Are you someone who’s extra challenged with time management? Maybe you read my last blog post, and have tried implementing my suggestions, but you still can’t get a grip on your schedule. You might be what Gretchen Rubin calls “A Rebel”. You have a hard time meeting expectations for others, and for yourself, despite how badly you want to succeed. If you’re someone who wants to circumvent traditional productivity tips, this post is for you!
If you’re a rebel, you might have trouble with time management because you don’t feel motivated by checklists or rules. Traditional time blocking techniques can feel too constraining, and it’s not the only way to be productive. You probably don’t like routines, or if you do, you need to switch it up pretty often. Not everyone thrives with structure. There is no “one size fits all” approach to time management. In this post, I’ll give you tips so that you can make the most out of your time, rather than torturing yourself feeling like you “should” be doing something, but you’re procrastinating until the last minute.
-Instead of trying to schedule yourself to the minute, try blocking off larger chunks of time, or “day block”. Pick certain days to do specific tasks, and allow yourself to complete those tasks at any point during the day. Estimating how long tasks will take can be hard. Give yourself lots of wiggle room. Remember idle time and transition time if you do try to block out your time. Switching tasks can be very hard, especially for people with ADHD. Get to know yourself. Are you someone who works better with internal or external deadlines? And are you someone who can gradually work on projects little by little, or do you prefer to push up against deadlines and hyperfocus to get it all done?
-It can be overwhelming to keep track of all the things you want and need to do in your head. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, do a brain dump. Write down all the things you need to do, and all the things you want to do. Once you get it out of your head and onto paper, it can be a lot easier to prioritize and focus on what’s most important.
-Surround yourself with people who motivate you. The people who appear to be the most disciplined actually have to exert willpower the least. They don’t put themselves situations with a lot of temptations. There is an old saying that you are the average of the 5 people you associate with most. Be discerning about who you spend time with.
-Activate your subconscious to help you accomplish your goals. Make a vision board and look at it. Put simple images or messages to yourself in places that you casually see often, such as inside of a drawer or cabinet that you open frequently. If you’re on social media, follow other accounts that motivate you. Seeing photos and videos of people doing what you want to be doing will help you make it happen for yourself too. Do visualization techniques so your brain can gather the data it needs to help you get where you want to go. Uncover your limiting beliefs about success. Do hypnotherapy to help you raise your self-esteem and self-worth.
-Figure out your values, and notice when your actions are in and out of alignment with what’s important to you. Notice your patterns- what gets you derailed the most often? What distracts you from your own priorities? Do you know what your priorities are?
-Use your gifts. Delegate what you can. Raise your vibration, especially when it’s a task you’ve been avoiding. If you’ve got a big hurdle of a task to get started on, set a timer for yourself. Sometimes getting started is the hardest part.
-As James Clear says, “manage energy, not time”. Look several steps back and figure out what’s zapping your energy the most. Are you having a hard time waking up in the morning? Perhaps it’s because you need more sleep, but you can’t seem get to bed on time because you’re eating junk food at night to help soothe yourself from your stressful boss. Do you need to learn different coping mechanisms? Or do you need a bigger change in your life? Or both?
-Optimize your environment. If you can, adjust the lighting, temperature, air quality, humidity level, scent, or whatever else is dragging you down. Bodily pain can be another major distraction. Improve the ergonomics of where you’re working. You may need a sit/stand desk, a new chair, or any number of other modifications. If you can’t make these adjustments, either find a new environment, or learn how to tune out distractions so you can focus on what’s most important.
-Most importantly, work on improving the activity of your prefrontal cortex (PFC) in your brain. The PFC is where most executive functions take place such as focus, planning, working memory, self-control, organization, and task initiation (and more!). These skills are all important to time management. You can improve the activity in your PFC many different ways such as by learning to manage stress, getting more sleep, meditation, word games, puzzles, meditation, getting better nutrition, exercise and relaxing activities such as coloring. This is not an exhaustive list. Notice what activities you like to do that also help you attain better executive functioning skills.
Posted By Jean Prominski, Certified Professional Organizer
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