What to Do? Tips for Senior Time Management

Senior citizens may have fewer demands on their time, but they still have a lot on their schedules.

Probably more than they realize. An in-home care companion can help a senior free up some time, assisting with daily chores, meal preparation, errands, grooming, and other tasks. Seniors can further reduce the stress that comes from demands on their time by practicing time management.

Besides keeping stress under control, time management for seniors offers these benefits:

  • Ensures that we have time for the activities that mean the most to us
  • Prevents us from over-scheduling our time
  • Helps us maintain balance in our lives
  • Saves us time

If all of this sounds good, here are some tips for seniors and their caregivers to consider in developing a good time management plan:

  • Make a list of all activities: Try not to leave anything out. Include exercise and rest, because both make us more efficient. If you have trouble coming up with everything all at once, spend a few days putting this list together, jotting down each activity as you prepare for it. Also make note of whether the activity is a regularly scheduled one or whether it occurs only occasionally.
  • Prioritize the list: Determine which items on the list are the most important to you. If you’re unsure, come back to this later after you’ve taken time to consider the next item.
  • Understand your personal goals: Knowing what you want to accomplish during this stage of your life is just as important as it’s always been. Goals keep you focused and on track and will give you a sense of accomplishment. Knowing this will make prioritizing your “to do” list so much easier.
  • Put your schedule in writing: When you put it in writing it’s more difficult to waver from. You’re more likely to follow through and accomplish those things that are most important to you and your goals in life. You can use a planner, a wall calendar or even an online calendar. The point is to write down what you’re doing and when. As each new opportunity presents itself, glance at your calendar to see if there’s time to include it. If necessary, take time to think how the activity fits into your personal goals. If you don’t have time for it and it doesn’t advance or enrich your goals, consider passing.
  • Be flexible: The days of living by a rigid, inflexible schedule are over! Never be afraid to change plans when the mood or meaningful opportunity strikes.

Here are a few examples of creative and helpful ways for seniors to spend free time:

  • Pricing items for local rummage sales
  • Preparing and serving meals at homeless shelters
  • Washing dogs awaiting adoption
  • Volunteering to read in kindergarten classes
  • Making baked goods for fundraisers
  • Stuffing envelopes for nonprofit groups
  • Going back to school
  • Giving online dating a try
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