Do you feel overwhelmed when it comes to managing your time?
Are you looking for some ways to stop wrestling with your schedule, and start living harmoniously with it?
While time management skills are important, it is possible to have too much of a good thing.
There is a difference between carefully managing your time and fully living in the moment.
In this post, I offer four time management techniques that will help you avoid burn out when it comes to managing your schedule.
These thoughtful ideas will help you think about time management in a new way.
Occasionally embrace spontaneity.
When was the last time you went out on a spontaneous excursion? Last week? Last month? Last year? While we can get caught up in the routine of life, a little bit of excitement and unadulterated fun can be good for us. Instead of completely shunning spontaneity in your schedule, why not embrace it every now and then?
Of course, it’s important to know when you can be spontaneous in your schedule. One way to do this is to learn how to recognize and prioritize your responsibilities.
Going out for an impromptu coffee date with a friend on a lazy Saturday afternoon, or attending a low-key music concert on an otherwise uneventful Monday evening are easy ways to bust out of routine.
Shunning an urgent deadline or skipping your responsibilities at work or school in favor of a last-minute road or shopping trip, well, not so much.
Keep an hour or two free in your calendar.
What would happen if you kept an hour or two clear in your schedule? To some, this may seem like a scary or perhaps even impossible feat. Remember, a calendar does not have to be completely booked solid in order to be important. A calendar simply stores or holds blocks of time in the form of appointments or meetings. Your calendar is important no matter what it is in it!
Keeping a bit of blank space in your calendar gives you some breathing room, both literally and figuratively. Knowing that you have a bit of free time in your calendar can be quite freeing. You are guaranteed some decompression time in your schedule.
What’s more, you can always decide how you are going to spend this time. Perhaps you’re caught between a rock and a hard place, and need to book an urgent and important last-minute appointment, meeting, or event. You conveniently have a block of time available in your schedule.
Stop staring at your calendar while you work.
You may keep your calendar or appointment book open on your desk as a reminder of the things you have to do. Unfortunately, this practice distracts your attention from the present moment and all the tasks you need to complete. Rest assured, that calendar isn’t going anywhere, and you certainly don’t have to stare at it for minutes on end in order for it to be effective.
Do yourself a favor and allow yourself to focus on the task at hand. Close out of that digital calendar, tuck away that paper planner, or temporarily move that wall calendar. Is your calendar permanently wall-mounted on a dry-erase board or bulletin board? Move yourself to another room or location so you can pay close attention to your work.
Lose yourself in your personal time.
When you’re on vacation, break, or are simply taking in the weekend, are you completely losing yourself in the moment? Do you really taste that delicious, home-cooked meal prepared by your grandma? Do you really see what’s happening on the field at the football game? Did you really hear that cute story your child just told you at the dinner table?
It’s important to give your personal time the attention it deserves. It fully rounds out your time management skills and shows you can manage both your professional and personal time with care, patience, and respect.
So, whenever you’re on break, make sure you are fully accessing every single juicy minute for yourself. Get lost in an hour-long phone call with an old friend. Spend an afternoon painting with your watercolor set. Have fun exploring a new museum exhibit in your city or town.
And above all, do everything you can to be fully vested in the moment. This means completely logging off of or switching off your digital devices. There’s so much more to life than staring at a screen.
How about you? Which of these tips do you think you will try out in the coming days and weeks? Why? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!