Am I the only one who feels like there are never enough hours in the day to accomplish what I hope to achieve? To manage this struggle, I became a list person. I love the way it feels to check off or cross a line through an item on my to do list. In fact, no matter how silly it may sound, I sometimes even write something down that I have already completed so at the end of the day I can reflect on what I have accomplished.
With that said, I have learned how important it is for me to plan. At the end of each month, I look at the upcoming month and write down my ideal plan for the month in erasable pen. This planning session for the month includes doctor’s appointments, meetings, vacation time, remote work days, family events and gatherings, and usually a workout schedule. I will also make professional and personal goals for myself each month and insert items on my to do lists to help me achieve my goals. I thought this was silly at first but looking back I am so impressed with what I have been able to accomplish and know that this was a high successful method to helping me achieve success. Most importantly, I make sure I make time for me each and every week. The importance of this took me a while to learn however, without time for myself, I am unable to take care of others… and that’s my job so I need to have time to rest, rejuvenate and restore. So, I give you permission to care out an hour or two for yourself each and every week and do something for yourself. And if someone gives you a hard time about it… tell them your therapist said so!
Recently, I have really noticed that the time devoted to planning my upcoming month has been an invaluable for my peace of mind and quality of life. Planning has allowed me to stay focused and present in the moment, clearly identify my prioritize, and most importantly, learn when I am putting unrealistic expectations on myself. This monthly planning tradition has also helped me learn when to say “no” to invitations to events, parties, gathering and even dinner dates. Of course, this is not something I want to do. However, I was wearing myself out going from event to event because I did not want to upset anyone by not making it to their event. What I realized was I was not being realistic with my time, and when marathon days occurred, I was always watching the clock and stressing about leaving on time rather than just simply celebrating my time with my loved ones.
Here are a few links to planners and organizers that can help you get a grasp of your time and make the most of it.