preparing to fly the nest. Moms who work outside the home will struggle with some different things than moms who work from home.
Important life management principles.
It is important that we understand a few things about time, self, and life management. If you understand these principles, it will help you to have better control over your specific circumstances.
- Everyone’s idea of managing time will look different. Some like to have a very strict schedule with 15-minute increments. Some just have a loose flow to the day. Neither of these is right or wrong. You just have to find what works for you. I will say, if your current method causes you great stress, it may not be the best method for you.
- Don’t plan your life around what everyone else thinks you should be doing. The people I hear from who are the happiest, most balanced people are the ones who are marching to the beat of their own drums. They are choosing what will make them and their family happiest. They don’t worry about what other people say.
- A big thing I focus on at my blog is that each person, each family, must define the important priorities and then learn to live life by those goals and priorities. Then when opportunities come along and possibly threaten to throw you off balance, see if they line up with your predetermined priorities. It will make it easier to say NO.
So what can you manage?
Here are some questions to ask yourself if you are trying to manage your time/self better:
1. Are there things, activities, or people (toxic relationships) in my life that are just clutter?
Do I need to remove them from my life?
2. Are there things in our routine or schedule (or lack thereof) that drive you batty?
For instance, no idea what you are having for dinner each night? Figure out those things that bug you, and make changes to make them go away or be lessened.
3. Do you do all the work around the house yourself?
Of course, this will depend on your specific situation, but if you need your spouse to pitch in, speak up and tell what you need. And children need to be taught from an early age that you are not their maid. Everyone in the family is part of a team and needs to learn to pull their fair share.
4. Do you need to learn to lower your standards a bit?
If you are struggling to get it ALL done, maybe it is time to realize that you don’t have to have it ALL, at least not all at one time. Or maybe you need to create a new definition of ALL that works better for you. Releasing yourself from unrealistic standards can be SO freeing and take a load off your mind.
What things are you going to do to manage your life better? What changes can you implement?
|Bernice Wood is a mother of 4 young adult kids, plus Nana to 7 grandchildren. After a major life change in the summer of 2010, she began blogging to journal her personal struggles and transition. To help others avoid the pitfalls of stress and burnout and learn to live a more healthy life, she recently launched her new blog Living the Balanced Life.|