Many family caregivers feel as if they have no time at all to get things done. Often the problem isn’t a lack of time so much as it is learning how to look at time in a different way.
List All Your Tasks and then Prioritize Them.
A few time management systems talk about doing something called a brain dump. This is where you write down everything that you have to do or that is clogging up your brain. This is magical because once you write all of these things down, they’re no longer floating around in your brain. Make it a point to do a brain dump at least a couple of times a week, if not every day.
Schedule Your Tasks Like Appointments.
Now that you can see everything that you need to do, take a look at your tasks and estimate how long it will take to handle them. Group like tasks together and schedule them in your calendar just like you would an appointment. This is a powerful tool because it lets you see visibly why you’re constantly feeling like you never have time and that you never finish your to do list. You only have a finite amount of time in which to do things.
Break Bigger Projects Down into Smaller Steps.
If you’ve got a few bigger tasks or projects in your brain dump, take a separate piece of paper and break each one down into smaller steps or tasks. From there, you can then schedule those smaller bits to chip away at the bigger project. Before you know it, you’ll be getting far more larger projects checked off your list.
Learn to Delegate Some Tasks.
The average family caregiver has a tough time asking other people to do things for them. If that describes you, then it’s time for you to learn how to delegate. Look at your brain dump and determine who can handle some of those tasks for you, then make it a point to ask that person for help. Note on your list who you delegated the task to and follow up later.
Revisit Your Process Regularly.
This type of process works best when you’re regularly revisiting it and making sure that you’re not missing anything. As you refine the process and make it more your own, you’ll find that this only takes a few minutes every day.
As you adapt to a new way of looking at your tasks and your time, you may find that you’ve actually got more free time than you thought possible. Be sure to use that time to do as much for yourself as possible.