Time is the one element that we spend while also simultaneously wishing we had more of it. Caring for yourself and your loved ones while trying to juggle a career and a personal life seems impossible. But it’s all about careful time management. Below are some tips for best managing the oh-so-few hours in the day:
- Schedule time for yourself
- Plan ahead
- Delegate to others
- Prioritize lists
- Fight the urge to procrastinate
- Manage expectations (of yourself and others)
- Be present in the moment
- Get organized
- Expect surprises
It is easy to get overwhelmed and burned out, which makes you both unhappy and not helpful to those you are trying to care for. So think of the things on this list as preventive in nature. If you don’t do them, you’ll spend more time trying to accomplish even less. And you never get more than 24 hours in any given day.
The first item on this list, scheduling time for yourself, usually ends up at the bottom of a caregiver’s priorities. However, it makes everything else on the list so much easier to manage. If you spend just 30 minutes a day on yourself, your productivity soars. You don’t have that mental fog following you around, clouding your judgement. Your scheduled downtime can take any form, so long as it relaxes and re-energizes you: see a movie, read a book, go for a walk, go shopping, play golf or tennis, etc.
Planning ahead, prioritizing lists, and getting organized all work together to boost productivity. While it may be difficult to take that first step toward putting these suggestions into action, you’ll find that they make life so much more manageable once your efforts are in place. Imagine you are in the car, running errands, and you only have two hours. Instead of wasting precious time trying to decide where to go first, you have your list in your hand (or on an app on your phone), along with all the necessary supplies, and you can breeze through your errands list without spending a lot of brain power trying to problem solve along the route.
If this list of suggestions seems overwhelming, just pick one item and test drive it for a week. Once you feel like that process is running smoothly, try incorporating another item from the list.
Feel free to contact us if you need assistance caring for your loved ones. We have many years of experience in making caregivers’ lives less stressful. We’d be happy to help you too.