Queen of Last Minutes
7 Tips on Time Management
Dripping bullets of sweat, tightening forced rhythm in my chest, and losing grip on anything I touch. The same discomforting pattern that transpires every time I am in a rush. Yet there I am, over and over again. A redundant black hole that inhales my energy. It would be much less shameful to tell you these incidents were all results of emergencies that were far out of my hands. It is quite the opposite. When I have places to be or deadlines to meet, I usually have more than enough control over my timeline. I cannot control flat tires, influenza, alarm clock malfunctions, and whatever else the universe curve balls us with. However, to combat life’s battles and win the war, I find proactivity one of my most powerful weapons.
Before college, I abused the time management advice my teachers begged us to adopt. I was the queen of last minutes!!! If I forgot to do my homework, I would knock that assignment out at my desk before it was too late . I stayed up all night (the night before of course) to complete a whole entire science fair project. To my relief, I received a B. I have no doubt that I could have earned an A though. Yes, I know C’s get degrees, and the pressure to get straight A’s is absolutely overrated. Let’s face it, high GPA’s get scholarship money, so I yearn for A’s. My ego worked hard to convince me that I was invincible. After years and years of struggling with my mental health, I have applied some major tips that are helpful for procrastination.
There is an obvious correlation with mental health and time management. Most of us should know that the better we cope with our mental health, the better our productivity (usually) flourishes. This goes both ways! I have only recently taken advantage of this two way street; strengthening time management is always critical to my mentality.
I am mastering myself, and PROCRASTINATION IS A TRIGGER. I must admit, queen of last minutes is not even a fitting name. There is nothing royal about not valuing or respecting people’s time. There is nothing royal about missing the grace period at work. Every year, I make New Year resolutions that include time management improvement. I finally have begun the journey to avoiding procrastination.
I seriously doubt anybody is going to argue the fact that procrastination sucks, but I am well aware that many people work amazing (and sometimes even better) under pressure. If you have, however, always wanted to stop waiting to the last minute for every darn thing and hopefully alleviate some stress, here are some tips that helped me:
1. Be Honest
As cliché as this sounds, admit you have a problem. I literally had to start calling it how it is… Amber my love, you have serious lazy moments. I cannot always sugarcoat this by placing blame in other places. Depression is known for keeping people in bed all day until they are forced to rise from their one of their only sanctuaries. Bed sweet bed! Yes, I absolutely struggle with this…. but sometimes I am just being lazy. Other people may hold me up, but I have to learn to say no. Being honest is the first step to realizing what I am in control of.
I told myself enough is enough. One of the strongest sources of discipline is motivation. My daughter motivates me, so when I know I have to be on time to get money to support her….. I am all over it. We dedicate ourselves to so many things: our favorite television show, social media, etc. Let’s keep that same energy for our self care goals.
3. Use Alarms
I never had an issue with tapping that evil snooze button. Once I gained more discipline, my alarm app on my phone has been so helpful. I always think I have all the time in the world with the smallest tasks. I spend fifteen minutes on mascara or ten minutes picking out a homework playlist. When I am on a strict timeline, alarms keep me on track. (I still hit the snooze button occasionally, but baby steps my friends.)
4. Plan for the “Unplannable”
We can have the perfect diaper bag packed days in advance ready for the babysitter, but that will not stop the baby from spitting up all over your outfit before you leave for work. Any parent knows what I am talking about, but this obviously goes for anybody! Life happens, so keep time allotted for the mishaps that are out of our control.
Social media, streaming, and other ways of entertainment are so helpful to society; these keep smiles on our faces and never-ending laughter. I am infamous for running late because of screen time! By unfortunate habit, I pick up my phone without even thinking and get to scrolling. I may peek at the time and say just one more episode. I try to make up for it with I’ll throw some makeup on in the car. This is just not responsible. Really Amber? I have learned to just unplug and enjoy the media after I am finished getting ready. Prioritizing is key!
I am so competitive, even with myself. I love a great challenge. I deserve nice things, so sometimes I make myself work for them. Maybe I promise myself candy if I get to work early. I might treat myself to a movie if I meet a deadline. Incentives definitely keep me motivated!
7. Cut Myself Some Slack
I try to keep a Hakuna Matata mindset most days. I have learned to ask myself questions amidst anxiety. “What is the worst that can happen?” “What is the best that can happen?” “What will likely happen?” Let’s say I procrastinate and run late to lunch with a friend. I can just take a deep breath and analyze what went wrong to try to prevent it next time. It will never be the end of the world. We are human; we are never truly expected to be perfect. What I will do though is grow.
I have always had a reputation for being late. Eventually, I got fed up. There are so many ways to be proactive and prevent unnecessary stress. Feel free to leave a comment on any other tips to help myself or other readers.
Love and Light,