We barely have one hour in a day when we can just rest. Imagine how it is for others who work, study, and take care of their children all at the same time. It’s all about time management, and some people are great at it. There is no secret formula for having great time management skills. You have to work hard on it. You have to discipline yourself. You have to make a conscious effort to follow the “guidelines.”
For example, you want to enroll in paralegal certificate programs while you’re working and taking care of the family. For many, this sounds hideously impossible. But with great time management techniques, you should be able to do this and more. You may even take up a hobby if you’re up to it.
Make a Schedule and Stick to It
A lot of successful people have a clear schedule every day. They wake up on a specific time in the morning. They jog in the park. They have their breakfast and read the newspaper. They answer emails, take a bath, go to work, solve work problems, and go home. Do you know about Elon Musk’s five-minute time-block schedule? While that is impossible to follow without an executive secretary, you can time yourself and divide your schedule in increments.
For example, before going to bed, prepare breakfast in advance so that you don’t have to waste time on that in the morning. Then, the next day, wake up early and answer work emails. If there is still extra time between that time and the time your kids will wake up to prepare for school, do some reading for your paralegal course. Or you can also opt to run on the treadmill.
Keep to the schedule and follow it religiously. Creating order is the first step in managing and taking control of your time. Write down your day in 30-minute chunks and put down the set events such as your working hours and class schedule. You can fill up the vacant hours with more things you can do such as preparing dinner, doing laundry, paying bills, and cleaning the house.
Learn to Sacrifice Your Time
If you want to succeed in your work, study, and relationship, you have to sacrifice a big chunk of your time. You can no longer binge-watch your favorite TV show or browse your Facebook feed all day. Sure, you need to avoid burnout and rest, but you also have to forego meeting with friends or getting an afternoon nap. If pursuing your dreams means watching less Netflix, then that’s worth it.
Who hasn’t procrastinated? Everybody procrastinates. You procrastinate in the morning when you check your social media feeds before fully waking up and starting your day. People procrastinate more when they feel overwhelmed by the amount of work they need to do. But that only worsens your feeling because you’re going to worry about the work you haven’t done. Practice how to stop procrastinating. Just act. Do what needs to be done. There’s going to be a huge difference in how you manage your time.
Time management is about discipline and a lot of practice. You need to believe that these are the things that you need to do to manage your time well. Otherwise, you’ll be wasting time on mundane and unimportant things.