10 Time Management Secrets Every Woman Should Know
Last updated on : July 20 2020
Time is a constant pressure for the modern woman, and so it is essential to set aside enough to fulfill the tasks we need to do.
Here are ten tips to help you do just that.
Multitasking Does Not Save Time
Women get praise for their perceived ability to multitask but jumping back and forth between tasks likely causes things to take much longer.
Switching gears turns out to be the time waster.
Research shows that each time we switch between tasks, the brain goes through several time-consuming activities. These include a selection process for choosing the new job and then shifting the mental rules needed from the first task to the second task.
We intuitively know it takes longer, too, because when multitasking, we feel like we are losing our minds or that we can’t remember anything about our day.
The more you multitask, the worse you get at it, and it adversely impacts your ability to do all kinds of things a brain should do- like think!
So if you find yourself relating to Mark Twain when he wrote, “Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most,” you’ve got to stop multitasking.
Quieting Distractions and Interruptions Pays Off
Any mom of young kids knows how difficult it can be to accomplish things when being interrupted all day long.
While it may be impossible to eliminate distractions and interruptions, there are some distractions you can control.
Studies show that the thrill of checking your email is very similar to the fun someone feels when they pull the lever of a slot machine. I’d venture to say that receiving a text also has the same thrill.
Now think about how many times a day your computer or phone dings because you received an email or text. Each time you hear that sound, you lose your train of thought and waste precious time and energy on a message that often has no urgency or priority.
If you want to make better use of your time, you’ve got to be proactive with your phone and computer.
Turn off your phone or silence it when you are working on a project and change the setting on your emails to silence the notification when a new email is delivered.
A Lack of Time Is Often Fear in Disguise
I hear women saying it on a fairly regular basis, “I just don’t have the time to…”
Sometimes this statement is true, but many times its fear that is keeping them from having the time to do it. I call it self-sabotage.
It’s easy to fool the mind into thinking you are a victim, and that time is to blame for your short-fall. Victims do not have to take risks, they don’t have to worry about falling short of perfection, and they don’t fail.
Playing the victim role is safe but not useful. Facing your fears puts you in the driver’s seat of how you spend your time.
Procrastination Is a Double Whammy
Procrastination depletes not only your time but also your energy.
Think about it. Let’s say you are putting off something stressful or tedious that you know you need to do. All-day long, you find other things to eat up your time so you can avoid this dreaded task.
While you are busy distracting yourself with a more pleasurable task, have you completely forgotten about the job you are trying to avoid? No! It’s creeping back into your thoughts all day long, causing you to stress each time you rethink it.
The longer you put it off, the more time you give yourself to stress over it again and again. By the end of the day, the task still isn’t done, and you are mentally exhausted — a double whammy!
Doing the most challenging job or the task you are most likely to procrastinate on at the beginning of the day will buy you time and energy.
Get in Touch with How Long Things Take to Accomplish
People tend to underestimate the amount of time something takes to do when it is a pleasurable activity, and the opposite when it is an unpleasant activity.
Let’s take unloading the dishwasher as an example of a dull, repetitive, and unpleasant job. The average woman is going to estimate that task as taking 15 minutes to accomplish when you can honestly do it in 2-3 minutes.
Using a timer or setting a time limit to frame both pleasurable and unpleasant activities can help keep things on track. And just like keeping a food journal can help a person lose weight, so can a time chart help a person make good use of time.
Using a To-Do List Is Essential
Now, I’m not talking about little sticky notes all over the place, reminding you of what to do. I’m talking about one list in one place that keeps track of the tasks you need to do.
It doesn’t matter if it is on paper, a computer or your phone. What is essential is that you stay consistent and that you give the list a home, so you always know where to find it.
Suppose you work outside the home and regularly have tasks that need accomplishing while at home, it is a good idea to have two separate lists—one for work and one for home.
There are lots of options for how to set up your to-do list, but my favorite is to have two categories: high priority and low priority.
Using your list daily will keep you on task and help you remember what needs to happen each day.
Attitude Affects Productivity
You’ve heard the saying, “Attitude is everything.” Well, it may not be everything, but it sure does affect the amount of time and energy it takes to accomplish something.
Need a little spring in your step? Then change your attitude.
Let’s say you drive to the grocery store, and the only parking spot available is one far away from the entrance. One response is to grumble something under your breath about how you always get the worst parking places.
That attitude sticks with you as you grocery shop and slows you down.
Instead, respond by thinking how great it is that you will get some exercise and that a great spot up close may open up for someone who needs it more than you do.
This revised, happier attitude puts a little spring in your step. Your pace picks up, you are feeling positive, and you are more efficient.
Find out What Motivates You
Not everyone is motivated by the same things.
When I was getting ready to potty-train my first child, I asked several friends what advice they had to offer. Several people mentioned giving her an M&M each time she went on the toilet.
Naively, I thought that I’d buy a bag of M&M’s and this process would be a piece of cake. Wrong! My daughter looked at me and said, “You want me to go on the potty for that little piece of candy?”
That’s when I realized that not everyone is motivated by the same thing. However, everyone is motivated by SOMETHING, and finding out what that something was for my child did get her potty trained.
You’ve got to find out what motivates you and reward your productivity throughout the day with little things that keep you going.
Are you someone who likes to journal or write? Then reward yourself with the time to do this. Do you love to talk on the phone? Well, after completing a task, reward yourself with a call to a friend.
Whatever it is that becomes the reward, do it intentionally.
Delegating at Home Is Critical to Survival
While it may be true that women are better than men at delegating in the workplace, we are not doing it enough at home.
Often, we are hesitant to let go of responsibilities at home. Many women feel like housework is their ball and chain, but ironically, it is often women who place this ball and chain on themselves.
Many of us inherently believe that the only way to make sure things get done right, is to do it ourselves, but when we project that belief on to our spouses and children and pick up the pieces when they do things less than perfectly, we keep that ball and chain from ever being removed.
If you want to experience change, you’ve got to decide to let go of perfection, let go of control, and allow your spouse, child, or other people in your life to do it “differently” than you.
Successful People Don’t Do It Alone.
You’ve heard the saying, “You can’t do it alone,” and it’s true. You need support from a friend or mentor to continue to move forward.
Support also provides companionship, accountability, a little healthy competition, encouragement, and someone with whom to celebrate your victories. Having this support can make all the difference in your success.
Statistics say that you are four times more likely to succeed in anything if you have the support of a friend. If you find yourself getting stuck, ask for help. Ask a coach or friend to come alongside to keep you moving forward.
With a little forethought and planning, you can create more time in your day and prioritize it better.
Use the tips above to help, and remember always to have fun, no matter what.
Dorothy J Santiago is a copywriter at Meow Essay. She attends various presentations and conferences to improve knowledge and obtain new skills in such spheres as motivation, leadership, and self-development. Besides, she takes part in volunteer programs.
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