Time rules our lives. We live by the clock, rushing from place to place to get everything done. Time is often the enemy. We never have enough of it. What is the point of being a slave to time? We will answer that question by telling you that there is no point in letting yourself be a slave to time. As we have stated so many times before, you control your life. You choose how to live your own life. Therefore, you can control your own time management.
Think of what it is about time that causes you stress. Is it not having enough of it to get everything done? Is it that you are always late? Always rushing? Whatever it is, you (and only you) have the power to fix it. It’s really not rocket science either…you just have to PLAN AHEAD. Be proactive. Anticipate delays and allow time for those delays.
Change your habits by giving yourself more time to complete the things you have to get done. If there does not seem to be enough hours in the day for you, then you are not realistically budgeting your time. Don’t take on so much. Don’t be a perfectionist. Delegate. Hire an assistant. Find a volunteer. Be realistic about the amount of things you can accomplish in any given time and create a schedule. While you are doing that, plan in some time for yourself to just chill. Rejuvenating is just as important (if not more important) than whatever it is you feel you have to get done. Write in some time for yourself on your schedule. Even if it is only ten minutes to sit down and refresh, it will help immensely.
A colleague of ours decided that she would always be early to everything, and she swears that it is the best change she has ever made in her life. She says that she arrives to most meetings/appointments 30 minutes early. Once she is at the destination she needs to be at, she uses the time to read emails, make calls, or just have a cup of coffee. By always arriving early, she eliminates the stress of traffic and other unforeseen events.
She says, “It is very freeing to know that I am there and ready before I am expected. I can take a few deep breaths, focus and walk in at my best.”
The same advice holds true for those of you with children. Kids can be the definition of “unforeseen events.” When you are stressed, your children are stressed. Stressed children = crying, tantrums, battles of will, and sometimes vomit. Avoid the havoc by giving yourself more time when you are taking your children somewhere.
Finally, always have a Plan B. Unfortunately, in today’s world people tend to disappoint more than they come through for you. Customer service has all but vanished. For example, if you ordered a cake that you have to bring to a party, DO NOT wait until you are on your way to the party to pick it up. Plan to pick it up a day ahead of time just in case it is not ready, or not right. You don’t want to be the person who brings a “Happy Bat Mitzvah” cake to a Retirement party.
Give yourself a break by properly managing your time. It will change your life for the better and can be an immense help with depression.