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Time Management for a Better You

by Erin Rainwater

Ever catch yourself saying, “I’m just too busy” or “I can never catch a break” or even “I wish I had time for that but I just don’t”?


What if I told you that you do, in fact, have time for the things you enjoy? Things like that new Pilates class that just started, that running club you’ve been considering, that date night you’ve been promising your spouse, or even that day you desperately need for self-care.


It takes work and sacrifices, but it IS possible. You’ll be surprised by the difference it makes in every aspect of your life—from work to home and relationships, all of which affect your mental health.

Time management is not about doing more, it's about making time for what matters most.


Good time management lets you get more done in less time, freeing up extra time for things that fill your cup. It means limiting distractions, setting boundaries, focusing on one thing at a time, scheduling your time, and prioritizing your needs and wants. It can seem overwhelming at first, but it all starts with a plan.


As Steven Covey has said, "The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities."


Once a month, set aside a day to make a monthly plan. Include the big things: work deadlines, meetings, kids’ practices, birthdays, doctor appointments.

Your calendar should also include things that fill your cup and give you something to look forward to.

This monthly schedule becomes the foundation for your weekly and daily plans.


Then, once a week, wake up an hour early on Monday to make your weekly plan. Schedule uninterrupted time blocks for must-do tasks. This weekly schedule helps you see when you need to hyper-focus and when you have extra time. It highlights days you can spend cleaning, doing family activities, or starting a new work project.


Every day, take a few minutes to make a daily plan.

Use your monthly and weekly calendar as a guide. Organize what must be done today, what can wait, and what might not fit this week. Be specific. If you have to drive somewhere, account for traffic. If a co-worker loves to chat, add extra time for that. Once you get everything written down and into a calendar, you'll appreciate how smoothly time passes.


No more road rage because of unexpected traffic—you accounted for it! No more last-minute rushes because a co-worker held you up—you saw it coming and made time for it! 


Reflect and review your scheduling regularly. If something isn’t working, change it up and find what works better.


Things will pop up, and you must adapt. Sometimes that means moving things around, and sometimes it means saying no. Setting boundaries and saying “no” can be tough, but it’s crucial. 

Alpstra Time Management Tips

Instead of feeling obligated to take on extra projects, express your dedication to quality: “Unfortunately, a new project due this week would not allow me to ensure quality on my current projects. However, I’d love to work on this project later to give it the attention it deserves.”


By setting goals, prioritizing tasks, planning days, setting boundaries, and balancing work and home life, your productivity will improve, leaving you with the extra time you seek. 


Remember, time management takes practice and dedication. Start today - review, reflect, and adapt - and you’ll soon see how managing your time transforms your life for the better.


Time management is not about doing more, it's about making time for what matters most.


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