Time Management

Hello, my name is Melanie Booth.

Welcome to this little course on Time Management.

I have studied about time management on two qualifying courses, that of Relaxation Therapist and Life Coaching.

I have my own business, Butterfly Holistic Services, where I give a range of massage therapies.

I like to think that a person flies free, like a butterfly, as a result of their treatments. I am also a writer of, “Melanie’s Memoirs: Bipolar and Me”, and have a second book, “Reflections of My Heart”, about to be published.

I am a volunteer at the Recovery College, having run holistic and relaxation courses there for almost 4 years.

I like to give something back and the Recovery College has aided and helped me in my development.

Time Management

There are many who can time manage really well, they have their life in a perfect balance of what they need to and what they enjoy doing. For others though this doesn’t come as easy, and it can cause stress and anxiety.

Without a structure to managing your time, you may find yourself spending too much time, thinking and planning how to spend time. This can become a vicious cycle that may build up to wasting time.

To measure your current time management, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I have enough time to do the things I enjoy?

  • Am I constantly rushing and often late?

  • Do I often cancel enjoyable activities because I’m too busy?

  • Do I feel there are not enough hours in the day?

  • Do I get frustrated and impatient?

Your answers may highlight a need to look at how you allocate your time and whether it is working for you. A lack of balance can lead to burnout.

Understanding priorities

Understanding priorities in my life also aided in my mental health and knowing what needed more time and giving myself ‘me’ time has also helped.

One of the main down flaws which I had was thinking that I always had to be doing something.

It is very important to have some time to yourself, to recharge and refresh.

Whether it is taking a long walk, swimming or simply reading the paper it is vital you relax.

Without protecting your personal time, it will easily disappear, so we recommend blocking it out in your calendar to make sure you take it.

Time Management is about setting goals carefully, and then arranging tasks into high and low priority, depending on how it relates to those goals.

We must ensure that we plan how we can meet the deadlines as well as work on long-term goals. Assertiveness and delegation are also crucial.

We should delegate as much of our low-priority work as possible.

Time management helps you to reduce long-term stress by giving you direction when you have too much work to do. It puts you in control of where you are going and helps you to increase your productivity.

“Time is nature’s way of preventing everything from happening at once”.


Compartmentalising is a bit of a mouthful but basically it just means having times, or compartments, in our day devoted to different things.

“Slots”. For instance, focusing on work when you are at work or voluntary job, and when you go home stop thinking about work and focus on your family, friends, sport, hobbies and relaxation.

This is also about mindfulness – being in the present moment.

We should also have separate time compartments for lunch breaks and even annual leave. We don’t progress as effectively if we don’t.

Achieving Balance

Are you content with the amount of time you spend in each of these areas?


paid or voluntary


time spent doing regular household tasks, maintenance or gardening


time with other people including children, friends and family


time spent on hobbies, relaxation, exercise and sleep


time with partner

'Me' - Time

time alone thinking and reflecting

If you are unhappy with the amount of time you spend on any one area, think of ways to reallocate your time.

Consider which activities you would like to spend more time on, those you want to cut back on, and how you could achieve this new balance: Perhaps you could reduce the amount of work you take home, or organize a more effective laundry system.

Keep a written record of your use of time for a week. At the end of the week you will have a much clearer idea of where your time goes.

“The future, though seemingly empty, may in fact be richer than the richest parts of the past”.

Activity Log

Write down your activities during the day and rate your feeling beside it. This will help you see what you enjoy most, how it could be increased and what could possibly be decreased or eliminated.

You could possibly do these 3 times a week, or once at the weekend, and twice in the weekdays.

Main Tips For Time Management

SIMPLIFY: Keep things as simple as possible so you don’t get too stressed.

PRIORITISE: Decide what is most important. Break it down into small tasks so you don’t get overwhelmed. Block in some home time and social time in your calendars just like you would your work time.

DELEGATE: Where you can so it doesn’t all fall onto your shoulders.

SIMPLIFY: Keep things as simple as possible so you don’t get too stressed.

PRIORITISE: Decide what is most important. Break it down into small tasks so you don’t get overwhelmed. Block in some home time and social time in your calendars just like you would your work time.

DELEGATE: Where you can so it doesn’t all fall onto your shoulders.

Delegate! Delegate! Delegate!

It’s surprising how many people feel they have to do everything. The honest truth is you can’t, and by trying you will actually get less done and the work you will have completed will not be at its highest quality!

“If we try to entrap a fleeting experience, we destroy it; the way to wholeness is to kiss the moment as it flies”.

Other Tips for Time Management

  • Plan your day in advance, preferably the night before. Less rushed on a morning.

  • Make good use of your diary, balancing work with other parts of your life. Make time for enjoyment too.

  • Everything takes a lot longer than planned; add extra time to allow for delays.

  • Don’t take on too much, and delegate where possible. Ask for help if needed.

  • Manage your energy levels – if you are too tired, stop what you are doing or have a break. Allow time for relaxation too.

  • Don’t expect too much of yourself or anyone else – not everything has to be perfect!

  • Don’t say yes to everything. Give yourself time to think about it.

  • Give priority to family and friends. Important to incorporate this into your life.

Quality Time

Time to yourself can be hard to find when there’s work, family, partner or friends, to worry about but it’s essential in order to gather your thoughts, feel relaxed and prepare for the next task.

Arrange certain tasks that are reserved for you alone, sitting quietly or doing something you enjoy. “Splendid solitude”. Both you and others will benefit if you are more relaxed.

Remember to spend quality time with those you love also.

“Everything can be done better from a place of relaxation”.

I love that quote!

Whole Body Relaxation

  • Clench, then let go, of each group of muscles. Start with your toes and work up to your head.

  • Try a yoga breathing technique: shut one nostril, breathe in through the other one and count to five. Shut the other nostril with your other finger, release the first nostril and breathe out to the count of five. Repeat several times.

  • Use positive self-talk and some simple affirmations, such as, “I am totally relaxed”, “My life is going well right now” and, “Energy is flowing through my body”.

  • When you have eyestrain, stop what you are doing. Press the palms of your hands gently into your eyes and breathe deeply for one minute.

Some Quotes re Slowing Down

"Hurry up and slowdown"

“Life is lived today, not tomorrow”.

“For fast acting relief, try slowing down”.

“For fast acting relief, try slowing down”.

“Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life”.

“Everything you do can be done better from a place of relaxation”.

“We all dash from one place to another. Slow down with mindful walking. Take slower breaths, watch your feet on the ground and bring awareness to your body as it moves”.

Plan to reduce the number of things on your ‘to do’ list for the day. Set aside blocks of time without interruptions. Do less – do it slowly, more fully, with more concentration”.

“Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest you take between two deep breaths”.

“Find five minutes (or more if you can spare it) every day in which to do absolutely nothing at all.