It’s a funny thing about time, no matter what you do, you can’t seem to hold on to it. If you have too much time, it somehow slips away from you, and if you are short of time, you end up chasing after it. It has occurred to me on several occasions that we should try to change the relationship we have with time. Each and every one of us can make an attempt to improve on the time management in our daily routines. We can do better. There are things we can do to save time.
We are all so harried in our personal lives and in our jobs, it appears that we are often rushing around from place to place, meeting to meeting, errand to errand; on foot, by car, taxi, or public transportation. STOP (at least for one minute) and think about it.
It all stems from the very beginning of the day, and even before that. How about implementing extra time in the morning and set your alarm clock 30 minutes earlier than you need to? One simple step that can set the tone for your entire day. Give yourself time to mentally prepare and organize your day.
Maybe you can take an extra long shower, have time for a healthy breakfast, or just take a deep breath before your chaotic day. It is always better to proceed on the better side caution, so even planning your departure time (for everything), with a built-in 5-10 minutes extra window, will eliminate the stress of rushing around. Personally speaking, I need to allow the extra time for my appointments and I feel more organized and in control when I arrive early. Should I arrive late, I feel frazzled and stressed, but that’s just me. Some people like to live on the edge and cut time more closely. You have to know yourself and your own personal time-management preferences, and evaluate what works for you.
If you are stuck and find you are always short of time, maybe you can make some minor adjustments. Whether you are in business or are a stay-at-home parent, you can plan your clothes (check that your preferred business suit is cleaned and pressed before you put it on that morning) or your kids clothes the night before (eliminate the wardrobe battles in the morning) by checking the weather forecast each night. Prepare. Make better use of your time so you reduce the hassle in the morning. Get organized.
Taking control of your time whenever you can is a great habit to cover you for those unforeseen circumstances. Being prepared will always saves you time. Someone once told me, “plan and anticipate for all possible scenarios; hope for the best, expect the worst.” Essentially, it’s about leaving yourself some wiggle room. You know yourself, you know where you can manage your time better. The key is to identify your time wasters (daily search for keys, wallet, phone, glasses, etc.) and set them in a consistent landing place for a quick “grab and go.”
Prioritize your goals and create a realistic plan for the day. Streamline your list of errands, jot them down so they are out of your head and on a piece of paper, clearing your mind for other important things you need to accomplish. Reduce the brain clutter and it will probably reduce the overwhelm. Often, just writing actions down will alleviate the stress. It sets the goal for doing it, not just thinking about it. At the end of the day, saving time with these small simple steps will make you more efficient and productive, and also create more calm for yourself. Grab it when you can. Time is fleeting and the clock is always ticking.