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How Will I Ever Find The Time?

It's 3 p.m., you're stuck in traffic, you're late picking up the kids, you have a doctor's appointment in an hour, and between now and then you have to stop at the dry cleaners and return that phone call to your mother. No wonder you never find time to clean the garage, exercise or take that writing class. You can barely find time for dinner.

Are you:

  • Constantly rushing?
  • Frustrated that you can't get everything you want done?
  • Overwhelmed by demands or details?
  • Missing deadlines?
  • Having difficulty making choices?
  • Neglecting work, family or friends?
  • Tired all the time?

By managing your time effectively, you can feel more in control and reduce stress. Time management involves making thoughtful choices about how you spend your time. It doesn't matter who you are, or what you do, everyone can benefit from time management.

Here are some suggestions that will help:

  • Write down your goals and the steps that will help you achieve them. This will clarify what's most important to you.
  • Track the time you spend on daily activities. Look for tasks you're spending too much time on and tasks you're neglecting. Develop efficient routines whenever you can.
  • Make a daily "to do" list. This will keep you focused, and you'll love the satisfaction of crossing tasks off your list. Identify quick and easy tasks, and get them out of the way while you're on hold or waiting for a meeting.
  • Be realistic when you plan your day. Accept your limitations.
  • Recognize your prime time. What time of day are you at your best? Schedule important activities at this time so you can tackle them with confidence.
  • Schedule breaks. A few minutes to stretch or take a quick walk can restore your energy and help you stay productive.
  • Set deadlines for yourself and announce them to others. You're more likely to follow through when you've made your commitment public.
  • Keep your desktop clear, except for the project at hand. This will make it easier to focus on one thing at a time.
  • When something goes wrong, don't overreact. Instead ask, "How can I prevent this from happening again?"
  • Assign places to store commonly used items, such as your keys, purse, briefcase and phone. If you always put them in the same place, you won't waste time searching for them.

Finally, be flexible. Allow time for the unexpected, and don't schedule things down to the last minute. You should always have enough time to take that unexpected phone call from an old friend.

Date reviewed: 11/9/12
Reviewer: Jay Butterman, D.O.

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The articles and tools on this site are for informational and self-help purposes only. They should not be treated as a substitute for financial, medical, psychiatric, psychological or behavioral health care advice, or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified professional.