Manage Your Time More Effectively
Time can escape you so quickly, amiright?! The days, weeks, months seem to fly by. You may be left wondering, Where did the time go? and What have I actually accomplished?
As a therapist, time management often pops up in my conversations with clients because it can be a huge source of stress. This inspired me to share some helpful tips and tricks, so you can make the most of your day. Don’t be left wondering, How it is 6:00 already???
Some of these hacks may seem super simplistic, but even the smallest reminder can help us stay on track. Or perhaps you’ve already tried some of these strategies in the past, but were not consistent. Consistency is a huge indicator of success. How often have you tried a new diet or joined a new yoga studio, but didn’t go all in and ended up dropping it all together?
Seriously, consistency is everything when trying to create a new habit.
Some of the hacks below were found in the book, Understand Your Brain, Get More Done by Ari Tuckman, PsyD.
Don’t Expect to Accomplish 501 Things in a Day.
We often have big plans for the day to hit the gym after our coffee date, put in an 8 hour work day (9 with traffic), cook a healthy fab dinner, volunteer for the holiday toy drive, finish reading that mystery for book club. Oh, and start that kitchen project. Sounds great in theory, but let’s be real, it’s damn near impossible. We are setting ourselves up for failure with our good intentions. Take a breath and prioritize. This isn’t easy, but you have to scale back and choose a few things to focus on that you can actually do well and follow through on. You’ll feel a million times better accomplishing things, rather than having a bunch of unfinished tasks weighing on your mind.
Sprinkle Clocks Throughout Your World.
Most of us rely on our phones to tell us what time it is, but it could be helpful to have a visual right in front of our faces to keep track of time.
Wear a watch.
Wear a watch with a beep or vibration to alert you that a block of time has passed. No, you don’t have to set an annoying beep to go off every 15 min, but maybe every hour while you’re trying to be productive from 9-5.
Perfectionism is a trap.
Perfectionism is a trap because nothing will ever be perfect. There is a fine line between wanting to excel and do your best versus being a perfectionist. The need to do things perfectly is a personality trait that can cause us to spend WAY too much time on tasks and projects. Use this amazing desire to want to succeed as fuel, but also know when to step away and reassure yourself that it is good enough. You may need the help of a timer or to ask yourself, Is it worth it to spend another hour on this report? or Is it okay as it is? Is this a productive use of my time or is this my perfectionism kicking in?
Set Alarms & Timers.
How many times have you started scrolling through your Instagram feed and slipped into a daze, only to realize you’ve wasted an hour or two. (I’m guilty of this!) Setting an alarm or timer can give you that little reminder to step away from your computer and spend your time in a more productive way. I actually put this cute little timer cube on my wishlist to help me stay on task. If you really want to get serious, track your screen time using the app Moment or use a browser add on to regulate how much time you’re on the internet. For example, one of my clients with ADHD uses this strategy so she can’t go on her fave internet site until after 5pm.
Pencil it in.
Create a daily, weekly, and monthly schedule. I create these in google docs. It helps me to organize it in this way, so I don’t feel so overwhelmed with one super long to-do list. If you’re old school and prefer a paper planner, go for it. It is definitely convenient to use an online calendar or scheduling app on your phone, so it’s always attached to you. I just started using MinimaList as a fun way (yes, I said fun) to write your to do list, give yourself reminders and has a timer. There are SO many options, the main thing is to find a system that works for you.
Time How Long Things Actually Take.
I’m not gonna lie to you. I am the queen of being late. It’s actually gotten to the point that my friends and family show up to plans at least 10 min later knowing that they’ll get my token text, “Running 10 min later per usual!” To avoid annoying your dinner dates, plan out how long it it actually takes you to get ready, how long it will take to drive to the restaurant with traffic…and then pad some extra timing to that estimate. So, allow yourself some wiggle room. I’ll keep you posted on how this one goes for me. 😉
Procrastination is the Time Management Killer.
That pesky procrastination creeps in and is often times what sabotages our perfectly planned days. I love this quote by Jen Sinceros.
“Procrastination is one of the most popular forms of self sabotage because it’s really easy.”
Ah, so true! It’s wayyy easier to sit on the couch binging on just “one more” episode, rather than cleaning out your closet. Put it in perspective and think about what your motivation is to complete the task. Have you been putting off cleaning your closet for months making it impossible to find anything causing you to get frustrated every morning and waste time? How long will it take you to clean your closet? A few hours? Seems worth it in the grand scheme of things. Use that inspo to get you off your butt and get things done!
What tips & tricks do you use to stay on track? Please share!