In your Second Act, no one manages your time except you! At first, a big, wide-open retirement calendar can be fun. But at some point you realize you really don’t want to waste your time. And we all need a sense of accomplishment, no matter where we’re focusing our energies. It can be easy to get overwhelmed looking at an ever-growing list of all the things you want (or need) to do. On the other hand, running around with everything in your head slows you way down.
So how do you best manage your days?
Desmond Tutu wisely said “There is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time.” Here is a quick list of 10 tips to get you organized to meet your goals. The key here is to better construct your schedule so you can spend the majority of your time as you wish!
1. Assign a time limit for each task you want to accomplish. For example, if you want to clean your office, assign 2-hour increments. It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you break it up into manageable segments.
2. Itemize the “big ones”. For bigger tasks that may take longer, set up a to-do list tailored specifically to that goal. Tackling each step gets you closer to that larger accomplishment.
3. Don’t abandon tasks. Take your list-crafting seriously and don’t ignore what you’ve written down. Procrastination is one of the biggest time-wasters. Don’t give in to it.
4. There’s an app for that. Believe it or not, there are many new apps out there to help with time management. For example, RescueTime helps you understand your time in a way you never have before.
5. Set aside time to plan your attack. The night before, take 15 minutes to plan your day, and include in some down time. It’s important to be realistic. One solution could be to wake up an hour earlier.
6. Tackle very important tasks in the morning. Although there are true night-owl exceptions, many of us have most of our energy in the morning, after a night’s sleep.
7. Consider batching tasks that are similar. You can save time using the same skills for the same sort of to-dos. For example, don’t make one appointment or follow up call, make three.
8. Delegate, outsource, even ask for help. TaskRabbit and Thumbtack are go-to resources when you need help. And although most of us don’t want to bother friends or family, you are missing out on an opportunity to return the favor. That’s what makes the world go-round.
9. Limit your time on social media and online surfing. Seriously. Set a timer on your phone and when the timer goes off, get up out of that chair and MOVE.
10. Celebrate each completion! Crossing items off your to-do list creates daily optimism and is empowering. Your valuable time is now free for tracking dreams.
Jot it down, get it done and then go have fun!
Diana Landau is the Content Wrangler for Pickleball Media. After 15 years in corporate marketing, in 2012 she pivoted to write and wrangle content for Niche Media's weekly blog. She now manages the I Used to Be Somebody weekly blog.
1. No one told me that in retirement, no one wants your expertise about that work you did for the last 20+ years. (Not even your spouse. Maybe your dog.)
2. No one told me that in retirement, taking a nap isn’t as fun as it used to be. You lay down for a moment (or three) to rest a little…and you’re afraid you might not get up again!
3. No one told me that my significant other is so busy. Here I thought they’d drop everything and focus on ME when I retired.
4. No one told me that in retirement that I’d get around to that consistent exercise routine and finally get in shape…but I’d have injuries! Pulled muscles! Playing through the aches! I can go on…
5. No one told me that I’d have to make new friends at my age. Not so easy! I think it’s harder for guys and more so if you had an all-consuming career.
6. No one told me that in retirement, the two most powerful words are YES and NO. Yes, I would like to go to dinner or see that new play! No, I do not want to join your committee with 30 weekly phone calls/emails and 5 meetings each month!
7. No one told me that in retirement, people would assume I do nothing all day. Not true! What’s different is now I control what I want to do and when I want to do it.
8. No one told me that in retirement, I would actually want to work, but just in a different way. (Less grind, more fun!) In fact, 3 in 5 retirees plan to launch a new line of work that differs from what they have done in the past.*
9. No one told me that in my Second Act, I would find my new work life so rewarding!
10. No one told me that in (un)retirement, there are so many people just like me—people who actually feel younger, not older! *
* Work in Retirement: Myths and Motivations
**Growing Old in America: Expectations vs. Reality