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Family Living Focus: Tips for Time Management

We are always looking for ways to do things better and more efficiently. Try some of the following “Tips for Time Management” to help you out at work, home and in your personal life.

• Ask yourself “Do I really need to do this?” Many things in your life tend to not need doing. Some people have a hard time saying “no” or “I’m not going to do this.” Realistically ask yourself if it has to be done and if it is important. If the answer is no, then don’t do it.

Make time for you and schedule it on your calendar. If you don’t schedule your fun times, you probably will never get them.

• Operate from only “one” calendar system. Combine business, office and personal calendars (using a different color pen for each) to ensure that you are not over booking yourself.

• Schedule more time for tasks than you think is necessary. If you have never performed a task, estimate the time involved and add an extra 25%.

• Maintain flexibility. Avoid filling all of the time slots. Allow some time so you can handle the unexpected calmly rather than stressed due to confusion and chaos.

• Let your involvement in activities be aligned with your goals, not by the open slots of your calendar.

• Concentrate on little bits and pieces of your projects; don’t think “all or nothing.” Do something daily. Agree to start a project and stay with it for five minutes. Consider another five minutes at the end of the first.

• Provide for regular and periodic review time. What am I doing now? What do I need to be doing now? Where do I need to be at this time? How much can I accomplish in the time I have left?

• Under set your daily task/goals to ensure completion and success, and so you experience progress and achievement.

• Accept yourself. Give yourself time to change. Expect and forgive backsliding. Give yourself credit for anything you do. Forgive yourself a lot!

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If you would like more information on “Tips for Time Management” feel free to contact Gail Gilman, Family Life Consultant, M.Ed., C.F.C.S. and Professor Emeritus – University of Minnesota at waldn001@umn.edu. Be sure to watch for more Family Living Focus™ information in next week’s paper.

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