Monday, February 23, 2009

Time Tips

I always thought I was a morning person. I can wake up early with the best of them. So I logically thought it would benefit me the most to make all of my plans as early as possible, that way I'm operating at my best. However, even though I'm up at 6am, it doesn't equal stress-free.

This concept took me a long time to grasp. I used to wake up and rush out the door to work, the gym, to meet up with friends for breakfast, to run errands... whatever. But I always felt some nagging stress and pangs of anxiety. After journaling my anxious episodes I realized that I was best with laid back mornings and busy afternoons. Now, when I can, I always schedule things according to when I feel I am most able to handle them. Some people get their best work done in the mornings... so aim to fit in the gym or a walk or a business meeting in the AM. Others feel the best at night... so perhaps an evening yoga class or late dinner date is your best option. If you find you're always falling asleep in your dinner plate, don't plan to answer late night emails... this will just cause anxiety. If you're lethargic during lunch, don't plan a noon time gym session... aim for the morning or on your way home from work. You know when your body and mind are well rested and ready to go. You also know when they are tired and overworked.

And don't worry- I know there's always deadlines, and emails and reports, and soccer games and such to tend to. But just the act of being aware and assertive with your time is a nice stress-relief in itself.

This also holds true for the office. Can't bear to bring yourself to face a giant report first thing in the morning? See if you can adjust your schedule and carve out time in the late morning to get the job done. If you always seem to get swamped with emails after lunch, try to get big projects done in the morning, that way once the afternoon email barrage hits, you can tend to those and also complete the smaller tasks you saved for this time.

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