By Diann Douglas
Time is one thing we never seem to have enough of these days and it is at a premium during the holiday season. Think about it: you start at Thanksgiving and take approximately six weeks of your life, add in all the extra activities and events, only to end up exhausted and crazy by the New Year.
This year, work smarter and use time management strategies to devise a workable holiday for you and your family. Sit down this weekend with a calendar and map out a plan to accomplish what you want to do. It means you get organized ahead of time, prioritize what you want to do and may even strike some things off the list to keep the family atmosphere calm and in the spirit of the season. You need to find a balance; your 24 hours must be divided between work, family, activities and sleep. Recognize too, while planning takes time at the beginning of the season, it saves much more time in the long run.
A time plan is a great tool to help you organize activities. It can be a general outline of things you want to do or it can be a highly detailed schedule. The easiest time plan is simply a list of projects, large and small, to be done as time is available and you are motivated to accomplish them. A time schedule is more detailed to include both a sequence of projects and estimates of time necessary for doing them. Making out a schedule forces you to take a look at your entire day or week and make some true decisions as to the importance of various activities.
Here are a few suggestions on managing your time form Extension Specialists in family resource management:
• Make and use a ”things to do” list for each day. List and do them in order of importance.
• Keep a notebook and calendar with you all the time. Use them for listing tasks to be completed, appointments, and shopping needs.
• Use your waiting time. Accomplish small chores while you wait, such as reading, writing letters, or making a shopping list. Look at waiting time as a gift of time rather than a waste of time.
• Guard yourself against agreeing to do things that you don’t have time to do well. Learn how to say No or I don’t have time to do a good job, it would not be fair of me to take this on. Be firm!
• Don’t let unplanned activities drain away your own plan for using the day.
• Concentrate on one thing at a time. Put all of you energy in to the task at hand. Tune out interruptions. Don’t waste time thinking of all the things that have to be done.
• And, last but not least, be sure to block out time for relaxation and rest.
For more information on mananging your time and resource, contact the Madison County Extension office.
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