Is your hectic schedule affecting your job, home or personal life? Do you find it hard to get organized? A Zen approach to time management can help you deal with your hectic schedule and may even give you time to finally relax and smell the flowers for once.
Zen Buddhists describe life like being in a boat, there are times of heavy storms that almost leave us capsized and then there are days of quiet shallow waves and peace. A Zen approach is understanding and accepting times of hectic schedule and being able to relax and enjoy times of leisure. How do we do this? We set ourselves up so that we can’t fail. We do this by being fully aware of time and what tasks need to be completed and when.
Time management – planning is your anchor
First take time out of your weekend to plan your schedule for the month; the best time is at the beginning of the month, preferably the 1st. This may seem time consuming but in the end you will save time because you will know what needs to be done and when.
Next take this schedule and break it up into a weekly schedule. Be sure to make adjustments to this schedule on a weekly basis. Being prepared for unexpected tasks and appointments is key to a smooth schedule.
Finally, take that schedule and break it down even further into a daily schedule. Also be sure to adjust this schedule when the unexpected happens.
Having a separate monthly, weekly, and daily schedule can help you assess your schedule on three different levels. Having just a monthly schedule can be overwhelming and can lead to stress. Taking a hectic schedule in small pieces and dealing with it piece by piece not only makes your schedule seem less hectic, it also lets you focus on what needs to be done now instead of worrying about what needs to be done later.
The biggest part of time management is plan, plan, plan! I cannot stress enough how important it is to write out all of your tasks. Just writing out your schedule before going to bed can help provide structure and efficiency. In the morning you can take this written schedule and use it plan your day.
Always keep the horizon in sight for better time management
What good use is a schedule if you don’t use it? Keep your schedule posted near your bed, in your home office, on your kitchen refrigerator, in your living room (near your TV), even in your bathroom! Being constantly reminded of your schedule sets you to succeed. Writing out a schedule and throwing it in your kitchen draw is setting yourself up for failure and most likely it will be forgotten never to be seen or used again.
Technology is Your Sail and your Wind
Using time management programs on your computer, cellphone, etc. can be a great way to keep you sailing in the right direction. Use a reminder on your phone to vibrate whenever an important task needs to be completed. In this day and age many people keep their cellphones with them wherever they go, and setting timed reminders can be a great way to stay on schedule.
When it comes to boating any sailor will tell you that wind can be your friend and your foe. Technology can also lead you in the wrong direction as well. The TV and the Internet can be a distraction from the tasks that need to be completed, beware!
Time Management is a Family Affair
Why take on your hectic schedule alone? Involving friends and family in your time management plan can further ensure that tasks get finished on time. By simply telling your kids, husband/wife, mother, father, friends, etc. your schedule you can further ensure that you stay on task. Children can be especially helpful. You can even make a game out of it by seeing how many times they can remind you of tasks that need to be completed.
Two minds are always better than one, and letting your significant other know your schedule can allow you to work as a team. Sailing can be a single sport, but it’s much easier and much more fun to sail with a partner. I cannot tell you how much stress comes from misunderstanding and miscommunication when it comes to time management. Who’s going to pick up the kids? Who’s going to the store to pick up groceries? Who’s going to take the kids to soccer practice? These are all things that can stress any relationship. With planning, it can take stress off your family’s hectic schedule and take strain off your relationship.
5 Minute Time Management Breaks
By taking 5 minutes out your day to relax and reassess your schedule, you can take time to not only to relieve stress, but to also get refocused and reenergized. Taking 5 minutes out of your lunch break is a great way to assess your schedule.
Take Time to Enjoy the Horizon
Why do we have time management? So we can have time to ourselves of course. Don’t forget to take out time every month, week and day to have time to yourself. This is a great way to relieve stress and helps us focus on what’s important. Take a day each month to relax and enjoy time by yourself. Whether it’s going for a walk, reading a book or just sitting in front of the TV we all need time for ourselves to relax. Also take 2 hours each week, and even just 30 minutes each day can help relieve stress.
Always remember to recognize when you’re overextending yourself. Taking on too much will only lead to getting nothing done. Assess what needs to be done and what you want to get done. Going out for ice cream when the laundry needs to get finished is an example of putting wants before needs.
- Planning is key
- Post your schedule around your home and work
- Use technology as a time management tool
- Stay on Task
- Get others involved