Back to school. Back to making the grade for students, making school lunches for parents, and making plans around heavier traffic for all. It’s a pleasant time of year, really – save for the gridlock. But it’s not all learning and juice boxes. The starkest of all seasonal transitions never goes quietly or without some morning chaos, afternoon headaches, and late-night stress.
For all parents, students, and busy people looking for more hours in the day, the following time-saving tips will help make this year’s back-to-school effects less impairing.
Whether using old-school pen and paper or the Wunderlist App, list-making helps set priorities, de-clutter the brain, and get things done efficiently. Avoid the stressful “I’m at the grocery store but forgot my list” scenario by storing lists digitally. Take a picture with your phone, and head out the door.
Meal planning saves time, saves money, and reduces the 5 o’clock “I’m hungry, cranky, and don’t know what do for dinner” frustration. One of the biggest mistakes people make this time of year is letting a busy schedule get in the way of eating healthy. A weekly meal plan, daily breakfast, lunches packed the night before, and healthy snacks at work and in the car, will make things easier on your wallet, health, and schedule.
Make sure everyone pulls his or her weight: roommates, kids, and mooching friends included. Delegating small tasks among a few people will prevent household chores and errand running from crushing productivity.
Get enough z’s.
It’s amazing how much waking up 15 minutes earlier can improve mood, reduce stress, and boost productivity. It’s even more amazing how much an hour of missed sleep can hurt it. Find the best hour to turn off the lights, maintain a consistent sleep time, and get the recommended eight hours of sound sleep. Having a smooth and unrushed morning can set the tone for an entire day.
Feeling constantly rushed, overwhelmed, stressed and scatterbrained is a sign that things may be out of control and it is time to make some changes. Assess what’s working and what’s not working, evaluate what is within or beyond control, and get serious about the best and most effective use of time.
If time management issues are causing difficulty at work, at home, or affecting general well-being, it may be helpful to contact the Employee Assistance Program for confidential assistance. Call 800-932-0034 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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