Now that we’re halfway through January and well into 2020, you may be working on your New Year’s resolutions. We all know the most common ones: eat better, exercise more, drink less, spend less money and so on. The concept of making New Year’s resolutions is a great idea if you’re hoping to make improvements on yourself in the upcoming months, but keeping the New Year’s resolutions that you make is a whole other ballgame. Though keeping your New Year’s resolutions can be a battle in itself; belief in yourself! If you try your best, then that’s all that really matters, right?
Despite the struggles a lot of people may face with keeping things like New Year’s resolutions, there are ways we can work on ourselves in order to feel more accomplished and like we have more control over our lives. These are things that we can work on constantly and start building on at any point of the year, rather than waiting until the New Year to get a start on them. Even better: they’re relatively small things that you can get better at once you get in the habit of practicing them. Not only can we call these skills, but employers will look upon them favorably. So, what have you got to lose?
One so-called skill is that of time management. As most of you will know, time management is a big deal in the world of work and being good at managing your time is one of the main skills desired by employers. Even if you work for yourself or are a freelance worker, time management is incredibly important in order to keep clients happy. Nobody likes it when someone is late to work or hands in a piece of work late. It’s why teachers aim to get you building this skill from the moment you start getting homework in school. Praise if you hand your homework in on time, detention or a reprimanding if you don’t. In short, time management is a key component to success in life.
Now, being good at managing your time can take a long time to do, especially if you’re aiming to be at a master level (the dream, am I right?). Whilst this is highly desirable, it’s often not likely, nor easy to accomplish. Life is hectic, especially when you have kids to occupy your every waking (and maybe non-waking, depending on their age) hour. So, below are some ideas on how to improve your time management skills. Whether you’re looking to better yourself in this area for career purposes or simply to make family life a little less chaotic, these ideas could prove to be the key to the next level of your time management journey.
Let’s start off easy. This one sounds blatantly obvious, but can often be overlooked. Naturally, many people have calendars in their homes or sitting on their office desks but are they actually utilizing them? Calendars can look great in the office or hanging in the kitchen (especially if they have pictures of adorable, fluffy animals on them) but they can also be a really great time management tool. Calendars are specifically useful for keeping track of things like appointments, meetings and other important events like birthdays (we are all human but it’s a given that we all want to avoid the awkward moment when we forget a friend or family member’s birthday!).
Calendars can come in all different shapes and sizes, with all manner of designs available for you to choose from. The fact that you can even have them professionally printed and put together using photographs of your choice means that they can be a great gift; either as a thoughtful present for a grandparent or for someone you know that wants to work on their time management. Either way, they make for a solid gift with sentimental value.
Whatever size, shape or design you choose, hanging or placing your calendar can also be of the utmost importance. It may sound obvious, but it has to be somewhere that you’ll see it and subsequently check it on a regular basis. A kitchen noticeboard at home; right next to the monitor screen for your computer at work; by the door of your home office. Wherever it is, place it in a strategic place that will stand out to you.
Colour Coding and Stickers
This part is particularly fun. The idea of time management can appear dull and lackluster but adding a splash of child-like fun and color into it can make all the difference. Who knew a few colored pens and a sticker here and there could change the way you approach time management as a whole? The best thing about this element to improving your time management? You can get the kids involved! Ask them to designate colors for specific things and let them watch as you mark out certain events in coordination with specific colors. Then add stickers! Whatever your method is with this, let it make you happy and really get into it!
I know what you may be thinking. Planners? Really? It’s 2020! But that’s exactly why planners are a part of this list (and yes, they are still being produced in accordance with the current year!). In a world where technology is at the center of everything we do, it can be helpful to take a step back from the screens and do things manually. Lots of planners come in beautiful designs and don’t have to take up a ton of space in your bag. The right planner is inexpensive but durable and contains enough dates for the year. Even better, most planners come with more than just each week dated for one year. You can purchase planners with space for contact lists, to-do lists, and shopping lists. So, if you’re not a tech wiz then planners may be for you. Plus, they are essentially a portable calendar so if you liked the idea of keeping note of everything in a calendar-like fashion but wanted to be able to take it anywhere you needed to then a planner allows you to do just that.
Many may see it as an old-fashioned concept now that we have smartphones in our hands, laptops in our bags and an Internet connection available almost everywhere; but, one can always be too reliant on technology and at least a planner doesn’t run on a battery that could run out unexpectedly!
Digital Time Management
On the other hand, if you are a self-proclaimed tech wiz and want to keep everything organized on a device or two, then there are plenty of ways to do so. Whether it’s marking down important dates on your phone’s calendar or being diligent with writing reminders or notes that will light up your screen with a notification when the time is right, you won’t run out of ways to practice good time management. There are also apps and programs that help keep you on track – all you have to do is input the information and details you need to remember and it’ll organize it for you. This one is particularly good if you’re aiming to have better time management skills or the perfect work schedule. It is also another one that, depending on their ages, you can get the kids involved with. Especially if you’re not all that familiar with this type of technology, chances are that your kids will be experts at it in no time.
Newly middle-aged wife of 1, Mom of 3, Grandma of 2. A professional blogger who has lived in 3 places since losing her home to a house fire in October 2018 with her husband. Becky appreciates being self-employed which has allowed her to work from 'anywhere'. Life is better when you can laugh. As you can tell by her Facebook page where she keeps the humor memes going daily. Becky looks forward to the upcoming new year. It will be fun to see what 2020 holds.