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Gemma’s Gem of the Week: Managing Your Time

Gemma’s Gem of the Week: Managing Your Time

Since things have gotten a bit crazier in a short span of time, I’ve been working on managing my time so I can actually stay sane while multitasking. This is something I’ve definitely struggled with, especially being involved in various fields (acting, writing, working full time, existing as a human, etc). I’ve seen and heard so many stereotypes of adults always working, always hustling, always using extra time to do extra work, more than I ever heard about creating a balance involving downtime. We’re not really taught the basics of time management, which is interesting, because I personally believe that it’s such a crucial part of being human in general.

The time you set aside to breathe, relax, play nerdy video games, stare at the ceiling, etc, is incredibly important. Without that rest and downtime to recharge, it’s not only going to become challenging to complete these tasks, but there’s the risk of burnout.

My therapist helped me create a physical schedule, and split it up into sections. First, we marked X’s over the days I’m scheduled to work. On those days, (unless something crucial comes up), I should not be doing anything else work-related. I need to use any remaining free time as downtime to decompress. As someone who likes take everything on at once and feel pressured to get everything done in a short span of time, this is incredibly helpful.

Next, we wrote out a list of recreational things I could do in my spare time. For example: taking a walk, doing a fitness class, visiting a coffee shop, playing a video game, watching a movie, reading a book, staring at the ceiling, etc. Thirdly, both of us decided that it would work best if I only chose two things from that list of “things to do” to work on during my days off. That way, I’ll have enough time left over for myself, and can still be productive.

Because of this new schedule, I was also inspired to change up my morning routine. There are a lot of days where all I want to do is sleep in until the very last second before I have to go to work or get something done. More often than not, this causes me to start my day stressed out and scrambled. I decided to try waking up a few hours earlier than usual (not always easy). However, this has helped me and my mental health immensely. I can use that extra time to lie in bed without stressing. I can listen to a podcast or a meditation, do a journal prompt and/or morning pages, and set the intentions and tone for the day. I feel like everyone is saying this these days, but I’m also drinking more water, and doing this gives me something to look forward to in the mornings.

Playing music also keeps my focus up, and leaves me feeling inspired and motivated to get things done. Creating an ambiance for yourself on any given day, busy or not, adds such a nicer overall tone to the environment around you.

Once you find your own rhythm, you’ll be able to build onto your routine as you go. We deserve time to ease into our days and our routines, and that is something we absolutely have control over that.

This article is officially your free pass to do something for yourself; whether that’s visiting a coffee shop to get yourself something nice, taking a break to go walk and turn on a playlist you love – do one thing for yourself today that will bring you joy.

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Gemma Farquhar is the writer of "Gemma's Gem of the Week" and author of "The Shape of Something New." She is passionate about the future of storytelling and welcomes all ages to her column.

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