I never really thought I'd ever be a person who would write an article on Time Management strategies, however here I am doing just that!
As a person who grew up being quite messy and dysfunctional, my opinions were drastically changed when I was diagnosed with anxiety and panic disorder back in 2009.
As part of my recovery plan, I began to see how proper time management, structure and routine was crucial to keeping my mind stable and anxious free, and now I am such a fan that it has become one of my most favoured ways to reduce not only anxiety, but just general every day stress!
Here are four brilliant Time Management methods to reduce anxiety and stress:
A Morning and Evening Routine
Mornings are usually chaotic for everyone, but a well structured Morning Routine can enable you to not only get things done such as getting kids ready for school and getting yourself ready for work, but being able to have enough time to do everything in, and even scheduling a few minutes for yourself to either practice some self care, and eat a good breakfast.
The key to not feeling stressed out in the morning, is all down to two simple things: timing and a good night's sleep.
By following a good evening routine the night before, and setting out time slots for yourself to get everything done in the morning, even if it means getting up a bit earlier are key!
Evening Routines work the same as a Morning Routine, but instead of setting us up for the day, your evening routine needs to unwind you and set you up for a good night's sleep.
Therefore after doing the typical things that need to be done in the evening (whatever that may be for you) you should be focusing on doing things to induce sleep.
As mentioned before, a good evening routine makes for a good night's rest, which in turn can make or break your morning routine.
To watch my morning and evening routine videos, click here.
The Pro and Con List
This is an exceptionally useful method to use if you are faced with a situation, and don't know which is right for you. It can be helpful to draw up a Pro's and Con's List about that specific situation.
For example, say you have an opportunity to move to a new town, but you are not sure whether it would be the right move or not. Simply take a sheet of paper, draw a line down the middle, and on one side, write all the pro's about moving to the new town, and on the other side, write all the cons.
Seeing positives and negatives in black and white will help your mind process each pro and con, and make everything so much clearer so you can make a good decision.
The Fork in the Road
The Fork in the Road method is quite similar to the Pro and Con List with regards to helping you make a decision, however, it's methodology is a bit different.
The Fork in the Road, like the Pro and Con List can be used to help you decide which path of a situation you should take. However, it can also be used for when you have two situations and don't know which road to take.
When doing the Fork in the Road method, you'll want to turn your sheet of paper into a landscape position, then draw a two circles at the top, one in the middle of the left hand side, and then one in the middle of the right hand side.
Then almost like a spider diagram, you'll list the pros and cons of taking each route.
For this method, you can also take things a bit further by brainstorming ideas for each route, should one of them not work out as planned.
Block Schedule Method
I was introduced to this method on YouTube, from a lady called Jordan Page, and it's made such a remarkable difference in my life.
The Block Schedule Method or System, allows you to dedicate time blocks or slots for your whole day, to allow for efficient and easier management throughout your day.
The Block Schedule Method works brilliantly alongside a Morning and Evening Routine.
Before I explain further, The one thing I must mention with doing something like the Block Schedule Method, and this is especially for anxiety sufferers or people who tend to stress easily, and that is...
Planning out your whole day doesn't always go according to plan!
We all have lives, and sometimes stuff happens, perhaps we need to go somewhere at a specific time or maybe you were not feeling well on a particular day - life happens, and sometimes we will not be able to fully stick to our schedules, and that is okay!
To utilize the Block Schedule Method, and taking into account that every single person's will be different, you first need to allocate time blocks for yourself, and write a heading for each one, then underneath each heading, you are going to sub heading or clearly mark what you need to do in that specific time slot.
So an example would be:
6 - 9am - Morning Routine: Get kids up, make breakfast, eat breakfast, take kids to school
9 - 11am - Me Time: Meditate, Shower and Get Ready
11 - 1pm - Errands - Grocery Shopping, Appointments
What you could do to take it even further, is have a diary on top of your block schedule, and write in your diary any specifics, such as who do you need to call or email, or what do you need to buy at the supermarket? I actually do this as well, and I even sometimes meal plan in my diary, so a pocket size diary is just not going to cut it.
I like this diary here, because it has a page dedicated to each day, and this is the one I use.
For my American readers, here is a similar one.
To watch my in depth video on the block schedule method, click here.
The above four examples are specific time management techniques that I use, and they have really helped me when I need them to, however like I said earlier, time management techniques are there to help make life easier, and they are not going to work if you are stressed or beating yourself up because you don't always follow it to the minute.
That will not help you, and is completely defeating the object.
You don't have to always stick to it, especially on weekends, where we should all be relaxing more and spending time with our families.
In fact, apart from doing my morning routine loosely on the weekends, I don't stick to the method at all. It is only for weekdays!
So use one or all of these to help make your life easier and get more done, and if you fall off the time tracker sometimes - honestly who cares?