There are many who can time manage really well, they have their life in a perfect balance of what they need to and what they enjoy doing. For others, though this doesn’t come as easy, and it can cause stress and anxiety. Time management becomes a skill of spinning plates and more plates are added, and it becomes harder. There are a few techniques to help in this situation.
Having a list of priorities is a good way to begin time management, as this will enable a better a picture of what is on our to-do lists, and what time we have for these tasks. The top task being the most important to us, this is the task which will get more attention and be done first. It is also important to allocate times of the day as well as how long to the tasks.
For instance, I feel I can get more writing done in the morning and I read better in the evening. I, therefore, allocate mornings to any writing which I have to do, or coursework books. I will allocate time to read at night, as I also find this relaxing.
Without a structure to managing your time, you may find yourself spending too much time, thinking and planning how to spend time. This can become a vicious cycle that may build up to wasting time. Also understand that if you allocate a morning to getting some writing done, and when it comes to that time, and you feel you are not in the mood to do any writing.
Know that it’s OK to not be OK in this situation, and maybe you want to relax or read. I have done this many times, where I have felt I don’t actually want to do my coursework at this time, I will relocate the time to do it. By doing this, I find that I am more productive and I get more quality work done. In the past, I have continued to do work, when I haven’t felt up to doing it and noticed the quality was poor and not up to my usual standard, and then having to redo the work. This again is another example of how I managed my time insufficiently.
My personal experience of managing my time better is that I have also felt more content and having achieved more in my time. This in turn has also boosted my self-esteem and how I feel about myself in general.
When I was experiencing anxiety, time was something which added to my anxiety, among other things. Finding a routine which worked for me and also knowing I could be flexible with the time and it wasn’t set in stone, and I didn’t have to do certain things at a certain time also helped me drastically.
Understanding priorities in my life also aided in my mental health and knowing what needed more time, and giving myself ‘me’ time has also helped. One of the main down flaws which I had was thinking that I always had to be doing something. The first step was giving me the time out to refill or reboost my energy levels, at first this was hard because I was in the habit of always having something to do.
This may be an unusual concept to accept as it may seem, having a time out, is not being as productive or less productive; as mentioned earlier I found doing this was actually more productive for me and I was seeing better quality in my work.
Overall from my experience of time, is that it is like a singular point in a flowing river, once it has passed you can’t get it back. I wanted to understand my time better and manage it better, and still remain productive, if not more productive. It has taken time, but my management of time is now close to its optimum, I believe for me there is that little still room for more improvements.
I’m happy with that as I have already made changes and already seeing the benefits, my anxiety has been lowered and diminished, I now have the day to day concerns and occasional bad days as everyone else, but this no longer gets me into a low mood and lead to anxiety, there have been other factors to also achieve this. In hindsight now, managing time doesn’t take much time, and benefits are noticeable immediately and long-lasting.
Dale Burden is a correspondent for Psychreg. He holds a dual honours degree in Psychology and Neuroscience from Keele University.
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