“Time is of the essence”. We hear the phrase and it probably goes over our heads for the most part. It becomes so stressed that “you only live once” or that “time doesn’t stop”. Although both of these things are true, we can’t let them ruin or impact our lives to the point that we lose the value of time.
Finding the Value
We do only have one life. It can be an intimidating thought, understandably. However, if we find so much fear in tomorrow, then how can we comfortably enjoy today? “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” This is a simple but intense quote by John Lennon. It is a very tricky balance to try and maintain. With life consistently moving, finding the ways we want to spend it, becomes quite the task. To be totally honest, you’re most likely going to endure some trial and error, but that means you’re learning.
It is crucial to try not to waste your time. “Waste” of time could mean a variety of different things to a variety of different people. Personally, I need to be doing something or I start to lose my mind, whereas some people start to get overwhelmed when there are a number of tasks in front of them.
The main point here is to never let yourself feel as if you have wasted time. Maybe if you’ve been working really hard on something, and it doesn’t have the exact outcome you had hoped for, you can go in two directions. One is that you’re angry at yourself and the world, you feel as if you have given so much and have gotten nothing reciprocated. Or, outcome two. You used this experience as a time for growth, and although disappointed, you created something of value.
How to Manage Your Time
It’s one thing to talk about finding value in your time, and not so-called “wasting” it, but how can you manage your time effectively? There are a number of benefits that come with effective time management. It does take time, I’m still navigating a few things, but these are some game-changing methods that I used myself.
Write it down and Make Priorities
One of the most crucial things is to write things down. It might sound simple, but as humans, our short-term memories are some of the biggest trials that we have to navigate in life. By writing things down, you are subconsciously becoming aware of what needs to be done and you have a reliable reference point.
There are a variety of methods out there for prioritizing that are easy to research. I personally think that the best method is listening to yourself. You know what is important and what needs to be done. By acknowledging these tasks whether they be assignments, errands, self-care, etc. you are taking a very important step. By setting priorities for yourself, you’ll feel significantly less overwhelmed and you can put things in an order that would be most efficient for you.
Take Breaks and Get Comfortable with “No”
When we find ourselves in a good rhythm, it can be really hard to break that. We become so afraid that if we step back, we might not get back up. Which is okay to an extent. Allow yourself those productive days, but don’t make them a consistent habit. Burnout is so much worse in the long run than a few days off. After a full day at school, work, etc. your body NEEDS to relax. By being aware of this and scheduling your other tasks with this knowledge, you’re more likely to stop procrastinating and get them done.
Something we’ve learned to hate is the idea of saying “no”. Maybe we don’t want to hurt a friend or maybe we simply feel the obligation, but once you get comfortable with saying no, then your time management skills will change for the better. Earlier we talked about priorities, which should still play into this. However, if something isn’t on your radar, or you’re feeling burnt out, or maybe you genuinely just don’t want to do something, say no. It won’t impact others to the extent we allow ourselves to think. At the end of the day, we are all humans, and all need to exhale every now and then.
It’s okay to not feel totally put together all the time. Everyone is living their life for the first time too, and we tend to forget that. Everything is a learning experience if you look at it that way. Unfortunately, not everything can be solved immediately, but we can constantly take steps that will lead us to where we want to be. Successful time management not only helps us now, but it can become a habit that lasts and is beneficial for the rest of our lives.
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