When there isn’t enough time

Evaluate your time-management skills.

Whenever you ask a person what causes them stress, often, lack of time is going to be one of their answers. One would think with all the new technology available, we would have more time, not less. So what is a person to do? Michigan State University Extension has some suggestion to get you started.

Begin setting family goals and priorities. Each family has their own unique set of values and ways of doing things. The goals and priorities will naturally fall around these values. Examples of household values might be education, spending time together as a family unit, and financial security. Creating household goals will assist in prioritizing what events or demands that you should focus on. So if education is a value and a major goal to successfully accomplish, then it will be a priority.

Another suggestion is to inventory the household resources. A resource is anything that a household can use to reach its goals or to meet the demands of a busy life. Special talent or skills such as woodworking or photography are examples of personal resources that a household may utilize. If one of the household goals is financial security, members of the family can contribute by utilizing those special skills to bring in additional funds. Also, the attitude of the household is a huge personal resource. Most would agree that positive attitudes will get a family farther then negative attitudes.

It is also very helpful to inventory outside resources. We are not often acquainted with what is available to our households that can assist in achieving goals. For example, if a family goal is going to purchase a home, county and state governments have programs that may be of assistance. Become familiar with all the resources available through your schools, churches, community and government agencies.

As the household works on improving time-management skills, it is important to step back and evaluate how you are really doing. Take a look at the goals the household has created. List them out and have each member rate if they almost never, sometimes, or almost always take time for these import values. Also take this time to review the personal and community resources. Are you utilizing them to assist in reaching your goals?

Now that we have a good idea what is important, how do you find and manage the time more effectively? Overcoming time-management barriers is the next task. There are going to be times when events, other people, and our feelings are going to keep us from accomplishing what we want. Everybody has some of these barriers some of the time. Think about how often they slow you down and what you can do to overcome them. Here are common barriers. Take a minute and read through them to see what you and your household barrier are and how you might overcome them:

  • Procrastination: Putting off until later what needs to be done now. Give yourself a reward for meeting the deadline.
  • Perfectionism: Regarding anything short of perfect as unacceptable. Strive for excellent and let others worry about perfection.
  • Fear of saying no: Worrying about how others will react when you can’t agree. Learn to decline tactfully, but firmly, requests that so not help you meet your goals.
  • Clutter: Which is scattered and disordered things that reduce effectiveness. Avoid accumulation and shuffling them aimlessly.
  • Preoccupation with past: Excessive concern with former happenings, good and bad. Stop dwelling on the past. Think of the future and work towards it.
  • Decision-making: Some people think they never have enough information. Give yourself a time limit on the amount of time you have to make decisions.
  • Disorganization: Resist planning because they feel it takes too much time. Start small-organize a small project. Then you will see possible benefits to keep going.
  • Technology: Too much screen time eats up time. Utilize specific time through the day to check email, voicemail, social media etc.

Everyone can improve their time-management skills. Start by making the most of your time. Make a plan of what is it your household would like to accomplish that day and be sure to include down time. Avoid the barriers that eat up valuable time every day like procrastination or not be able to say no. Mastery of time-management can help reduce stress and improve the quality of the household environment.

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