Have you ever found yourself so busy that you've forgotten what a lunch break felt like or are you that friend who takes a full seven working days to reply to a missed phone call or text message? Then it may be the time you took back control of how you spend the time in your life. Being overly busy, stressed out or not having time for the things which are good for you in life can lead to unnecessary pressure, unhappiness and even loneliness. You can take a few simple steps to take back control of your time to see if they make a living your life any easier.
Multitasking may seem like you're getting a lot done but in reality your applying half, if not less, of the amount of effort into some jobs which may come out at a sub-standard quality. That's if they're ever completed at all!
Fully emerge yourself into one task at a time and take the time to complete it, you will then avoid that nagging list at the back of your mind telling you how many things you have started but yet to finish. If you have been working on something for quite some time and you have the resources to complete it, then get your head down and tick it off the list. The feeling of accomplishment can become your goal and may push you further to achieve that feel good state.
Don't Over Commit Yourself
Are you the kind of person who feels like they have to say yes to everything and everyone, no matter what kind of situation that puts you in? That's called spreading yourself too thin! If you are doing something out of obligation, instead of because you want to - what do you achieve out of that? By all means, help your friends, family and even your neighbours out if you have too, but don't forget to look after your interests too.
If someone calls you to cancel an arrangement and you're overwhelmed with a sense of relief instead of disappointment, did you need to be going there in the first place? Take back control of your time by cutting something out of your schedule. Don't be afraid to say no to someone one time, explain that you have too much work on or other plans and they should understand. If you are the kind of person who doesn't like to let someone down, make sure you can help them out the next time they ask instead!
Oh, organisation, the bane of every time-stretched person!
First things first, find a way to remove the feeling of being overwhelmed by having a good plan for the week. Have everything noted down in a calendar or a diary, whether this is on pen and paper or on your phone (perfect for the forgetful types as you can have reminders sent to you) for the week ahead. The amount of time it takes you to put a reminder on your phone, or a phone number or address, it will save you, even more, time when you're scrambling around looking at a later date. Having reminders of important dates or meetings will also reduce the time you spend panicking if you either forget or remember at the last minute and find yourself in a rush.
Your organisation doesn't have to stop at running your diary, ensure the areas you spend time in are free from clutter and you know where everything is. Is your handbag or work bag a mess? Could you find something in there in a second if you have too? No, then sort that out too.
Do you pick the jobs you know are easiest to complete and leave the harder ones to the end, or even the next day? Yes? Then stop! This is not productive and will only prolong your desire to procrastinate. Mix your jobs up a bit, weave the easier with, the harder activities and enjoy the sense of accomplishment when the difficult task is complete, and you only have easier ones to end the day with.
Plan, plan and plan! It's one of the easiest ways to take back control of your time management and your life!
Cook For The Week
Cooking every day inevitably takes time, creates a mess, and both of these things can be reduced. For some people, it can be the chance to relax at the end of the evening and time to spend with friends and family, but if you are a busy bee and cooking is a chore, try cooking for a few days in advance. This not only ensures you are eating properly, but it eliminates having to wash up all your pots and pans each time.
At the weekend, plan what you are going to cook for the week ahead, this can also include lunches, so you are not dashing around in the morning to find something to eat or spending more money every day. Choose meals which will last for a few days, such as pasta, lasagne or stews. These can be kept for several days, and you can always add a salad to freshen up your lunch or dinner. The time you save cooking on a Sunday, for example, can be used more efficiently throughout the week.
Minimise Your Distractions
Social media, making a cup of tea, checking your emails, checking the sports results or buying that present for someone which isn't due for three months, all perfect examples of unnecessary distractions!
If you want to make the most of your time, minimise what distracts you most. If it's social media, log out for the day or put away your phone and set aside a time later in the day where you can catch up on the gossip.
Set aside 'email time' - instead of sporadically checking your emails and replying throughout the day. Set aside one or two times a day where you can respond without distractions and without disturbing another job you are working on. The simple act of opening and reading an email can throw you off track, away from the task at hand and prolong its completion.