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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences

July 20, 2017 - 9:34am -- Anonymous

“Something precious is lost if we rush headlong into the details of life without pausing for a moment to pay homage to the mystery of life and the gift of another day.” (KENT NERBURN)

This appeared in my e-mail this week and it caused me to stop and reflect.  Life is busy for all of us.  We have many opportunities for spending time with family and friends.  We spend time with activities and obligations.   But at some point we also need to slow down and savor the blessings that we have.  

This reminds me to practice mindfulness, to enjoy the present and absorb the moment and while there’s much more to living a mindful life, the other part is to remember is time management.   This means that I learn and practice techniques that help make time for the things that are really important to me and efficiently get the tasks done so that I can relax and enjoy the present. 

Sleep is essential to be effective, so remember giving up on sleep may not be the best way to increase your productivity.  Our bodies and minds need time to reorganize and rejuvenate so make getting 7-8 hours of sleep a priority to operate at my prime and reduce my overall stress levels.

Most of us have “to-do” lists and while they serve as a reminder of looming deadlines they may not take into account of what is really important to me?  My priorities may change if I plan to have top 3 or 4 things to accomplish for the day.  Break down the larger items into smaller tasks and set deadlines so that I can sense fulfillment when I “check it off the list”.  At the end of the day, identify another top 3-4 that can be tackled the next day from your big list.  This helps to create focus and motivation.

Know yourself and your key worktime.  I know for me mornings are the best for writing, creating and thinking through issues.  Afternoons are for those items on the list that are routine and evenings, well let’s just say I turn into a pumpkin early.  What time is best for you to work on the top 3 or 4?

Be aware of how much time is spent with technology and social media.  The more time spent on line with non-work related topics, the more difficult it may be to get to the tasks at hand.  Try limiting so much time to this and reward yourself in other ways like family activity or reading a book?  Also remember that some research indicated that prolonged usage of Facebook can negatively impact one’s self esteem and then getting things done seem much harder.  The suggestion is to allow yourself 10 minutes then turn your attention to the things that really matter.

Another technique suggested is to be more organized, “a place for everything and everything in its place”.  This will forever be a technique I struggle with, but I love the feeling when it’s practiced.  What can you do to identify areas to organize that will make life easier?  What can you do to help family members work on this area so that a life skill will be in place for their future work habits?  Get rid of clutter and develop a system that works for you.

While this list could continue, I hope that it’s a gentle reminder that life is precious; it’s a gift for the day.  There will always be things to do, tasks to accomplish and obligations to meet.  May we all learn and practice techniques to live productive lives but also enjoy the blessings of the journey.