The new year brings about a time when many of us pause for self reflection. Resolutions aren’t for everyone, but most of us have a desire for change, growth or movement in certain areas of life. When I reflect on the majority of my clients, the main stress or complaint I hear about is the lack of time they feel in their life which leads to difficulty tending to relationships… with self, friends and/or family. Most people feel a squeeze in their life as lack of time forces us to make cuts often leaving self-care at the bottom of the list. But, at the end of the day there really isn’t a lack of time as time remains constant. We often manage our time poorly or we try and force more obligations than time can accommodate. Do you do either?
Poor Time Management
The effects of poor time management often include poor sleep, decreased energy, lack of punctuality, poor eating habits, ineffectiveness, difficulty meeting deadlines, impatience, stress, being rushed with last minute deadlines, less intimacy with loved ones and more. Poor time management is influenced by a host of things, but is likely to be influenced by poorly defined goals, perfectionism, procrastination, poor prioritization of deadlines, indecisiveness, over-accommodation and difficulty setting boundaries to either say no or share tasks. As you reflect on your relationship to time and stress, I encourage you to review the above and whether you manage your time poorly and feel any of the negative effects of such. If you manage your time poorly, you may consider beginning the new year by acquainting yourself with new methods and habits leading to better time management which will undoubtedly effect your life and relationships in positive ways.
Perhaps you are good at managing your time but nonetheless have a contentious relationship with it because you put too much on your plate. Reflect on what negative effects this has in your life. What are your priorities? What falls at the bottom of your to-do list? Are you happy with the ordering of importance? If you simply have too much to juggle and find that you consistently put yourself or relationships last, then reordering priorities and cutting something out will be necessary to find balance. Many people say they cannot cut out obligations, but similar to a budget when we have to cut corners and really sit down to do it we almost always find there is something we can do without. What can you drop from your list in order to move yourself and what is more important up on that list?
With the new year upon us, I encourage you to reflect on your relationship with time, time management, boundaries and prioritization of what really matters in your life. You and your loved ones deserve more attention, focus and care.
San Diego therapist Sylvia Flanagan, MFT has over 15 years of experience and can assist you if you want to reframe your past and grow into a more positive and vitalized future. She has a private practice in Mission Valley. For more information about San Diego Counseling, feel free to call or email her. Office hours are Monday through Thursday 10:00 am through 6:00 pm. and Fridays from 10 through 3pm.