Do You Have the Time?
24 hours- 1,440 minutes-86,400 seconds…Any way you look at it it still is 1 day at a time. This is fact and it cannot be changed.
How you look at your time is another story…
There are people who go with the flow, rarely counting moments; There are others who could divide their day down to the very second. There are opportunities or responsibilities that demand your time. There are activities that you want to do and others that you have no choice but to do. So how do you balance your time?
For many of our 4-H members, there is simply too much to do and too many great opportunities. Then there are sports, religious beliefs, chores, school, family, jobs… AND 4-H!? There are those who will cut back on sleep to make sure they have enough time to study for a test. There are those that neglect loved ones or personal needs because there is “too much to do”. When there is so many opportunities that you want to fit into your 24 hours, what do you sacrifice? Is this you?
Don’t sacrifice your time
Yes each and every one of us is limited on time, but there are strategies to maximize without stretching yourself too thin. The balance comes in managing your time and taking control over saying “yes” and “no”.
- Evaluate your day and your emotions. If you feel you have too much to do and someone offers you another task (either fun or not) think realistically about if you can (or should) say yes. Be honest with those requesting your time. Say ‘No’ to things you can’t, won’t or don’t want to commit to. In the context of better time management, saying ‘No’ is a skill for now, and a gift for life.
- Don’t skip sleep or other personal needs crucial to your well-being. If you are sleep deprived your productivity, awareness, reactions, and health will suffer. Set aside time to sleep and respect that. Put phones on do not disturb mode, don’t watch YouTube right before bed, etc. You will thank yourself.
- Be aware of your distractions- YouTube, social media, texting, TV…taking brain breaks is healthy to relieve stress but keep track of how much time you have spent on distractions. When the balance has turned in favor of distractions instead of utilizing them for short periods, the amount of time lost for productive tasks will create stress. Schedule yourself a set amount of time for breaks and keep yourself to it!
- Define your priorities! What makes you happy and is valuable for your time? Take time for things you enjoy and schedule it in. This is especially true for activities that help you de-stress. Everyone has their own way to relax and unwind. For some of us it is listening to music, drawing, reading, writing or things that are solo and peaceful…for others it is watching some TV, playing video games, or spending quality time with a loved one. Whatever it is, make sure you take the time to enjoy your life.
- Break up big tasks into little ones. This can be done for anything such as cleaning your room or preparing for a show. Use a list system to be thorough and reward the progress. Stay organized and don’t waste time by looking for something that should have been put away correctly or get lost in a downward spiral of distractions.
- Make goals! Use goals to help realize your priorities and create plans to achieve them. Having clear direction will ease the process and allow you to organize your time accordingly.
- Realize that you can’t do everything and that’s okay! There is so much pressure on youth these days to succeed higher anddo more. This realistically makes youth more stressed, depressed, and lose the inability to find value in relaxation. If getting good grades is your priority that’s fine but do school work throughout the week not just cramming it into the night before. That way you can still achieve that goal and sleep well, feel less stressed, and have time for other activities.
These are a few strategies for helping to manage your time.
The best tip is to evaluate your situation. If you feel used up and stressed out that is your wake-up call to redefine how you are spending your time.
We have to schedule our days but we must also remember to live our lives.