As a creative majoring in one career or the other, there are a million things to do and not enough time. You probably want to take a music class so you can express yourself through that, or you want to revive your love for mathematics, but the hours at your HR job are long, and you don’t know how to juggle everything without breaking down.
Time management is an important aspect of stress management, and you can’t reduce the stress in your life without learning how to manage your time. Everyone has the same amount of time in a day—24 hours—but some people achieve more in the same time frame as others. What’s the secret?
Here are some time management tips that help reduce your life's stress.
Get familiar with the Eisenhower Matrix.
Eisenhower Matrix, also called Priority matrix, divides things that need to be done into four categories: Important and Urgent, Not Important and Urgent, Important and Not Urgent, Not Important and Not Urgent. It is a quadrant shape with the upper part divided into two: Important and Urgent, and Not Important and Urgent.
Getting familiar with this matrix requires knowing how to fit each thing on your to-do into the boxes that best serve them. This helps you decide the ones that are priorities and the ones that are not. And this is the first step of time management: some things are not a priority, and they can wait.
Understand that you can’t be everything you want to be at the same time
Overview of young entrepreneurs working at their respective roles: credit: istock photos
You can’t be a doctor, a writer, a musician, or a great basketball player. They will happen, but they will take time. How about you decide to focus on being a doctor for the next five years and work towards it? It’ll help reduce the time spent doing so many things and give you space to breathe, making you feel fulfilled.
Don’t fill up your to-do list with tasks.
It gets overwhelming each tip you whip out your list and find that you’re still on the tenth thing out of 25, and the day is halved already. Using the Eisenhower Matrix, prioritize each task and start with the urgent and important ones. They’re usually the ones you dread the most, but they’re the ones that deserve a first place on your to-do list.
They take more time and work, so there’s no need to fill up your list with many of them. For instance, you need to draft a document about a research topic and send it to your boss, make blog posts (five of them), edit a video for your YouTube Channel, and arrange your house. All in one day because they’re all important and urgent, save the last one—organizing your home.
The first one you should do is prepare the document for your boss. That’s a frog you’ll rather procrastinate eating until a few hours before the deadline, but it’s one you need to eat. It makes it easier to go through the other things on the list because it isn’t lengthy.
Set a reward system for yourself
For every achievement you make, big or small—especially those froggy ones—reward yourself. It could be a trip to your favorite boutique, a meal at your favorite restaurant, the weekend off to read and binge-watch movies, or engaging in any of your guilty pleasures. It helps you develop confidence, and this boosts your self-esteem.
It takes time to implement these time management tips. Understand that doing more or less doesn’t determine your worth. Instead, having a system that works makes you feel less stressed and more open to taking breaks. It gets easier.