Manage and time in the same sentence – on a Monday no less! – often leaves me confused and exhausted with just the thought of it. But we can work towards steering our time more efficiently. So, boil the kettle, take out the dark roast freeze-dried granules, add just enough sugar and stir in some milk. Now, let’s break it down.
Time, for women, is an especially sensitive issue. We have to fill 24hours with kids, work, partners, friends, colleagues and and and. There is housework and laundry to be done, lunchboxes to pack and dinner to prepare. Even if you are privileged enough to have a domestic worker, you still need to shop, organise, manage and smile lovingly at your nearest and dearest over dinner. Then of course time also implies sagging, aging and a host of other natural body transformations that we have to combat on a dialy basis :)
Let’s deal with one for now. Managing our time more effectively.
Time Management Tips
- If you are part of a family and you are assisting with getting where the need to be, it is only fair to assume that you cannot do everything by yourself. Involve the kids with simple activities in and around the house that will help you to get your tasks done. Even toddlers can with a little creativity be kept productively busy in this manner.
- Look at your day / week ahead of time and take a couple of minutes to prioritise. Instead of trying to do everything at once or doing things as the fancy hits, plan ahead. Do the essential, most important things first and work from there. As you complete activities you will probably add to your own sense of satisfaction and we all know that positive begets positive!
- Realise that your vocabulary may include both “Yes” and “No”! Be realistic about how much time you have available and rather say “no” than offering up a half-baked job in the end. Driving yourself to distraction because you are trying to please everyone around you is a sure fire way to head for burnout and unhappiness.
- Unplug and disconnect. Technology has the ability to be such an enabler but it could just as easily be a serious distraction. When you are trying to text while talking to your children, e-mailing at the dinner table or updating your social media status during ‘family time’ – you are facing the distraction end of the spectrum. You are letting your technology manage you! Don’t let this happen. Make a point of engaging with your family during dinner. Talk to the kids in the car. Switch of your phone during ‘family time’. Decide on a ‘technology cut-off’ for every day – a time when you put the phone and laptop aside to make space for the real people in your life.
- My favorite (but also the first to be cast asunder when things get hectic!) – Make time for yourself. You are probably acutely aware of what brings joy and happiness into your life. We should each create an opportunity for an activity that promotes our soul’s well being, recharges our batteries, encourages and uplifts us. At least once a week. I try to think of it this way, if I take care of myself I will be around longer to take care of my loved ones. So, whether it is a book or a cup of coffee, a friend or a movie – treat yourself this week! And of course next week and then the week after that…
Unfortunately, we cannot put more hours into the day but we can work with what we’ve got and we can make it count!