Managing Your Time Realistically

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Most of us tend to over-commit on what we would like to get done on any given day.  This is problematic for anyone, but particularly so for someone with lupus. Some days you may be fine, but other days, you need to scale back on what you have planned. Here are some easy-to-implement ways to help you stay on top of what you care about:

On Sunday night, examine your calendar for the week ahead.

  • Don’t overschedule. Think through what you really need to get done over the course of the week. Schedule those projects for the times when you’re most effective.
  • Build in “buffer time.” If an appointment or a project takes longer than expected, you have allowed some extra time. “Buffer time” may give you time for a break or for dealing with traffic on the way to your destination.
  • Be realistic. If you’re having dental work done one afternoon, plan on a quiet evening at home afterward. If you plan something for after the dentist and then have to cancel, you may feel let down and disappointed. NO ONE feels good after a couple of hours in the dentist’s chair!
  • What about all those annoying errands and day-to-day things that need to be done? Sunday night when you look at your week, calculate whether you have pockets of time for errands. If you’re meeting someone after work on Tuesday, do you have time to pick up your prescriptions before the two of you meet? Of if you can leave work early on Friday, maybe that’s the best day for food shopping.
  • Consider the amount of time you spend on email or social media. Our devices are wonderful connections to so many people and things… but they can eat up time that we didn’t mean to spend in that way. Keep your phone tucked away unless you intentionally want to use it.
  • If you determine that social media has become a bad habit, here’s how to remedy it. Keep a notepad nearby. Write down the times you check your email or social media, and keep track of how long you stay on your device. Once you’ve tracked how much time you’re spending, you’ll see how and where you want to tighten up your time management. Some people do well with establishing a schedule—a morning mail check when you first get up, perhaps a mid-morning one, and a lunch email or social media check, etc. So long as it isn’t draining you and you enjoy it, go for it. But if you feel it’s eating away at time you would enjoy spending on other things, cut back.

Do you have any time management questions? Write to Lupus LA and we will see what we can do to answer them.  Email Katherine at: kmcmahon@lupusla.org