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Seven time management tips for happier (and healthier) days

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For many of us, our to-do lists feel as long as the novel War and Peace and more like a war than peace. (And feeling stressed about everything on our plate certainly isn’t good for our psychological and emotional well-being.) To help with time battles, BeWell spoke with Health Improvement Program instructor Laura Becker-Lewke, who teaches a class on time management.

“You can’t create more time,” Laura said, “but we can help you look at your time through a new lens to see where you can find time to do things you value.”

Laura suggests choosing only one of the following tips, to start, as tiny steps are realistic and sustainable. Try the action for a week, and if it doesn’t work, then try another action to see if it’s a better fit. “The important thing is to come up with something that is meaningful that you think would work and be helpful.”

1. Keep a time diary for a week. The difference between where you think your time is going compared to where it’s really going may both surprise and enlighten you. You’ll discover pain points that will help you decide what should be done now versus later.

2. Multiply whatever time you think a project will take by three. It’s a cliché, but it’s true: expect the unexpected. Plan cushion time between meetings and commitments to allow for interruptions like traffic, family issues or holdups at work. When we allow a margin, we’re more likely to be ready and present — and get things done on time.

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