Winter Self-Care Guide: Time Management   

For many of us, it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. In balancing work and family life, squeezing in time for ourselves sometimes gets kicked to the bottom of the list.  

Others may struggle with finding the motivation to take care of their physical or mental health.   

This is why we’re focusing on time management in this latest installment of self-care practices this winter on A Healthier Michigan.  

If your days leave you feeling exhausted and depleted, it can negatively contribute to both your physical and mental health. If you never have time for yourself, over time this can lead to burnout – either at home or at work.  

So much of our lives are outside of our control. Time management is a tool to give yourself control over what you can – empowering yourself to be able to handle the stresses of the unexpected.  

Here are some tips to consider.  

Plan your day around your energy level  

It’s always better to tackle difficult tasks while your energy is at its peak. Try breaking unpleasant tasks into small, manageable tasks and reward yourself after each one.  

Save easier tasks for the times of day when you start to feel fatigued. Find ways to take short breaks – even five minutes is enough to give yourself a fresh perspective. Pay attention to the signals your body sends if you begin to get overwhelmed and take time to address them.  

Try a time use chart  

If you’re struggling to find time in your day for yourself, try looking at the big picture. For a week or two, complete a time log so you can tell how much time you’re spending on your daily activities. This exercise can help you see where you’re spending too much energy and can help you glean insights on how to adjust. Pay attention to things that are pulling your focus away from what’s important.  

Here are some timesaver tips to help you shave off some minutes during your day:  

Get organized  

Being disorganized can eat up more time and cause more harm than good. For example, if you’re spending every morning frantically searching for your keys and wallet, you’re adding in an unnecessary dose of panic and worry to start your day. Or if you lost an important bill in the pile of papers in your desk, it’s going to be harder to make yourself sit down and sort through everything to accomplish the task of just paying the bill.  

Addressing the physical clutter in your life has huge mental health benefits. When it comes to tasks, organizing jobs using a method like a bullet journal can make a big impact as well.  

Here are some time organization tips:  

  • Make a to-do list each day and prioritize it 
  • Use a calendar  
  • Write everything down in one place  
  • Plan in advance  
  • Give yourself a window to be flexible  
  • Kick the procrastination habit by starting small 
  • Keep expectations realistic and achievable  

Whether it’s schoolwork, college courses or work assignments, good time management skills can help you better manage your day while giving yourself time to do the things you love. Organizing your day and being in command can help you feel more prepared and less anxious or worried, reducing your overall stress.  

Each week during January and February 2022, we’ll be featuring a self-care technique to encourage you to try something new and make time for yourself this winter. Follow along on AHealthierMichigan.org. 

Winter Self-Care Guide Archive  

Photo credit: Getty Images

 

 

 

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