The Trick to Time Management

My to do list is actually as long as my arm right now. I wish I was kidding.  It just keeps growing and I just keep working and not running and getting tired and stressed out.  Although I’m considerably less stressed out than I ever was in Ontario (people in BC are just so nice when they’re not my customers at work), things are starting to get overwhelming.

This is actually me, I’m running and juggling five clocks.

So today I decided it was time to get down to some serious time management business.  And the following are Amalia’s five super-awesome time management tips and tricks for people who need to sleep-eat-work-do a hobby-see their loved ones and friends-achieve goals-apply to school or some other thing – or do whatever it is you do on a regular basis.

Amalia’s Five Super-Awesome Time Management Tips and Tricks for People Who Need to Do Lots of Stuff Every Day

1. Make a list

Duh.

You might think, “you’ve already done this, how is this helpful?” But its not necessarily the making of the list that is the special part… its HOW you make the list.

My list used to look like a long list of things with no sort of organizational scheme, food that I needed to buy or wanted to try mixed in with paying bills, etc. That was not a functional sort of list.

Now it looks more like this.
Well, exactly like this.

On your to-do list there are MAJOR long term goals. And there are some big things that HAVE TO be done soon, but you can’t do anything about now.  Those are what goes on the left. Think of the left as a back burner. That way, they are there, and on the |”back burner” but there is no pressure to do anything about them this week. This week is for other things.

One of the major sources of my anxiety before it made it to the left side of the page was the following:

It’s hard to think of little things when big things are looming around the corner — like finding an apartment. But sometimes, those big things have to wait… until you know where the person you live with is working, for example.  Patience is key, and something I lack. So writing it on the page means that I know it’s there, I’m acknowledging its presence, but because I cannot do anything about it until Thursday (come soon Thursday!) its not worth putting energy in to.

2. Figure out your priorities.

I have five major priorities. I recommend no more than five ever, otherwise you get crowded.  In no particular order:

A) Continue to develop as a runner and plan time for running/working out.

B) Continue to develop my blog. I enjoy blogging and want to pursue it!

C) Go to school to become a paramedic

D) Keep exploring the world I live in

E) Make sure to keep in touch with friends and family

3. Go for the 1%

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you divide bigger goals and priorities into one hundred smaller goals and priorities and achieve them all in one hundred steps… but its the reminder that by dividing the big things (that can be scary and overwhelming) into smaller things, can be a good way to make big goals into smaller chunks and get a bigger sense of achievement.

The general idea is that all the little steps add up to help you achieve the big one.

4. Don’t beat yourself up

We all have bad days, days where things don’t get done, weeks where we fall off track. Congratulate yourself for what you did achieve, look at why you didn’t achieve your goals, and reset.  You can’t undo what happened, you can’t go back and do things over… so looking forward and planning for the future is the only thing that is realistic and anything other than taking a realistic look at what went wrong and learning from it is going to be a waste of your time.

Don’t dwell on what you didn’t do today or yesterday, just focus on what you can do tomorrow.

5. Sleep and Eat Properly

You can invest all this time and energy into your goals, but if you don’t treat your body right you will run out of steam. It’s like fueling for a long run or a race — you need the preparation to get you through your goal and to your destination!

If you want to make funny faces while fueling, go for it!

Finally

I’m not the world’s most natural organizer — in fact, these are just tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way. I asked Manfriend, the best organizer I know, to give me some advice.. and I would like to introduce a new segment today called

From the Mouth of Manfriend

Manfriend does not wish to be pictured on the blog or have his face shown (he is a private lad and I respect that) so I will entertain you all with this picture of him trying my new foam roller

Me: What is advice you would give people who are trying to be better with time management?

Manfriend: Prioritize

Me: Prioritize how… like doing the most important things first?

Manfriend: Like being invested in what you’re doing. Doing what you want and acknowledging there isn’t enough time in a day for it all. And maybe its not an activity you enjoy but because you want the end goal, you’ll get it done.

There you have it folks, from the mouth of Manfriend!

How do you prioritize? Are you a natural goal-setter and time management person or do you work at it? Advice you have to share with us non-naturals on time management? Tips and tricks that work for you? Comment down below!

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4 responses to “The Trick to Time Management

  1. Great post and love the tips for better time management. Especially the point about not worrying too much about the big looming ones we have no control over.

  2. Go Manfriend!

    Great tips – go smash it Amalia!

  3. Pingback: Well-Done Wednesday (8/8/2012) | The Motivated Runner

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