Time management is key when trying to clear space for personal moments in a busy life. Trying to reach a successful life balance is no easy feat, but being proactive and organized will mean more spare time to do things outside work that are important for well-being. These three examples of time management tips and tricks help create opportunities to maximize hours and days in each week or month.
Having sight of what’s coming up during the next days, weeks, or months is a good way to plan some personal time. Record commitments and events in a weekly or monthly planner. Make a list of all must-do activities in this planner and commit to them — being reliable and showing up to the events family and friends are holding is important.
Look at all the things that could be good or helpful to meet new people, undertake interesting experiences, or add to your career, and order them in terms of most important to least important. If it looks like going to some of the least important events means there will be less time to relax and recharge, skip them completely or find another time to attend. It’s never a good idea to make back-to-back plans, because between maintaining long professional hours and giving over evenings and weekends to friends and family, there is often little space left over for time to undertake personal projects, relaxation, and recreation.
Adopt the time management strategy of proper planning to ensure you get the most out of your time. Reflect on how long certain day-to-day activities take and try to find ways to get them done more efficiently. Cooking dinner can take up a lot of after-work hours that could be better spent exercising, reading, or watching TV with the family. Maximize time and think about cooking for the week in bulk by preparing food on Sunday afternoons or Monday evenings. Get most of the cooking out of the way in advance, store food properly so it lasts longer, and keep meals in the freezer to eat later; this frees up time to dedicate to other projects or commitments.
Achieve two goals at once, and instead of meeting a friend at a bar or cafe, ask if they want to join in a session at the gym or walk around a local park. This way, you can meet some fitness goals while getting in some quality conversation with friends at the same time.
3. Set goals
Are personal goals taking a back seat? Want to run a marathon, but can’t find the time to train? Struggling to finish that book because you’re busy over weekends and evenings? Setting goals that meet personal expectations are just as important as those made in professional or social settings. Record progress in a notebook to help keep motivation going.
Be dedicated to achieving personal goals with as much determination as you would tackle a professional objective. The opportunity to better yourself through learning new skills or being open to fresh experiences can make life more exciting and worthwhile. Learning a new language, for example, could lead to so many other things besides being able to speak to someone from another country. Taking part in language classes could mean making friends, learning about another culture, and it may lead to a promotion at work or a transfer to another country.
Customize these time management tips and hints to suit any lifestyle. There are always clever ways to balance commitments without sacrificing personal time.