Most of us wish there were more hours in the day. In our home life, it seems like there is always a constant pile of laundry to be washed, dishes to be put away, or grass to be mowed. On top of your work duties in a full-time job, you may find yourself constantly spent at the end of the day, wondering where all your time went.
If you are habitually finding yourself wondering where all the hours have gone, you probably need to take a look at your time management skills and make some improvements. What is time management? Time management is recognizing the amount of time you have in the day, identifying the tasks you need or would like to accomplish, and developing a strategy to make it all happen.
How Much Time Do You Really Have?
Take a close look at your day-to-day schedule. List out the numbers one through 24 on a sheet of paper. Beside each hour, write down what you are typically doing at that hour. Don’t write what you think you should be doing, write down realistically what you are filling that time with. For example, if you spend the first hour in the morning drinking a cup of coffee, put that in. If you spend the last two hours before bedtime watching a movie or on social media, write that in.
Once you’ve filled in all the hours, take another look at your list. Cross off anything you think is a “time waster.” Remember that using time for relaxation and unwinding is very important, so for some things, you may just make a note to short then amount of time you are spending on that activity.
What Do You Need to Accomplish?
Next, write down a list of all the things you feel you would like to accomplish on a daily basis. When you look back at that list, which of these items are absolutely necessary? For example, if you are going to get fired because you don’t run a report each day at work, you will want to include that task. But if you have put doing a load of laundry on the list, consider whether that task can wait until the weekend, or if it can be assigned to a specific day when you have extra time.
Once you have whittled down your list to only the most important daily tasks, refer back to your daily hours list and plug in tasks. Make sure to leave time for an appropriate amount of sleep and realistic times for meals and social obligations.
Using Time Effectively
If you find that you still don’t seem to have enough hours in the day, examine which tasks can truly be umbrellaed into a “multi-tasking” hour. If you need to spend an hour of exercising for your mental and/or physical health, trying using an InstaPot to cook dinner at the same time. If you need to take the dog out for a walk throughout the day, use this time as your needed coffee break.
With careful planning, you will accomplish more tasks and feel more rested throughout your day.