Welcome back to my second post from my Lifestyle Sunday segment, I thought it was about time to contribute to this segment. Today I want to talk to you about time management and why it is essential to be skilled in this area. Three years ago when I was an intern at the YMCA, I facilitated a time management workshop and I want to share the information on my blog.
I hope you find this post helpful, if you did find it helpful, let me know in the comments box below.
Let’s begin by defining time management, time management is a range of skills, tools and techniques used to manage your time and achieve the desired goals. Time management is important because it gives you the opportunity to carefully plan specific strategies that will help get you closer to your goal. However, some of us may have poor time management skills because we procrastinate. There are many reasons why we procrastinate, but some of them are the following:
- Difficulty Concentrating. We live in a very fast paced environment and sometimes we have the tendency to become distracted. Our minds may be preoccupied with many other issues, which results in forgetting the important things we want to accomplish. The Internet also plays a great role in the procrastination aspect, we let ourselves stay in front of the computer and browse the Internet for hours. I am guilty of doing this sometimes, but the important thing that needs to be realized is that nothing will be served to you on a platter. You have to work hard to accomplish things, if you do not get up and do something about it, then what you want to achieve will not happen.
- Fear and Anxiety. Being intimated by a big or small goal is normal, but that’s not an excuse to give up on your dreams. Bigger and better things always seem a bit scary and taking that first step can be nerve wrecking, but in the end taking that step will shape the future that you want.
- Negative Self-Beliefs. Thinking self-defeating thoughts like “I can’t do it”, “I’m scared”, “What if I fail?”, won’t do you any good. Controlling our way of thinking can be challenging, but in the long run it is only us that can control how we think and feel. If it is hard for you to think positive, take it one step at a time, challenge yourself to think one positive thought everyday. The more you do this, the more easy it will become and it will become natural to be more positive.
- Perfectionism. I never used to be a perfectionist, but I became one in my third year of university. Let me tell you one thing, being a perfectionist is not that great because perfectionists have the tendency to be very hard on themselves. You should always try your best, but expecting everything to be perfect all the time is not realistic. It only adds unnecessary weight to your shoulders and mind. You don’t have to do this to yourself, be kind to your mind. I definitely need to pull away from my perfectionist persona, so if you struggle with this, just remember I’m in the same boat. Sometimes you feel some comfort when you know you are not the only one who is this way.
Now that we’ve talked about the reasons for procrastinating, let us discuss how to beat procrastination. Here are some tips:
- Recognize when you are procrastinating. Become aware of your favorite procrastination and next time you try to procrastinate, distract yourself with something that will benefit you and your goal.
Break inactivity. Do small things to get yourself started. For example, you may have a paper to write for school, so begin writing the introduction page. It might not seem like you have done too much, but at least you began writing part of the paper.
Divide the project into small manageable pieces. Take it one step at a time, small steps are always a good idea. For example, your goal may be to workout more, so instead of setting a goal for yourself to workout for an hour, do a five minute workout. That is a small step that will make you feel more motivated and you will continuously move on to 10, 15, 45 minutes and eventually to an hour.
Don’t sabotage yourself. Set up your environment with as few distractions as possible, this will help you be more focused.
- Reward non-procrastinating behavior. This part is totally up to you, you can go watch a movie, buy your favorite treat, go to the mall or read one of your favorite books. I like to go to the mall and buy myself something nice 🙂
- Enjoy your freedom and be satisfied that you have taken action to get closer to your goal.
We all procrastinate and it happens, but when we do this it becomes a stressor and we end up wasting a lot valuable time and energy! Now you may ask me, how can I manage my time better? The first option is to have a to-do list, I know it seems really simple, but it helps you see all of the things you need to get done on paper.
Write down all of the tasks that you need to complete. If they’re large tasks, break it down to the first action step and proceed with this particular task. Ideally, tasks or action steps should take no longer than 1-2 hours to complete. The next thing you want to do is to prioritize your list of things, starting from A (very important, or very urgent), B (semi-important) and C (unimportant, or not at all urgent). If there are too many high priority tasks, check your list again and remove the less important ones. Remember, you do not want to over work yourself because then you will lose your motivation and you do not want that to happen.
The second thing you want to consider doing is completing an activity log, it is a journal where you write what you are doing throughout the day. Activity logs help you analyze how you actually spend your time. You may find out that most of the things you do throughout the day are not as important, as the tasks that should be completed first. Make a careful decision and analyze which tasks should be included and excluded.
It takes time to get better at this, do not be discouraged if you fail a few times, the important thing is to keep going and trying. When you get better at time management this will happen:
- Reduced stress.
- You will have a sense of achievement.
- Increased energy to go after more things you want to accomplish.
- That energy will lead to being more productive.
- Better health, believe it or not stress can affect your health so be kind yourself.
- Stronger family bonds. When we are under pressure some of us crumble and that results in conflict with loved ones, but when your mind is happy, everyone else around you will be happy that you are happy.
I hope you found this post helpful and I wish this motivated you in some way to take action and be more productive. Good luck and feel free to let me know in the comments box below, what helps to motivate you? I am sure my readers will benefit from your input 🙂
See you tomorrow for Music Monday and have a lovely Sunday evening!