Spring, the time of rejuvenation, is in full swing. And summer, the time to relax and refresh, is not far off!
With your demanding career in law, you know more than anyone how busy life gets. There doesn't seem to be enough time in a day for work, family, chores, relaxation, hobbies...the list goes on. On top of that, there are a number of distractions that can easily whittle away hours of your time if you're not careful.
If you're feeling frustrated or worn out, then it's time to level up those time management skills! Work-life balance is important, so check out these tips on how to make the most of your time and see what you can apply to your life. Depending on your personality, these techniques may work better for some rather than others. Try each one out and find what works for you!
Rise early, make it a routine, and stick to it. Set an alarm and start your day early each morning so you can take full advantage of it. Many successful, well-known figures start their days especially early, working in a bit of exercise or meditation before the workday begins. There are less distractions in the early hours. Your willpower is also higher in the morning--studies have shown that willpower decreases throughout the day. So why not take advantage of this fact?
If you're seriously considering setting an early alarm, try to ease into it. Your body will thank you for giving it time to adjust to the change.
With uninterrupted time at your disposal and a higher willpower, productivity is within reach! Sticking to a routine and weaving productivity into your morning will form it into a good habit in the long run.
Keep organized with lists and schedules. You have a lot on your mind. Keep an organized schedule or write down a daily to-do list for yourself, so you're less likely to forget everything that's on your overflowing plate. There's a wide variety of time management apps out there that have been created to help you stay productive, enhance your focus, and keep you organized. Some are free while others have paid features. If you struggle to stay focused, try Focus Booster, which will time your tasks and reward you with breaks. If you're consistently forgetting tasks during the busy week, Remember the Milk will gladly keep you organized so you don't miss a thing.
Have the discipline to stick to your schedule! However, don't fill every single hour with tasks. You never know what the day might bring. Keep some time open so that you can remain flexible and deal with anything that may come.
Plan and prioritize! Planning ahead is the stone foundation of time management. Set goals, both long-term and short-term, and order them based on importance. Think about how you are going to take that first step and what kind of action plan you might need to accomplish them in a specific timeframe. Consider roadblocks ahead of time and what you might do if faced with them. Every so often, re-evaluate your goals and priorities. After all, life is ever-changing and so are we!
If you're famously bad at planning, Harvest Business Review has some detailed advice on what to do.
Manage your stress. There are many different things you can do to keep your stress levels down. First off, do not be afraid to delegate tasks. Your mental health is important and if you work yourself too hard, you may wind up facing a number of long-term consequences such as burnout. If you are the type of person who tries to carry the weight of the world on their shoulders, it's time to stop and share the load with your team or loved ones. Don't let the weight crush you beneath it.
Second, a healthy diet will give you energy and help you feel good. Caffeine and sugar are only good for short bursts of energy and will leave you feeling worse off than before. So make sure to fill your diet with leafy greens and protein. Do not skip meals because that will only increase your stress!
Third, exercise to blow off steam! It will improve both your mood and your health. Put the idea of setting goals to practice and set doable goals for yourself so you are less likely to call it quits early. If you abhor physical exertion, try to find ways to make it fun. Turn up your favorite tunes and take a brisk walk or get to dancing. Or if you want to slow down and focus on some deep breathing while stretching out your muscles, yoga might be the way to go.
Finally, slow down and take breaks often! Life is not a race to the finish line (in fact, the longer you put off reaching the finish line, the better). Modern life is hectic. The news feeds never slow and everyone on the road always seem to be in a rush to get somewhere. Take time to pause and just be.
There are many other ways to relieve stress such as dedicating time to your favorite hobby or speaking with a loved one. Find what works for you!
In conclusion, if you put time into creating a routine, organizing a schedule, prioritizing goals, and managing stress, you may find yourself getting that time back! It might not be so easy at first, but with determination and discipline, you can certainly achieve it.