Time management strategies elegant women use to defeat overwhelm.

I have an elegant friend whose time management skills are the stuff dreams are made of. 

A fifth-year surgical resident and the new mom of a breastfeeding, four-month-old baby, at just 35-years old, she has far more on her plate than most women do. 

And yet, she is always on time, always put together, and always always calm, cool, and collected. 

When asked what her secret is, she winks, smiles coyly, and replies, “Organization is my friend.” 

Indeed. And – I suspect it’s so much more than that. 

At least that’s been true in my experience. 

Time: The ultimate elixir of life. A simple, easy-to-access tonic that is readily available to all. 

And yet, many of us find it elusive. 

Time management is an art – and a science – that can make your life easier and more efficient. 

A healthy work-life balance can be a struggle for most of us. It can be especially challenging for those juggling ambitious career goals, relationships, child-rearing, marriage, friendships, family, and more. 

No matter where you’re at in life, you can always make life better – more peaceful, relaxed, and untroubled– through time management. 

A time management blueprint to squash overload.

With a plan or two in place, time and task overwhelm can quickly become a thing of the past.  

You can do a few things to eradicate overwhelm and introduce peaceful living and swift, effective goal accomplishment into your life.

Dive into the “four Ds.”

The “Four D’s” of time management can be a terrific strategy to defeat deluge.

The “Four Ds” concept is usually associated with business management.  And, I often talk about how elegant women manage their lives like a CEO manages a successful company. 

This time management tool can dramatically affect your daily time outline.

Do:  

It can be easy to get distracted with planning and making lists and get behind on doing the actual work. The greatest calendar on the planet won’t get the thing done for you. Start with the small stuff; you’ll build momentum by completing the smaller tasks first.

Defer: 

It is not always possible to complete every task in one go. Knowing when to defer a task can save you time in the long run.

Delegate: 

You can’t do everything on your own. So, it often makes sense to share tasks with others. 

  • Hire someone to come in and clean your house once or twice a week. 
  • Order in rather than cook once in a while. 
  • Hire a virtual assistant, a writer, a social media manager, or an administrative assistant. 
  • Get someone else to wash the car, drop off (or pick up!) the dry cleaning, or do that grocery shopping. 

Delete:

Pick your battles, as they say. Not all tasks on your list will be urgent or essential. And some of them might not be necessary as the day progresses. Delete those tasks.

Use the Eisenhower Matrix.

You can use this time management concept in conjunction with the “Four Ds.” In this strategy, you have to divide your tasks into one of the following categories:

Urgent and important:

These are the most essential tasks that you need to do on a priority basis.

Non-urgent and important:

These tasks are also important, but you have some time to complete them.

Non-important and urgent:

These are the tasks that contribute little to your overall achievements but require your presence nonetheless.

Non-important and non-urgent:

These are the tasks that can be deferred or deleted.

Make a morning ritual part of your routine.

Studies show that early mornings bring a source of willpower that is lacking throughout the rest of the day. We tend to be more energetic, positive, and ready to take on tasks, think, and move our bodies after a good night of sleep – and before the day sets in with its distractions.

Elegant women get that time is a precious commodity. Understanding that the hours can be consumed by phone calls, emails, and the demands of others once the day really begins, they make mornings their own. 

Whether it’s to meditate, exercise, read, write or plan your day, make it your own to create that much-needed work-life balance. 

Limit your priorities.

It’s good to have priorities. And, trying to have too many is like trying to drink an entire glass of each varietal offered at a wine tasting. You’ll only render yourself senseless and ultimately incapable of doing anything.

Start with identifying your values. What is most important to you? Identifying these can help you define your priorities, align them with your goals, and set your daily tasks and habits accordingly. 

Let’s say what you value most is family – family, then, becomes your top priority. In alignment with that, your goal is to spend as much quality time with them as you possibly can.

Your daily habits, tasks, and time management all support the achievement of that goal. 

For example, you may decide to work from home two days a week so that you can eliminate two to four hours (or more!) of commute time and dedicate those to fun with the family. Or, rather than sending the kids to school on the bus, you drive them yourself each day and spend the time in conversation with them.

How do your daily habits and tasks align with your top priorities?

Find your best time.

Everybody has different patterns of productivity throughout their day. Whether you’re a bright morning glory or a luminous night light, you probably have an optimal time when you feel most productive. 

Here’s the good news: You don’t have to be one or the other to be successful at managing your time, honoring your priorities, and reaching your goals in life. 

Although it’s a commonly held belief that the most successful, accomplished women sleep less and get up early in the morning to get the job done, that’s not necessarily true. 

A study on chronotypes found that certain genetic markers make us predisposed to feel more alert in the evening or the morning, meaning people are genetically coded to be more productive at different times of the day.

Figure out your circadian rhythm and schedule your productivity time around that.

Identifying what times of day you're at your best can help you use each part of your schedule more effectively and ensure that your peak efficiency is devoted to longer tasks with a higher priority level. 

By prioritizing faster or easier tasks during less efficient parts of the workday, we keep sacred our prime time for completing larger – more productive – projects.

Get organized

Being organized allows you to quickly find anything you need, whether it's your keys, the notes you took in your team meeting yesterday, or a contract you signed two years ago. 

An organized home, workspace, car, or bag will help you save time by alleviating the need to search for items you need. 

Being search-free means being stress-free. 

Likewise, honing your organizational skills will help you strengthen your planning abilities. 

Make time for your self-care. 

If you don’t care for your mental and physical health, it will soon abandon you. You can determine your priorities, set goals, adhere to your circadian rhythm’s advice regarding your best time to get things done, but all that will fly out the window on the wings of low energy. 

  • Get the sleep. 
  • Eat the good foods. 
  • Do the workout. 
  • Meditate and breathe. 
  • Spend time with loved ones. 
  • Get that regular mani-pedi. 
  • Laugh, relax, and let yourself just be. 

When you’re taking care of you, your self-image is up, your energy is up, and you’re able to show up for life like the elegant woman you are. 

Do you have some time management magic that lets your balance work and life with elegance and aplomb? I want to hear about it! Please – do share and comment. 

Week of Calm

Tap the Calm Within ... It’s Your Super Power

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