self-managing my time

We all have key roles to play when it comes to protecting our own health but all self-care, self-management, and self-parenting are, is becoming aware and being able to treat and manage your own mental health and wellbeing. To begin self-care it has to be initiated by the individual who requires it by managing their self and time better.

Time is the greatest resource we have that there never seems to be enough of or it passes too quickly. It is how we measure the passage of time representing the present as being between the past and future. There is nothing we can do to slow it down or get more of it, we have as much or as little as life presently allows, so making the most of it is vital.

Time is a continuous process of progression from the past, through the present and into the future. All we can do with the time we have is to get the most out of it. There are many ways where one goes about getting the most out of their day but without time management skills, you may be setting yourself up for failure time and time again.

We all want to accomplish more, procrastinate less and free up time for non-work related activities such as family days out or personal care.

Planning is a must to get the most effective use out of your time. Self-management involves time management so planning your day the night before, writing down things you need to do the next day and the steps it takes in order to accomplish the tasks and goals you need to achieve, could be more beneficial.

Gathering any information like phone numbers, paperwork or items required so you’re prepared and less likely to forget something allows for better organisation. The best tips to improve time-management consists of delegating, planning and prioritising, setting goals to work towards or that are achievable, meet deadlines, stay organised, find your productive time and minimise stress.

Sometimes we don’t notice where we are wasting time (procrastinating) or bringing on unnecessary stress by trying to juggle or take on more than we should. Self-care is often the time that is first to go and when this happens a sluggish cycle is likely to take its place, altering your mindset to think, act or behave differently.

We can put ourselves off doing any task for many a cluster of reasons, you may not know where to start, dislike it, understand it, lack confidence in your abilities to accomplish the task or worry about the outcome. Whatever the reason avoiding it creates anxiety that is getting no one anywhere. This, in turn, has knock-on effects that better management skills could have prevented.

More often than not it is better to just tackle the more worrying or difficult task first while you have the mental and physical strength to combat any unpleasantries that may or may not arise. Sometimes the hardest job is initially starting the task but not always, sometimes determination is the driving force alone that sees you through completion.

A good tip I plan on incorporating into my day-to-day living is prioritising and planning jobs the night before so I at least have some direction the next day. I often find whilst doing the easy or more enjoyable tasks first I’m constantly reflecting on the fact I have the bigger job in the back of my mind, like a dark permanent reminder.

I’m always focusing on the task I’m avoiding for whatever reason making everything seem much more challenging than it really is, creating unnecessary stress that then requires further management to get things back under control.

By prioritising tasks to start with the most difficult, more time-consuming or least pleasant given the environment fits the task, will allow for more effective and fulfilling results. By getting the one that elicits the more energy drainage out the way first will increase your motivation for what lays ahead, making the easy tasks feel that much more manageable and satisfying.

By spending some time looking into what you need to do with your time you may find someone else could do the job more effectively by delegating. They may enjoy it more depending on the skill level for the task in question, reducing the time and energy spent managing and thinking about that task. Therefore time is freed to complete other tasks that may require more skill or attention.

When delegating you must be careful not to consistently or frequently have others complete or help with jobs that you should be doing by yourself. This can create many problems so planning, prioritising and delegating require a balance that is considered manageable for the individual, groups or any other party involved.

A goal is a measurable objective that gives us something to work towards. Goals that are too easy won’t help keep us motivated but the ones that represent a challenge that isn’t too difficult, can. Having specific goals in life creates an order which keeps us motivated and working towards something

By setting goals to improve your time-management you can get a better understanding of what you are able to achieve in a day. You become more aware of your capabilities and what goals may have been too high or low, what was achieved and what wasn’t.

When it comes to organisation have a place for everything and put everything in its place. Have what you use more often closest to you and it may be worth setting aside a little time each day for organising.

You could write to-do lists, shred paperwork you no longer need or ensuring everything is in its place. Having a calendar or day planner can help remember important dates and deadlines.

By planning the time you need and keeping a record you will be less likely to forget or find yourself in the position where you have to drop everything in order to complete the objective.

Poor management of time creates unnecessary stress leading to more problems in the future, that could have been avoided. Stress creates anxiety and worry that can become distracting.

By not managing our time this can lead to a lot of stress and anxiety over completing tasks in a timely manner. To reduce stress we first have to figure out what is causing or creating it.

Is the issue at home, work or about a task or job that needs completing because once you figure out what the stressors are, it can be managed. Now that you know what is causing the stress you need to figure out what parts can be controlled and what can’t, break it down.

There will be some stressors that you can not control so you must either try to come up with a way to exert more control or to simply ignore the issue and focus on the parts of the stressors you can control.

Unfortunately, there will be some stress you cannot control therefore focusing on reducing stress physically would be another step you could take. This entails dedicating time to self-manage oneself by getting appropriate sleep, being physically active and eating a balanced diet that is right for you.

Some tips for improving sleep are to reduce distractions, very dark, quiet, going to bed and waking up the same time every day, avoid caffeine late in the day. Before going to bed try relaxing in a warm bath, listen to soothing music, reduce worry by writing a list of things to do the next day.

A common reason for struggling with time management is because we take on to many obligations because of the feeling we can’t say no.

We do this sometimes when we have little time but want to help others, we feel guilty for saying no or have simply misjudged the time we had.

It may feel good at the time to have said yes but have you considered what the actual commitment is?

How much time, effort and energy it will take?

Is it a good use of your time?

If not you could be agreeing to something that takes much longer than first anticipated, thus creating stress, worry and anxiety unnecessarily, that could have been avoidable and manageable.

For those that struggle to say no even when they know they should there are four steps to try help counteract this problem

  1. offer the other person a reason for why you are declining so as not to cause confusion, or make the other person think you are just being selfish or lazy
  2. Be tactful so as not to cause any hurt or anger.
  3. You could suggest an alternative that takes less time, creating another option.
  4. Say no as soon as possible, don’t take time to think that may create more problems if you know you are going to probably have to say no.

I studied ways of improving time management a few years back and thought I’d share my refresher course for those that may find it of use.  I struggle with my executive function skills when I lack consistency, concentration, and focus.

I need to pay more acute attention in these areas because the way I am managing my time at the moment isn’t very beneficial all round. As I continue to work on my self-management things should improve becoming much more manageable.

source of writing www.naturalempathiser.com – feature photo by pixabay

Further reading

  1. Taking care of yourself whilst taking care of others
  2. Sympathy and empathy created the literal word empathiser
  3. Looking into the word individual
  4. Saturday 1st September 2018; Splitting hairs between emotions and feelings

When I needed it the most I found writing again

How to start!!! The ultimate question that has left so many pieces of paper blank, possibly writer’s block implemented in my brain for the past few years.  I miss it, my mum says its something I’ve always done is write it down.

When thinking back she is right, it is when I’m not getting what I’m wanting to say across verbally, I write.

I have not lost the skill, just the ability to use it in the short-term, even what I write is so below my normal skill set but I don’t care I want it back, therapeutic arguably and the more I do it, the more it improves, the better I can communicate.

I had proven this back in February 2018 with A letter I wrote a special General Practitioner in Spring 2018.  This was a  man I have struggled with emotionally over the years, butted heads with but formed a genuine bond in which together, we can now laugh at the history in past memories over the years.

I will never forget our first meeting end December 2012/January 2013. I had just moved to the land of the lost, after seeking refuge.  We had our appointment and his eyes unsettled me to the core near the end as they noticed things my poker face couldn’t hide.

He asked questions that no other doctor has, in the context he done it, maybe compassion is the word I’m looking for.

I clammed up so tight as his brain and eyes were far too observant and sharp, unsettling me and leaving me feeling vulnerably exposed.

I remember the phone conversation with my mum after where I described him as one of these hillbilly doctors, probably living in some cabin in the woods (not stereotyping something from the movies at all here!!) I’d just moved from the city to the country, I was used to the conveyor belt treatment).

His eyes unnerved me because they appeared to look as if they could see through my armour, past the chameleon that is me, as if he could look into my very soul, I left with my tail dangling between my legs.

He wanted to help, always has and regardless of the struggles he always will if he is able, and that was why I cried out for help to him, as I was failing with everyone else.   I knew he would listen and try everything he could to help, I just had to communicate it right so that he could.

I feel honoured and privileged to of had him as my doctor, a pillar to the community and that’s not just my word.

One of the most sought-after doctors here, a credit to his profession and believe you me I’ve only met a handful like him over the years, I wouldn’t be where I am at the moment without his support, understanding, and patience when my behaviour is less easily explained.

I have a plan, a focus, fixing my inner foundations and structure…. That’s if I don’t flat line on appearance and become trapped in an inner hell, looking for anything to clutch so I can come out the other side.

After my appointment back in February 2018 where I handed over words so raw and open to me, overwhelmed was an understatement, silent tears flowed, triggered by anything happened for hours as I got stuck in my past.

Being around me can damage your own mental health when I am like this and verbally communicating, dissecting as my mind raced all because I managed to get the words down, someone took the time to read and I knew I had got across what I wanted to say.

At the time his answers gave so much relief and hope it was intense.  I wanted to hide, thought of the hospital, hiding in my room in a pain no one should have to witness or be around.

Through time I became more high, metaphorically running around looking, listening reflecting on ways I could fight the dark fog threatening to suffocate me. I then became higher emotional instead of low, flat and deflated if that’s the right word.

I’m lucky my mum understands my language and even though verbally to anyone else, they wouldn’t have understood, just left the conversation exhausted and confused, my mum managed and helped to change my perspective slightly.

Best I can explain but to the next point, triggered from the change in perspective, ignorance can be bliss, but I no longer have that option, knowledge, and understanding is what I’m lacking, so fix it.

I read mass amounts always have but have stuck to more fantasy and supernatural, time to come out of fantasy and into reality no matter how badly I want to avoid it.

What I’ve found on mental health has been exhausting, a point-less or more in some ways, so I decided to start looking into the one I refused to believe many a moon ago, ASD but resources are limited and time-consuming.

I have found a book written so brilliantly, I have decided to read the whole thing in one sitting.  Would have been done February 2018, would have been an all nightery as the first 50 pages had me so intrigued but I had promised to switch off, if there is such a thing, to try switch off.

To date, I have still not managed that book and to many tasks to list as far too much has clouded my focus, knocked it off or changed it entirely for that moment in time (mostly out of my control).

Unfortunately, that bit of space with no influence has not been possible and I’ve exhausted the resource that is me yet again. When it does become a reality and space is not just a fantasy, I image I  will have already found most my answers and more.

Eventually, they will become reflective, time frames are just too long though, that is something requiring immediate attention.

My compass is forever shifting as I pass by, no matter how tiny or huge, always shifting to point me in the direction I need, want, or must be at that present time.

Source of writing Natural Empathiser – feature photo by pixabay

Further Reading

  1. Taking care of yourself whilst taking care of others
  2. Looking into the word individual
  3. Sunday 23rd September 2018; taking the lid off words to my action man, long overdue
  4. A letter I wrote a special General Practitioner in Spring 2018
  5. 28th April 2018; reflecting back when a bereavement the day before, shut down my ability to communicate