Time Management Tips for Caregivers
Next week marks the beginning of a new year which, for many, is a time to make positive changes and set goals for a healthier and happier lifestyle. We can put the hustle and bustle of the holiday season behind us and embark on a new chapter in life that is hopefully a little less stressful. Common goals may be to lose a few pounds, become more active, save more money, spend more time with family, etc. For the working caregiver, who spends so much time and energy making sure their loved ones are well cared for, we implore you to set a goal to make taking care of yourself a top priority.
While the hectic pace and activities of the holidays may be easing up, the demands of work life and caregiving can continue to present a challenge throughout the year.
The following are some tips that might help:
Have one calendar for all family appointments and use this consistently. Do not overbook your time. Color-code the calendar to indicate who is responsible for coordinating each activity.
Prioritize between the things that you must do and things that can wait. Make two separate lists. This will help you make more efficient use of your time.
Combine activities whenever possible. If you can multi-task you can minimize the amount of wasted time in a day. If you find yourself waiting in the doctor’s office or have short breaks in between activities, take paperwork along with you or make phone calls during that time.
Do not procrastinate when it comes to unpleasant tasks. Tackle them right away and you will avoid excess worry and use the momentum to accomplish more of the things you need to do in a day.
Learn to slow down and take time for the important things in life. Be present with whatever activity you are participating in at each moment rather than worrying about the next. Don’t miss out on the little things.
Delegate whenever possible. Learn to let go of some control and ask for help whenever needed.
Understand that it is okay to say 'NO'.
Set goals that are realistic for yourself and your family.
Set aside at least 30 minutes a day of time to relax. This can actually help you be more productive throughout the rest of the day, so it is NOT wasted time. You can find 30 minutes for yourself and this should be considered a priority, not a luxury.
Learn about the community resources available to you and actually use them whenever needed.
Keep these tips in mind as you approach the upcoming months and hopefully this can help you relax and enjoy each activity as it comes.
Information obtained from the National Institute on Aging. For additional support contact your Caring Workplace Eldercare Specialist, Heather Spindler at 314-802-5106 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org