Mental Health Monday – Week 4

For the past 3 weeks we got into a lot of things from spotting unhealed trauma within & around us, to identifying thought patterns & breaking negative thought patterns in a healthy way.

Today I’ll be discussing the importance of time & task management.

Being organized & giving yourself time to do things is crucial to avoid burnout & helps your mind feel less cluttered.

The principles of Time & Task Management are:

1) Identifying your task.

2) Prioritizing your task.

3) Plan when to complete your task.

4) Follow through on completing the task.

Now that we know the 4 principles of time & task management, we can be honest with ourselves & say we haven’t always followed through with things that needed to get done.

For whatever reason, we have all slacked off once or twice before, especially with being home during a pandemic it’s easy to say “I’ll do that tomorrow.” Then tomorrow comes & you still haven’t done that task or chore.

It’s cool, this isn’t to pass judgment on anyone who may be slacking but let’s get back to the tasks at hand. – No pun intended.

First things first, when it comes to time & task management we need to decide what it is that needs to be done. Then we should determine where to start based on when things are due or need to be completed. Assigning time for these things to be completed is important but the most important step is actually completing the task or whatever it is you set out to do.

Like I said, it’s easy to put things off or for something to pop up that’s more important but we have to be intentional & hold ourselves accountable.

Without intention & accountability, it’s easy to fall into a pattern of laziness or lax.

When the pandemic first hit, we all were in shock & felt this feeling of uncertainty. After weeks of being home, working or not, lots started to see the importance of home & family verse the stress of work.

Now I can only speak for myself when I say this but after moving out of my mom’s house I busted my ass everyday at a 9-5 that I enjoyed at first but grew to hate within a year. I felt so down because I knew I needed to work to take care of myself & to put love into my side hustles but I was so over it! I would smile & pretend to be happy but Lord knew I wasn’t. Management & the higher ups hated that I was vocal, I felt like they wanted me to conform & most people in my life suggested I should to keep the peace. I understood their reasonings but I’ve never had a worker’s mentality. What I mean by that is I never seen myself being at someone’s company forever because the plan is to have my own. I have a very strong work ethic, I’m self sufficient, & I can definitely get the job done but I never seen myself at any job for a long time. Some will say that isn’t good. Some will understand. To be honest, I don’t care what anyone thinks about it. I know the vision I hold for myself & sometimes even the people closest to you won’t get it. While everyone told me to just work & keep my head down, I did because I couldn’t just quit. It made me angry because I felt I was settling for a check. I know most people live that way & it truly isn’t a good feeling. Until I was being picked apart for things that has nothing to do with my work, like how I dressed, or my hair color. I ended up going to HR, expressing my unhappiness & concerns, that I eventually created a position for myself within another department & was thrilled! I was finally excited about work again. The new role was set to start in January of 2020. Then 2020 hits. In January & February it was smoothing sailing getting acquainted with the new role I had taken on but then lockdown happened shortly after my mom had just been diagnosed with breast cancer. It was a tough & weird time for me but I knew nothing mattered more than family in that time. I felt like everything happened the way it was supposed to so I can be there for my family. After a few weeks almost all of the company was furloughed & then a lot were completely laid off months later.

It was tough, I was worried, I was feeling like “now what?” but I always kept faith. I took last year as a resting period. While everyone was upset we couldn’t be outside, I personally didn’t mind it. Working everyday with one day of the week to do whatever was burning me out. When you live alone you don’t have anyone here to help clean up for you, cook you meals, or do your laundry & forget about it if you don’t have a washer & dryer at home. It’s constant chores. Plus trying to find time to have a social life & do things that bring joy but also make time to meal prep for the week so you can consciously budget yourself. It was a lot. It had definitely been my way of life for the past couple of years & when things slowed down I realized how much of a rat race life was. I personally don’t ever want to go back to that lifestyle & I don’t think things will go back to that, although Amerikkka is surely trying to get back there. I say all of this to say that, during that rest period I too have put off some things.

While resting your body is definitely important, it’s also important to keep doing the things you love & that bring you joy.

Don’t let this pandemic or any hardship you’re currently facing steal your motivation to do the things that spark happiness.

I will be attaching an Activity Log, along with a Values & Activities worksheet for you all. After that resting period I completed a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy workbook, in the workbook were these worksheets that I found to be helpful to get me back on task.

The Activity Log is used to assign time to your tasks while also rating the enjoyment level & importance of it. This may help you realize what should be done first & what can wait.

The Values & Activities worksheet is used to clarify your values within the activities.

For example: I may value changing my house around since I spend more time here now. Below will be some activities I commit to doing to see through that value I have.

Value: Beautifying my living situation.

Activity: Buy flowers.

Activity: Get rid of old items.

Activity: Paint a room in the house.

Everyone’s values & activities will be different but the importance of being intentional & seeing through what you have planned is the goal.

Attached are the worksheets. Print or save a copy daily to track your task. Rate the level of enjoyment & importance. Clarify what your values are & what activities can be done to fulfill those values.

There is no right or wrong way to do this, so don’t get discouraged if your list isn’t long enough. It’s actually recommended to start off small then add more tasks as you gradually complete the first few tasks you give to yourself. Don’t take on more than you can handle. Delegate tasks accordingly & do what you can. It isn’t a race.

I feel called to remind everyone that you are more than just the work you do. Sure working has it’s own gratifications & rewards but keep in mind that you are more than just that or the money you obtain from it. No job is more important than taking care of yourself first & foremost.

As always, be kind to yourself during this process. Repeat these steps as many times as needed.


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