How do you manage your time nurses? How much “free” time do you have? Do you always feel rushed and short of time?
Do you spend time doing things you really love, as well as the necessities of life?
How much time do you spend at work? Doing chores? Childcare?
How much on Learning? Fun? Sleep? Life planning? Helping others?
Do you spend time looking for items you have mislaid?
Do you waste time because you have too little that interests you?
Start to look at how you spend your time. Keep a record for a week of what you do each day. You can get more done with better organization.
Three Top Tips to Make Better Use of Your Time
- Stop watching TV
If you are thinking, “But what would I do without my favorite shows?”, maybe you should take action and find out. Instead of watching TV, you can meet friends, play with your children, de-clutter a cupboard, spend time with your partner talking, read an inspiring book, go to the gym, enroll in a dance class, phone friends or family, write a book, plan your future goals, or learn how to invest your mone. What would you do?
- Stop reading daily newspapers
You will cut a lot of negativity from your life by choosing not to read the latest news about war, disaster, death, terrorism, scandals and potential threats to your security. It is not important to know about all the disasters in the world. This is especially true if you watch TV news just before you try to sleep. You will gain peace of mind as well as time. Read about positive things that are happening in the world to give you a balanced view.
- Give up alcohol
If you are in the habit of drinking every night, or overdoing it regularly, then cut down or stop completely for a while. Instead of waking up feeling hungover, hungry or sick and tired, you can start the day with energy, a clear head and more patience with those around you.
What Are My Real Priorities
Think about the answer -- ask the question over and over and write everything down. No matter how odd it first appears, the nuggets of wisdom will come if you keep asking yourself.
Make your own life as important to you as the fictional lives or “reality” that you watch on TV or read about in trashy magazines.
If you spend lots of time ferrying your children around to different activities, look at how you could plan something for you. They do not have ownership of all your time. They may even prefer to spend time with you, or just relaxing too!
Perhaps you really do try to fit in more than you can physically and emotionally handle, so look at your priorities, cancel some activities, learn to say “no” to people and plans, and book some “down time” as well. Some of the best ideas and plans will come to you when you are just “being.”
Plan your time
To utilize your time better, plot out on a time chart what activities you currently do during the day, and evening, and think of ways that you could get them done in less time. Keep a diary of what you do in an average day, at work and at home, to highlight where you spend your time, and look out for ideas in magazines and books for how you could utilize your time better.
There are many tools available for “time management,” but they will only work if you like them, use them and take action. If none of them suit your needs, then design your own. Have some sessions with a coach, or get a buddy who will do this with you.
You may have books on time management languishing on your book case, so dust them off, take the best bits from each of them, and devise a system you really like.
Also remember that some things are out of your control, and as Barbara Winter asks, “If you have never done something before, how do you know how long it will take?” Be flexible, but stay in control.
Using Time Better
Karen, 40, felt that she wanted to spend more time with her family on weekends. During the coaching session, she revealed that she spent a lot of her weekend cleaning the house and only doing nice things when the chores had been done.
We explored the reasons for this, and also the feeling that life was passing her by instead of enjoying her time with her family. Her goal was to only do the cleaning that was absolutely necessary. She would involve her family in helping her and then they would all go out somewhere together each Saturday afternoon and most Sundays.
The following session was very positive. Instead of getting up early on Saturday and cleaning alone, she went back to bed with her husband for a cuddle, then they did some tidying together. She left some jobs unfinished and was relaxed about this as she said she was having too much fun to worry about it! All the family members were taking turns to choose something that they wanted to do and were working together and having fun as a family team.
You too can make plans, book tickets, involve everyone, and have a 24 hour “holiday extravaganza” each week.
Situation and self awareness
- Think about how much “free” time there is in your life at the moment.
- How much TV do you watch without really enjoying it?
- How could you use your time better? How could you organize your “life maintenance jobs” into a shorter time?
- How could you have a 24 hour “holiday extravaganza” every week?
- What have you discovered from these questions?
Target - time specific
- What exactly do you want? When can you fit tasks/ fun/ relaxation/ fitness in?
- How could you use your time the best?
- What would you like to get done that you can’t fit in at present?
- What would be the benefits of being better organized. Make them vivid in your mind.
Action - possible and actual
- List all the ideas you can think of, enlist friends or a coach to help you.
- Look at all your options. Spend a week becoming aware of what you do, then analyze it. Know where you really are now.
- Which actions seem the best for you to try?
- Which of these are you going to do? Keep your activity diary every day while you alter your plans.
- What one action can you do today to move closer to your target?
When are you going to do your others? Be specific -- day, time, location.
Plan to do small actions initially.
Reflect on your results
- What worked well?
- What did you enjoy?
- What was difficult, but rewarding?
- What did not work?
- Why was that?
- Was it up to you, or others?
Start a new week with more information, and edit your organization plan so it suits you better. Keep a record of your achievements and difficulties, then follow the STAR system for another week.
Lots of small actions add up, so keep going and keep revising your plan. Never give up if it is not working, but try something new and adapt it every week if you have to. Spend time looking at what works for you, and keep going until you have a system that works effectively and that you enjoy using.
Repeat until your organization is excellent - keep going, as it might take some time, but it will be worth it!