Guest post by Becky, a single woman from Washington State
If you’re only taking care of yourself, how can it be that you still cannot find enough hours in the day?
Value your time
It’s easy to over-commit to work, volunteer or social activities. After all, you don’t need to go home and take care of anyone else. But it’s still important to remember that you do have someone to take care of – you!
You need to eat healthy food, wear clean clothes, maintain your house, pay bills and so on. You may have more time to share than someone with additional family obligations, but nobody expects you to live in chaos because you have no time left to meet your own needs.
Figure out what motivates you
When you’re single, you don’t have to answer to anyone. That can be freeing, but it’s also a lot easier to waste time. Sometimes it can be motivating to have to answer to someone or be working together toward a goal or lifestyle.
When it’s just you, you could spend the entire weekend eating chips in your pajamas and nobody would know. Figure out a way to hold yourself accountable – setting personal deadlines for projects, creating a daily/weekly routine, sharing goals with friends or family; whatever works to keep you productive and using your time wisely.
Tweak existing time management ideas to work for you:
A twist on “Freezer Cooking”
Cooking an entire new meal every night for one person isn’t a good use of my time and leads to wasted food. At the same time, I can only eat my favorite black bean soup so many times in a row.
I work to find recipes I like that freeze well and then freeze the leftovers in single-serve containers. These are great to take for lunch or to reheat on nights I get home late and don’t have time to cook.
I cook a couple times a week and then rotate through my leftover “meals” for variety — you can easily add a side salad or vegetable.
A twist on “When your child is napping”
Many articles on time management for moms talk about accomplishing small tasks when your child is napping or you’re waiting to pick up a child from an activity. You can apply the same concept to work.
Instead of chatting with co-workers, you can use your lunch hour or coffee break to pay bills, write a letter or e-mail or run to the grocery store. (Please note, I am not advocating that you multi-task and do these activities during your work hours.)
A twist on “Delegating tasks”
You don’t have a spouse or children you can ask to help you, but depending on your circumstances, you may be in a position to hire help.
I have a friend who works in a well-paying position (with long hours) that she loves. She’s happy to hire someone to do her deep cleaning a couple times a month.
If you’re currently single, we’d love to hear your tips and tricks for time management! Share them with us in the comments.
photo from Shutterstock