time-managementPicture your evening after a long day of working or job searching.

Do you transition from career mode to a state of relaxation, enjoying lingering time with your loved ones, and taking a few moments to prepare for the next day? Or do you collapse in exhaustion, rushing to get done with today’s responsibilities (that are already behind?).

An overwhelming to-do list and jam-packed calendar can lead to meltdowns, exhaustion and despair. But there are ways you can be intentional about reducing those obstacles. Let’s look at three.

Design a Nightly Routine

Many professionals swear by a well-planned morning routine–I’m one of them. But you may be surprised to learn that our evening routine is just as important–if not more so. (I confess the evening one is harder for me!).

Take a few moments to think about this morning. What would have been nice to have already had done?  Lunches packed?  Outfit and accessories assembled?  Gym bag ready?

Write these down, and begin to form an evening checklist. Tonight, DO those things.

Delineate a Morning Routine

An effective evening routine is then enhanced by a smart morning routine. Again, write down what would make for an ideal morning, with items such as:

A few moments for reading or meditative pursuits
Time to exercise
A healthy breakfast
A chance to spend a few minutes relaxing with loved ones as they start their day

Again, make a list that’s realistic and that works for you, and be willing to adjust it. Use your list as a guide to planning what time you need to get up in order to experience such a morning.

Develop a Plan for Transitions

One of my weaknesses is a tendency to not allow enough time to transition between appointments. In this season of my life, I spend a lot of time at home. Because I live in a somewhat rural area, it’s more efficient to stack appointments when I do go out. That means it often takes planning. I need to gather what I want to bring along, take a few moments to leave the house in decent condition, and touch up my personal appearance.  It often takes a good 15 minutes to make the transition from home to my vehicle.

Perhaps for you, there’s a long walk to or from the train, or you have to park in a huge parking lot. Pay attention to how long it takes to transition from one place to another, and be sure to plan for that. What time do you REALLY need to leave in the morning to allow for that 10-minute walk?

Overcoming our time management obstacles takes intentionality. They won’t fix themselves. Getting a handle on these first three will be a tremendous help toward significant improvement!

Want more tips for a peaceful day? Enjoy my free 30-minute course at HOPE Academy.