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7 Tips for Managing Your Time

Amber Brandt  |  January 02, 2024

We already know that time flies, but when you consider just how many hours of each week we spend sleeping, working, commuting, and even cooking meals – it doesn’t leave much extra margin for hobbies, exercise, and even spending quality time with those we love. The truth is, these everyday demands are an unavoidable part of life – so if we want to experience more breathing room in our schedule, the onus falls to us to manage our time more wisely.

The number one way to create more margin in your life is to get really granular about what you allow on the calendar in the first place. Every time you say yes to something, you’re saying no something else. When you say yes to a traveling soccer team, you’re likely saying no to a few family dinners at home together each week. If you say yes to that promotion, you may be making more money but at what cost? If it’s more hours and stress, it may not be worth it.

Let’s unpack the nuts and bolts of time management so you can be more efficient and get more of what you want out of life.

Time management is basically having a strategy for your day. It’s unlocking the best way to do all the stuff you have to, want to, and need to do. Here are our top 7 tips:

  1. Prioritize. Make a list of all the things on your mind and start sorting them out based on how long they’ll take and how urgently they need to get done.
  2. Capitalize on your energy. Are you freshest in the morning or late at night? When does it make the most sense to carve out uninterrupted time to dedicate to your necessary tasks, and can you make that coincide with the time of day you have the most energy to be productive?
  3. Delegate. If you’re very particular about how you like things done, it may be difficult for you to offload tasks to a partner or child… but what’s on your list that is low stakes or skill-appropriate for someone else in your home? Surely someone else could hang that new shower curtain, change out the laundry, or write down a shopping list while you dictate it aloud.
  4. Eliminate distractions. As crucial as devices are to our lives, they’re also a big drain on our time. What can you stow away, power down, or remove from your work area? What do you need to complete or check off your list in order to focus on a more important task?
  5. Stop multitasking. We’ve been conditioned to believe that the more we can juggle, the more productive we are – but too many tasks just become a distraction and sabotage our efforts. Slow down and focus on one thing at a time. Give it your focused attention and effort, then check it off the list, and move on.
  6. Track your time. Have you ever sat down and tried to remember what you did yesterday? If you make time stamps along the way, you’ll quickly get a cross section of how productive you’ve been and identify areas where time could have been spent more wisely. This is a good way to course correct.
  7. Deal with stress wisely. Stress is the number one way to impede productivity. When we’re overwhelmed, we often neglect our own needs, and can end up discharging our feelings on others. Deep breathing, listening to music, or taking a quick walk can help you shuffle priorities back into order and regain a clearer, calmer outlook.
Learning to make the best use of our time is sure to be a lifelong process… but the more we learn and demonstrate, the easier it will be for our kids to follow suit. Each of these tips can work for them too, modifying wherever necessary for age appropriateness. Take control of your calendar with smarter yesses and nos, and before long, you’ll find the best rhythms for your family.

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