Managing Time

January 21, 2009

I’m currently taking an evening class on Monday’s called Issues in Health. While it’s an interesting class, after working all morning and then being in class all afternoon, it’s exhausting to have that three hour class at the end of the day! It’s also difficult to plan and fit everything in that I need to do. My eating patterns are especially hard to manage, with trying to take enough snacks to school to keep me fueled up until I get home at 8:30pm. So I found it especially useful when our discussion last class was about stress and time management.

Although the ways to manage stress and time are all pretty common sense, it doesn’t hurt to take another look at them and to think about how we can manage our lives just a little bit more efficiently. So I thought I’d share with you part of the lecture; 10 Tips to Organize Your Time, straight from my notes:

1. Plan. I like making lists. Lots and lots of lists. And to write everything in my day planner, including mundane tasks like “do laundry”.

2. Concentrate- don’t take on too many things at the same time. I’m constantly multi-tasking. But I think it might sometimes have an affect on the quality of my work, so I’m going to try to focus on one thing at a time from now on.

3. Take breaks. I like this one πŸ™‚

5. Don’t be a perfectionist- strive for excellence rather than perfection. This one’s a big one for most of us, I think! Just apply it to food or exercise and you’ve got the health blogging community right there.

6. Don’t hesitate to say NO. It’s liberating!

7. Don’t procrastinate. I don’t know if I can strike out procrastination from my list πŸ˜€

8. Use radical surgery- axe everything that doesn’t give you a feeling of accomplishment/satisfaction. Suddenly my list of things to do is so much shorter…

9. Delegate- don’t try to do it all yourself. Have fun being bossy. Don’t go overboard. You will not be well-received.

10. Don’t be a workaholic. Work can be addictive. Very guilty of this one. Enjoy yourself and step away from the work for a little while!

Share your tips/thoughts in the comments!


  1. Those are really great tips! I totally make lists for EVERY-THING! and radical surgery…what an interesting concept which would make life soo much easier! Going to work on that one!

    Have a good day Sagan!

  2. Saying “no” – that’s a big one, and also one I need to work on. Too often I say “yes” and then am overloaded, or just plain do a bad job at it – because it’s not an interest of mine. So…it’s good to be reminded here. Thanks much Sagan!

  3. Man, I’m guilty of so many of these things!! My first thought was “I need to pick one of these to work on” my second thought was “I’ll decide later!” So… procrastination it is~!

  4. Hi Sagan!

    As much as the list is spot on, I personally feel that it is not concrete enough to be useful It is a good starting point, but for those that need the help, being more specific, as in I will say no to my mother when ahe…. will work better. I am just trying to be helpful.

  5. Wonderful!! As a perfectionist, I need to work on this, since I never give myself proper breaks. I live by my to-do lists though, which DO help me manage time; so I must be doing something right!! πŸ˜€

  6. Great tips, Sagan. I make lists all the time. Sometimes all the list consists of is household chores, but there’s a great feeling of satisfaction to put a little check mark beside each one! (until, of course, you realize you forgot to put something really important on the list…sigh)

  7. You really have to follow those tips to get everything in on a busy day.

    I find lists help a lot if I follow through.

  8. The delegate one is my weakness…actually taking breaks isn’t really my strength either…oooh these are all good reminders. I should print this out and tape it to my laptop. I’m a big list maker though, so I have my list of “must do” (and don’t waste time on facebook) this morning πŸ™‚ then I have a fun break planned this afternoon. A friend of mine and I are going for a hike – it’s 70 degrees and beautiful this January week in CO – CRAZY!!!

  9. Awesome list Sagan!

  10. Rupal- LOVE list-making.

    Lance- it’s hard to say no, isn’t it? But somehow it makes life better for everyone to know when to say no.

    Charlotte- hehehe. I think these tips REALLY apply to people who have eating issues.

    Dr. J- I think you’re right. This list is more for getting started and instigating ideas, but specifics are definitely necessary.

    VeggieGirl- don’t work too hard with your classes πŸ™‚

    Bag Lady- it’s great to check off household chores. Especially ones that have been on the to do list for a couple weeks… (finally got around to vacuuming yesterday and man that felt great).

    James- it’s the following through part that can be tricky πŸ˜‰

    Jolene- that sounds great! Have lots of fun. Hiking is fantastic.

    Sharon- enjoy!

  11. Thanks for the tips Sagan! You’ve inspired me to get a planner. I always lose lists and so end up carrying all my Things To Do as well as my calendar around in my head…. luckily I’ve got a pretty good memory but really it’s no wonder I’m always so anxious! It would take so much pressure off just to write things down, and for some reason I’d never thought of just having a planner to keep it all in.

    TA x

  12. Most interesting topic Sagan, especially since I am putting together a 20 minute power point presentation exactly on the topic of managing time for a women’s group I belong to. I also have those same tips to incoporate into my presentation. Here are several favourite “inspirational quotes” to share:
    The key is in not spending time, but in investing it
    -Stephen R. Covey
    The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.
    -Michael Altshuler
    Time = Life; therefore, waste your time and waste your life, or master your time and master your life.
    -Alan Lakein
    It’s how we spend our time here and now, that really matters. If you are fed up with the way you have come to interact with time, change it.
    -Weider Marcia

  13. Great tips! I am definitely a list-maker, but I don’t usually get to the radical surgery step. I’ll have to try that πŸ™‚

  14. I tend to ruminate on all the things I should be doing and want to do, and trying to remember everything is a source of stress for me. The very act of making a list is a great stress reliever for me since my brain doesn’t have to do the heavy lifting anymore.

  15. Great tips… I need all the help I can get to manage my time.

  16. Wonderful tips! Thanks!

  17. Thank you for this great list! I think everyone should read this list

  18. great tips!! i love lists, as you also feel a sense of accomplishment as you cross items off πŸ™‚ i need to work on concentration and the radical surgery…

  19. Love these tips!

    I’m with you on #1.

    #8 gives me problems in that my list includes many things that will bring me great satisfaction when they’re done. But looking at #9, I see that I can eliminate items from the list that I don’t get pleasure from *doing.* (Bye-bye paintbrush)

  20. Thanks for the time management tips! So helpful!

  21. TA- that’s what it does for me, helps with relieving pressure. Definitely makes me a little less anxious.

    Anonymum- thanks for the quotes πŸ™‚

    Maggie & ttfn300- that ones a hard one!

    Dara- agreed. Somehow it all gets easier when you see it all written down.

    Cammy- that’s the goal πŸ™‚

  22. This is a very good list. I think that taking breaks and concentrating go hand in hand for me: when I don’t do the former, I can’t do the latter, and when I try too hard to do the latter, I don’t do the former. Everything in balance, I guess–I’m still working on it!

  23. I adore these tips and have to say AGAIN how early you are coming to things it took me…33 or so years to learn.

    once I DID life was/is so much more free.

    especially the NO saying πŸ™‚

  24. Wow, the tips for time management are great; however I never seem to have time to make the list in the first place. I would consider myself a partial procrastinator. I find that I fly through some things very well, but leave others lying around until forgotten.

  25. Thanks for a great reminder of how to manage time better. My favorite is “axe everything that doesn’t give you a feeling of accomplishment/satisfaction.”

    For me this includes anything i already said “yes” to instead of no. If you really don’t want to do it, don’t. That helps prevent unnecessary resentment ect… Calling or emailing someone back and saying “No” is hard at first but feels right when the call is over, and relives un-necessary stress. Time to take my own advice =)

  26. I think saying no and being decisive are two biggies, for me. First, you need to put yourself first because no one else will. They will be putting themselves first. Also, one needs to make decisions. You will make the wrong decision sometimes, and you and fix it later, but make the choice and move on. A lot of people waste a substantial amount of time dithering when they could be doing.

  27. Hil- love your thoughts on this. I think you’re right; they do work together.

    MizFit- the problem is that knowing these things and putting them into practice are so very different!

    Tom- lists get priority! Take the time for them! πŸ˜€

    Krystal- haha yes, sometimes our own advice is the hardest to do ourselves. You have a great take on this.

    Rachel- that’s me! That’s me! (I spend so much time weighing the options and thinking about the pros and cons that it takes ages for me to make a decision. Sometimes it really sucks being a Libra).

  28. I would also add “ask for help” which could fall under delegate. All too often we think we have to do everything on our own.

  29. Wow, what a great list. #10 is the hardest for me. But, lately I’ve found a hobby I can use that makes work not feel like work, but more like play.

    It’s called photography……………:)

  30. Stacey- that’s a good one. There’s nothing wrong with getting some support!

    Lisa- writing is to me what photography is to you πŸ˜€

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