The Voice of Experience: Time management tips to reduce senior frustration

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How often do we get frustrated when we find it`s lunchtime and we’ve not accomplished what we had planned for that morning? And have you ever been caught up in a job that will take a couple of hours, only to find yourself wiped within half that time? I think most of us seniors often run into those scenarios.

When I was asked to write this column a couple of weeks ago, I decided to address some of these problems and frustrations of the white-haired generation. Just think how I felt when I looked into my old workshop files and found the time management file empty! Your guess is as good as mine as to where all my notes have gone. Oh well!

Anyway, here are a few suggestions that can help us all:

•Accept the aging process, even if we don’t like it! We need, as seniors, to stop pretending we are as young and full of energy as we were a couple of decades ago.

•Organize the day. Make a short list of those things that must be done and another list of things we’d like to do. As the musts are finished, strike them off and decide which likes we’ll tackle next.

•Make use of the timer on the stove or microwave. Sometimes there’s a task that will take us longer than our energy level can handle. Break it up into realistic segments and when the time beeps, have a 15-minute break. (Cups of tea sure help me make it through the day!)

•Get rid of the most difficult task first, whether physically or emotionally difficult. Then we can say, “Great, that’s done!” and can carry on with easier, more pleasant items on our list.

I guess the whole thing boils down to being aware, and dealing with tasks as our senior energies allow. Remember, happiness doesn’t come from being exhausted!

Mary Underhill is a stress therapist and grief counsellor. The Voice of Experience is a column co-ordinated by the Therapeutic Activation Program for Seniors.