6 Tips for Managing Your Time during the Busyness of the Holidays
With the holiday season approaching, it seems that time feels crunched. Getting tasks done before the New Year or winter travel and family gatherings may seem difficult to overcome at this point. In preparation for the holiday season, here are a few of our favorite time management tips:
1. Time is a myth.
One of the biggest wastes of time is stressing about time. If you quantify your time in a day, or obsess about how little time you have to finish a project, it will likely exhaust you and take up too much space in your brain, triggering more anxiety about time--a negative-thought spiral trap. The first step to managing time is realizing that your perception of time is a myth. Try to change your thought-process by reaffirming that you have enough time to accomplish your to-do list. Replace negative language with positive language, i.e. avoid saying, “I hope I don’t run out of time to finish [x]” and try, “I can complete [x] before Friday.”
2. Write down your responsibilities.
Writing a list, whether on an app or on old-fashioned notebook paper, will get the tasks you need to accomplish out of your head and put them visibly in front of you. Add and subtract to your chore list as needed. For list-making advice, check out our post “5 Tips for Making ‘To-Do’ Lists.”
3. Analyze your current use of time.
Ask yourself: at what time of day am I the most productive? What distracts me? When am I feeling the best about time and accomplishing tasks? What environments assist my productivity levels? By analyzing your current use of time, you may be able to find the best time of day and the best space to complete your to-do list. You may also be able to understand what creates roadblocks. Asking yourself where and how you’re spending time may help maximize your productivity.
After you complete your to-do lists and analyze your use of time, order your tasks. What is the most important job? What tasks have deadlines? What could be put off and what needs attention immediately?
5. Set aside time for yourself.
This tip seems counterintuitive, but if you’re feeling crunched for time, don’t completely disregard time for yourself. If you find joy in exercising or reading or grabbing coffee with a friend, don’t completely get rid of those pleasantries. The danger with letting hobbies or socializing go by the wayside is that you will feel like your work is consuming you. You may also feel less productive and more worn-out. Also, don’t forget to get some sleep.
6. Just do it.
This may seem obvious, but after you follow through with the steps above, get your work done. Just do it. Realize that the amount of time you worry about time and deadlines will definitely detract you from your potential efficiency. You got this.