Learning Time Management Skills

Life

brain isn’t working very well today. Sometimes I think I try to force myself too much to come up with something to write about. Sometimes the words flow so easily, and then other times I am at a loss. I feel like my brain melted out of my head and drained out onto the floor. This might be due to the fact that I didn’t get much sleep last night… it’s almost 8pm and I am starting to fade.

Anyways, onto the important part about all of this. Learning to manage your time… this can take a lot of work. It is actually very difficult to be in control of every minute of the day, and get everything done that you need to.

In between working full-time, school, training for a tri-athlon, attempting to start a blog, trying to set future goals, getting in my preferred reading list, spending time with my boyfriend, and giving enough attention to my dog, the amount of time in the day never seems like enough. I am always stretching myself thin, and I haven’t been getting much sleep lately because of it. The excitement of starting a blog gets my head buzzing and by the time bedtime rolls around, I am on high alert and I feel my heart pounding loudly in my chest as I try to get some sleep.

If I told you I was still able to accomplish all of this, on top of having enough time to re-charge, would you believe me? The truth is, I have learned what my main priorities are and I have been forcing myself to stick to them. I have created a budget for my time. And I am strict with it. And I don’t feel like I am missing out on anything, because I get to do a little bit of everything every day.

Before I give my advice, I do have to say that I don’t have children. This is a whole different subject, and one that I apologetically don’t know much about. Full disclosure.

So my main tip is treating time like a budget. Having money and having time are the main things we strive for in life. If only we had more money and could stop time. But, if you learn to become strict with your time, just like with money, you can achieve pretty much anything you’d like.

I need 8 hours of sleep in order to function properly and get through the next day. If I don’t get enough sleep, everything else is pretty much shot for the day. I lose motivation and feeling tired and really deter me from wanting to do anything too difficult. So getting enough sleep is a main priority. And if it’s a main priority for you, I suggest you make a note of that. Figure out the things that you need out of every single day. Even if you aren’t getting them at the current moment. The things you always think about and want to incorporate into every day (like working out) but feel like you are in the negative with time.

During the work week, I am strict as heck with my schedule. I set my boundaries, because I have things that need to be done every day. This involves a morning routine before work, getting in two walks that total an hour, working out for an hour, 8 hours of sleep, school for 2 hours, training for one hour, reading for one hour and blogging for one hour. Not all of my days look the same, however. Tuesdays are the nights I have completely to myself, which involves getting caught up on school and my blog, and being with my dog. Wednesday nights are devoted to my boyfriend and  I shut off technology then. Every other Thursday I have a therapy session, and afterwards and hour swim.

Between all of these things, it is possible to get in a workout every day for an hour. Spend time with family, even watch TV if that’s on your priority list. The thing is, every day doesn’t have to be the same because routines can get boring and depressing quickly. Actually, my days throughout the week vary widely depending on what day it is. And it’s part of what makes it more exciting. There is a way to have structure when every day is different. It just involves a little more planning on your part.

It’s the same as budgeting money. I know this can be difficult, but when you are fully aware of all of your expenses, and keep track of it every week, it’s not so hard. The same goes for scheduling your week. Having a nice dinner isn’t on my priority list, and usually watching TV isn’t either. The fact is, I live alone and most nights during the week I don’t care to spend too much time cooking dinner for myself. The only TV show I ever truly watch is The Office, and I’ve seen every episode at least 100 times. So TV isn’t a huge priority for me, especially when I’d prefer to work on my blog.

When you have goals and things you want to get done, you quickly realize what you want to fill your days with and what you don’t. I know that if I dont get enough time to work on my blog, and what I am really passionate about, the hours that I am at work drag on and I get easily irritated with everyone around me.

I cannot tell you how much this has helped me. I am continuing to pursue my passion, while keeping up with a full-time job. My burn-out status is rare, because I focus on the things I want to focus on when I am not at work. Instead of coming home and letting work take over the rest of the day, I release my job. I let it go and push it aside until I have to deal with it the next day. Unless there is something I have to remember to do right when I get into work the next day, I make myself forget about it. I’ll put into my calendar those important moments.

Having a calendar that pops up on your phone every day with all the things you need to do can really help. I suggest putting in ‘write blog post from 7-8pm’ or ‘workout from 4-5pm’, or ‘shower at 6pm’ on your calendar and have them pop up on your phone early on in the day. Blocking these times out will really help you focus on what you really want to get done that day. I know that once I get in a good workout, I am ready to face the rest of the evening. Having a good book to look forward to at the end of the day helps push me to finish everything up by 8pm.

I really recommend being strict with your rules. This is the only way it’s going to stick. We have control over our free time, but it can easily get away from of us if we aren’t spending it on what we really want. If you are coming home just to sit down and watch TV, but you have a million other things you wanted to get done waiting, it’s just going to pile up day after day until you get to it. And then you might have to spend a whole Sunday just trying to get caught up on things you could have picked away at during the week.

My main priorities are work, school, blogging, my dog, my family, and making sure to eat healthy and workout every day. These things are my fuel. They really do help me keep going every day. When I am finished with work, I focus on school. These are the two things I have to do, and the two things I don’t want to do. So I make sure to get them done first. Then, I start the evening right.

It might seem like it sounds like a recipe for getting burned out. But, the truth is is that I need these things in my life because they are my priorities. Yours could be completely different from those. Also, I let everything go on Saturdays. I release everything and relax. Weekends are weekends for a reason. They are my time off from everything. So I make sure to have my busy work days so that I can really enjoy the weekends. I managed to not need to get anything done during the weekend. I do grocery shopping and food prepping during the week.

There are ways to make time for everything. It is just a matter of figuring out what is going to be assigned to those times. Some weeks I want to see my family more, so I set aside time for that. I plan for it. Just like you do setting a budget for the week. You set aside money to be able to do fun things as well. When I have a secure plan, my weeks are less stressful.

It seems like a lot of hard work, and maybe not work you want to put into. But, it’s really not. Because no matter what we have to get these things done. And when you accomplish things every day, it makes it easier to keep going to the next day. And to want to wake up and continue it all instead of want to curl into a ball. Understanding that there is only so much time in the day is key, too.

Just being strict with yourself about it can really help.

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