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Top 5 Life and Time Management Tips for Busy Women

scheduling

As women we tend to believe that we can have it all; kids, career, a beautiful house, healthy and fulfilling relationships, and a perfect life all around. Right? Unfortunately, it rarely works out that way. No matter how good your intentions are, there simply aren't enough hours (or energy drinks) to do everything you want to get done. But you can find ways to manage your time effectively and hopefully reduce some stress. Here are a few tips to try.

  1. Don't let tasks manage you. This may be confusing to some women. After all, you're the one who sets your schedule. In truth, things can quickly get out of hand if you overbook or fail to accurately account for duration of tasks or unexpected demands on your time. If you schedule yourself down to the minute you're really setting yourself up to fail at some point. So instead of trying to multitask every second of the day, learn to prioritize, say no, and leave yourself some wiggle room.

  2. Ask for help. Did you make all those dishes dirty or leave wet towels on the bathroom floor? Are you the only person in your family that can drive kids around or help them with homework? You see where this is going. If you are married or living with a partner you have another adult that should be helping you where the kids and the household are concerned. And even single parents need to teach kids how to care for themselves by having them do chores around the house. You need not do everything, but you may have to relinquish some measure of control in order to get some free time.

  3. Get a smartphone (and use it appropriately). Your smartphone offers many solutions to make your life easier and give you some extra time. Download a time management app like Todoist, Toodledo, or Remember the Milk that lets you take your lists anywhere for instant reference or editing, and often syncs up with an existing calendar (on Google or Outlook, for example) so that you can crosscheck and more effectively manage your time. Smartphones are amazingly versatile tools, but only if you use them to the best advantage.

  4. Make some "me" time. Everyone in your life (bosses, family, friends, etc.) has expectations about how your time should be spent. But ultimately you decide. So pencil in some time here and there to work out, take a bath, relax with a good book, or do something that is just for you. It will lower your stress, improve your mood, and help you to focus on whatever comes next.

  5. Be realistic. Maybe you can get to the grocery store and the dry cleaners while the kids are at soccer and ballet. And maybe you can cook dinner and help your kids with homework at the same time. Or perhaps you can hop out of bed, shower, dress, and put on makeup in 10 minutes flat (you timed yourself at http://onlineclock.net). But just because you can push yourself to operate at breakneck speeds day in and day out doesn't mean you should. You can only sustain this full-tilt lifestyle for a while before your body gets wise and shuts down. Since you won't get much done from a sick-bed or a psych ward, perhaps you should try a lighter, more realistic schedule.

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