There are many basic time management skills that are helpful throughout one’s life: setting goals, prioritizing tasks, and planning your day, just to name a few. While the benefit of using these skills is ageless, our time management challenges change as we age. The college graduate trying to juggle a full-time job while keeping up with an active social life needs a different approach to time management than retirees who may have fewer external demands on their time.
Here are some time management tips, broken down by the age group for which they may be most relevant (although some may be relevant for any age group):
College graduate to age 30
- Just because you no longer have to track homework assignments doesn’t mean you don’t need a planning tool. Whether it’s your phone, a web-based calendar or a paper planner, use something to keep track of appointments and remind you of things you need to get done.
- Establish a recurring time to manage your finances (e.g., Sunday evening). Use this time to balance your checkbook, review your credit card statement, and pay your bills.
- Be on time – your friends may have been willing to wait, but the work world is less forgiving. Calling or texting to say you’ll be late doesn’t absolve you from your obligation to be on time.
Age 30 to 40
- You may be juggling work and caring for young children. As exhausting as that may be, make time for friends and family, including a regular date night with your spouse. It will help keep your marriage and relationships strong.
- Prioritize and schedule tasks so you get important things done while the kids are napping.
- Don’t underestimate what help your kids are able to provide around the house – choose age- and skill-appropriate chores for them.
Age 40 to 50
- Be mindful of how many activities you allow your children to participate in. If they’re overscheduled and you spend all your free time chauffeuring them to activities, nobody will be happy.
- Schedule time for your family to eat together – there are lots of benefits. If you can’t eat dinner together as often as you’d like, try a family breakfast or lunch on the weekend.
- If you don’t participate in them already, explore hobbies, recreation or volunteer activities that will be of interest once your kids leave home (yes, that day will come!). It will help reduce your anxiety about transitioning into the empty nest phase.
Here’s a link to my newsletter where you’ll find time management tips for additional age groups.
I’d love to hear about your favorite time management tips – and if you’re willing to share, what age group you fall into.
Wishing you simplicity, harmony and freedom,