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How time management techniques and a sense of awe can increase our well being

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: A National Spotlight, Northern Ireland, Scotland

a cartoon image of the world with a green ribbon wrapped around it signifying world mental health day

World Mental Health Day

Saturday 10 October 2020 was World Mental Health Day.  CS Local Scotland's Wellbeing Network have some hints and tips on optimising our time and recognising the relationship between satisfaction with time use and wellbeing.

This year our daily lives have changed considerably due to the COVID 19 pandemic.

The past months have brought many challenges:

  • worries about our health and that of our families
  • maybe the grief of losing a loved one
  • worries about family members employment as companies let staff go due to financial and economic pressures
  • worries about sending our children and young people back to school or university
  • the unfamiliar pressures of working from home or in a workplace that is not what is used to be

The need for mental health support has never been greater, however there are some things that we can do to maintain good mental health and build up our resilience.  We all know that eating a healthy diet and taking regular exercise can aid our wellbeing but today we are focussing on good time management.

Adopting a flexible, sensitive approach to your time management and taking the time to appreciate and experience a sense of awe can bring perspective to the way you manage your time.

In order to enhance wellbeing, we need to look at optimising our use of time.

So, what is time management?

Time management can be defined as:

‘The ability to plan and control how you spend the hours in your day to effectively accomplish your goals’.

Good time management enables us to plan and control how we spend our time to effectively accomplish our goals.

Poor time management can be related to procrastination as well as problems with self-control

What skills are required to manage time?

The skills required to manage time are:

  • assessing the current state of play
  • setting SMART goals
  • prioritising tasks
  • monitoring where your time actually goes

The relationship between time management, wellbeing & resilience

The perception that time is driving us, rather than us being in charge of it, can cause strain in our lives.  By taking control of our time management we can reduce this strain and build resilience.  There is a relationship between satisfaction with time use and wellbeing.

Therefore, in order to enhance wellbeing, we need to look at optimising our use of time.

a woman holding a to do list, with a clock and pin board on the wall

Time management techniques

There are many different techniques to manage your time but research suggests that we should not get too focused on the technique itself.

Organising and prioritising is important. but we need to remain flexible, sensitive to our energy levels and needs, and consider time management as a choice rather than an imposition. Otherwise, these techniques may cause strain in themselves, which is counterproductive.

Awe is an emotion elicited by perceptions of vastness (either size or significance).  At certain moments in your life, you may have had the feeling that time stood still. Maybe it was the first time you saw the Grand Canyon, a solar eclipse, or the moment you first held your baby. These experiences are often those of awe.

Engendering a sense of awe can lead to expanded time perceptions which, in turn, can lead to increased perceived life satisfaction.

One way to feel like we have all the time in the world (even if we don't) is to actively look for things that inspire awe. It is easy to get caught up in the routines of everyday life and miss out on potentially wondrous experiences, some of which may be right under our noses. The mere fact of our existence, for one, can be enough to inspire awe.

Some useful resources to help you maintain good mental health are:

NHS Mind Plan Quiz - answer 5 questions for top tips and advice – now includes COVID 19 advice

How to Look after your Mental Health  - Mental Health Foundation downloadable booklet

Do One Thing for Better Mental Health – Mind Charity Information and Support

CS Local is represented in 8 localities across the United Kingdom, if you are interested in becoming an advocate for wellbeing in your area or  you would like to know more about our wellbeing networks please email the team and we will put you in touch with your local coordinator.

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  1. Comment by Kay Knott posted on

    A really brilliant and inspiring article. Thank you

  2. Comment by Rozanne Kidd posted on

    great article and worthwhile especially at present with so much on for many people who might feel overwhelmed right now. These are such helpful tips to support our mental health and wellbeing being shared across our CS LOCAL Communities. Thanks Heather for this 🙂

  3. Comment by Sheila Gurung posted on

    Thank you! Worth reading.