A habit is a shortcut that makes your life easier because you don’t have to spend energy choosing to do it. It’s mentally exhausting thinking about every action and every behaviour. Time management involves having set ways to do things in the most efficient manner. Stop wasting energy by trying to do tasks more than one way. Take the opportunity to learn the best way and make a habit of it. If there are some things you have been meaning to do or incorporate into your daily routine, make a point of ‘just doing it’ over and over again.
Try and think of your day or weekly agenda in terms of three items: appointments, to-do lists, and habits. An appointment is a commitment with yourself or with another person. Your to-do list consists of tasks you would like to get done, but are not set to be completed in/by a certain time frame. Habits are part of our day that we do not really think about doing, but that have become routine and automatic. Habits may include organizing your briefcase or backpack before bed, brushing your teeth when you wake up, or walking your dog before dinner.
Habits are sometimes the most productive or important parts of our day, which take time to develop as an automatic routine. We find a strategy or way to most efficiently conquer a task or priority, and then we create a time or space for this new task. Once we create a regular time for this task, and we practice it, it becomes a habit.
Take the New Year as a time to reflect on new habits that you would like to create and/ or continue to develop. If a task seems daunting, split it into smaller tasks that seem more manageable. If we constantly work at and continually remind ourselves about this new idea when we first work at it, then we will gradually see how it naturally and effortlessly can become part of our everyday life.