A professor of mine back in college said a very profound thing in class one day and it has stuck to me ever since, “There is no such thing as ‘time management’; you can’t manage time. Time is out of your control. But you can manage yourself. That’s called self-management.” Very true, is it not? That has been my guiding mantra ever since I heard it.
But how exactly do we manage ourselves? A ton of self-help books won’t cut it if we don’t have the will to manage ourselves. We must lead our bodies and its cravings, not the other way around. So, if you’re craving more sleep, lead your body to get up. If you’re craving for more sweets, lead your body to say no. However, it isn’t always as simple as that. That’s why I’ve compiled 3 tips to help when self-management is just pretty hard to do.
- SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS
This sounds like what those self-help books would say, but I have practical tips for this. For example, if you find yourself having a hard time getting up in the morning, set your clock earlier and put it far out of your reach. This way, you’d have to get up before turning it off. Also, prepare your clothes the night before and all the things you need to bring for your activity in the day, as studies have shown that the less decisions your mind has to make in mornings, the better it will wake up.
- DO WHAT YOU CAN IN A DAY
Keep a separate planner or calendar for work or school, or for whatever you have deliverables for. This will help you keep track of your tasks and will lessen the likelihood of you forgetting about it. Always do the most difficult tasks first, as this will ive you the sense of accomplishment and will help you get through the rest. Also, take a 5-10 minute breaks after each task to give your brain time to breath. Schedule a day per week when you can have a rest day and not think about work. This will promote a work-life balance and help you achieve more during the time when you do have to work.
- SET REALISTIC GOALS
When you’re aiming for something big, it is best to start small. If you go big right away, there is a high tendency that you will burn out too soon. This can cause disappointment and frustration, which might cause you to give up altogether. Set up smaller realistic goals that lead up to your big goal. List your priorities, and when opportunities or extra things come up, always run it by your goals and if it doesn’t help you achieve your ultimate goal, let it go.