Have you ever wished for a few more hours in the day? Why is it that some people seem to get everything done effortlessly and others feel that time constantly eludes them? The secret to managing your time well isn’t working more hours. The secret is working smarter, not harder. It is about prioritizing the important things and learning to use the time you have more efficiently and effectively.
Some of us, by nature, organize and get tasks out of the way before we relax, while others of us play first and work later. It is important to first recognize which type you are and whether your style is allowing you to have the life you really want.
Maybe you are super-organized at work, but burned out because you don’t know how to make time for yourself. Maybe you are naturally a less organized person who knows how to relax, but you are dissatisfied because you aren’t fulfilling your goals and dreams.
Rather than labeling yourself or beating yourself up, realize that time management is an area of your life that you can strengthen. Like a new muscle, it takes practice and repetition to make it stronger. To help you get started, here are some steps to streamline your days at work and at home.
Try the first one or two that jump out at you:
- Allocate time for planning and organizing.
- Create to-do lists that are realistic, not intimidating. Use only one to-do list.
- Under-schedule your time: leave time for the unexpected and for interruptions. When you estimate how long something will take, add on 1/3 of that time.
- Schedule your time in a way that reduces interruptions that lower your productivity.
- Practice the art of intelligent neglect: eliminate trivial tasks.
- Prioritize what is most important and do that first.
- Consider your biological prime time: at what time of day do you work best? Plan to do your most important work at that time.
- If you say yes to everything that comes your way, learn to say NO.
- Ask for help and delegate.
- In the evening make your to-do list for the next day, so it will be out of your brain and on a piece of paper. Leave work with a clear head and a clean desk.
- Acknowledge yourself daily for all that you have accomplished.
Also take a look at the two biggest hindrances to using time effectively: procrastinating and lacking purpose. We usually procrastinate when a task seems too daunting, too large, too complex, or when we feel we won’t be able to handle it. When you get that “deer in the headlights” feeling, try “chunking”: break the large task into smaller, manageable action steps, and start with the first one.
We also often drag our heels or use our time inefficiently because we are bored, unengaged, and uninspired. The most effective people will tell you that they love what they do and are aligned with a greater purpose. When it comes to managing your time, you may need to ask the larger questions, “Am I doing what I love to do? Am I doing something meaningful to me?”
As you strengthen your new time management muscle, keep your focus on getting organized so that you can live the life you came here for. Instead of being a chore, good time management can be your ticket to more fun, greater satisfaction, and a vibrant, exciting life.
Food Focus: Root Vegetables
The roots of any plant are its anchor and foundation; they are the essential parts that support and nourish the plant. Root vegetables lend these properties to us when we eat them, making us feel physically and mentally grounded and rooted, increasing our stability, stamina, and endurance. Roots are a rich source of nutritious complex carbohydrates, providing a steady source of necessary sugars to the body. Instead of upsetting blood sugar levels like refined sweet foods, they regulate them. Since they absorb, assimilate and supply plants with vital nutrients, roots likewise increase absorption and assimilation in our digestive tracts.
Long roots include carrots, parsnips, burdock and daikon radish. Round roots include turnips, radishes, beets and rutabagas. Long roots like burdock and daikon are excellent blood purifiers and can help improve circulation in the body and increase mental clarity. Round roots are nourishing to the stomach, spleen, pancreas and reproductive organs and can help regulate blood sugar, moods, and alleviate cravings.
Recipe of the Month
Roasted Root Vegetables
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25-35 minutes
Yield: 4-6 servings
1 sweet potato
2 turnips or 1 large rutabaga
1 daikon radish (or substitute/add in your favorites, like squash)
salt and pepper
herbs: rosemary, thyme or sage (fresh if possible)
1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Wash and chop all vegetables into large bite-sized pieces.
3. Place in a large baking dish with sides.
4. Drizzle with olive oil; mix well to coat each vegetable lightly with oil.
5. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and herbs.
6. Bake uncovered for 25-35 minutes until vegetables are tender and golden brown, checking every 10 minutes to stir and make sure veggies are not sticking.
Note: Any combination of vegetables will work. Roasting only one kind of vegetable also makes a nice side dish.