Relocation Resources        

Are You Struggling to Manage Your Time during Your Transition?




06-Feb-2017
A big transition like a global relocation can often mean new roles – professional or personal – and additional commitments. We start the journey off with high hopes of being able to manage our time and new ventures with organisation and skill. This, however, can be tricky. How do you incorporate new responsibilities alongside the old ones? Do you simply add more to your already active day or do you find creative ways to readjust your schedule to accommodate your new needs?

A widely known great thinker on time management, Stephen Covey authored the popular book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. As Mr. Covey states, "The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities." He believed that most of us spend time on what is urgent but not on what is important.* 

During times of transition, this can be even more apparent since there are so many changes to manage. Relocation tasks become the priority and aligning those with what is already structured in your life may take some finesse.

To enhance your time management skills during stressful times, such as a job search or global relocation, consider using a time management chart or grid. There are many versions that can readily be found online. During normal circumstances, you may have relied solely on your memory to manage your time. Perhaps you memorised all of your appointment times and to-do tasks. But being in unfamiliar circumstances or a new country does not allow the brain to focus on these specific tasks as intently. Now the brain is spending it's time learning new routines and structures while at the same time maintaining the old. Create a time management plan and priority list, and then write them down on paper to ensure you stay on task. 

Looking at your priorities, your tasks are generally divided into two categories – urgent and important. Focus most of your attention on tasks that are important to you and your family but not urgent – taking care to set urgent tasks aside as they arise and to be complete at a designated time.  In most cases, what we consider 'urgent' is not really (except in the case of an emergency). Use a chart, grid or matrix to schedule your days and your week accordingly, ensuring you and your family has time for what matters most right now. 

During a transition, you might find yourself multi-tasking more and more! Although going through a change can throw you off balance, learning to prioritise tasks and using a valuable time management tool, such as a chart, grid or matrix, will help you quickly regain your momentum. Keep things organised and maintain your sanity as you transition! Prioritise what is important to you each day. 

*Forbes, "Stephen Covey: 10 Quotes That Can Change Your Life" 


Contribution by Jill Jassmann-Sharlock.
Jill is an IMPACT Group Global Research Specialist who focuses on the unique information needs of global transferees. She also serves as IMPACT Group's Global myIMPACT Specialist, managing content for our global client-facing website.

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