The great thing about retiring is that you no longer have to keep punching a time clock. This however can be mixed blessings. Lack of a proper job structure or even family will leave you feeling disoriented. Perhaps you can’t even figure out what day of the week it is or you suddenly come to the realization that an entire year has passed and you can’t single out anything that you have done that whole time. Just because you have retired doesn’t mean that you should no longer account for your time. Remember, there are things you love doing. You have hobbies, grandchildren, travel aspirations and other related activities. You need to build time for such activities. Here are some ways you can manage time during retirement without feeling like you are back on work-related schedule.
- Keep things in perspective: In retirement, effective time management does not necessarily dictate that you block out every minute of the day but rather, it is more about setting goals and finding out ways to accomplish them.
- Make a Schedule: Organize your activities on longer timelines such as on a daily or weekly basis. This way, you know that you have exercise on Mondays, play cards on Wednesday and visit your kids during the weekends. However, do not over-manage your schedule and even if you happen to skip an activity, it’s not the end of the world. Your days will feel like drudgery if you over-manage the schedule. But we all need some sort of framework that helps us do things otherwise; time just seems to pass without our even noticing.
- Make a list: Some people love planning while others just move with the flow. Whatever your personality is, we all need to know what we are going to do once we wake up. Make a list of all the things you need to do after all, you sleep better when you are less worried about something you were supposed to do but can’t remember.
- Be flexible: There are things that you don’t really need a schedule for. What is important is knowing what’s need to be done and get it done. Tasks such as housekeeping or gardening should be done when you are ready whilst knowing that you will get it done in the long-run. Flexibility also entails being able to move chores around. Any activity outlined for today does not necessarily have to be done the same day and can be rescheduled for tomorrow.
- Learn to slow down: Most people in retirement are constantly anxious about what they are supposed to do with all the time at their disposal. This makes them feel their days with busy work forgetting that being busy does not offer any meaningful fulfillment. You need to accept that you need not be busy every minute of the day. Once this happens, you become a little less under pressure allowing you to accomplish your goals at your own pace.
- Find Your Rhythm: Are you a night owl or a morning person? Many people struggle with the problem of understanding who they really are and what time of the day they are at their best. If you are at your best in the morning that is the best time to take care of your finances and plan probably plan family vacations. Other people concentrate only when the sun goes down. Whichever rhythm applies to you, you just need to find out and stick to it.
- Alternate periods of activity with free: time: Remember the days when you used to follow a structured school calendar followed by a period of summer vacation? This variation tends to add texture to life. Most retirees prefer engaging in structured volunteer work followed by a period of no obligations and just when they are about to get tired doing nothing, they jump back to the routine by taking seasonal job or class.
- Remember time changes: Time changes and so should you. Some people begin their retirement hoping to achieve some of the things they could never have achieved while in employment. But the question remains, what happens when you strike all those things off your bucket list? You might want to reconsider your priorities in retirement since the needs are subject to change over time.
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