Many of the residents at Collinwood assisted living community in Fort Collins, CO, live vibrant, active lives. If you think retirement means sitting around and doing nothing, then you haven't visited anyone at our community! Aside from scheduled activities, including cooking classes, transportation to local cultural events and games of UNO, BINGO and Scrabble, seniors at Collinwood have their own appointments and obligations to attend to. Many volunteer, spend a lot of time with friends or get involved with worship or other faith-based activities.
It's easy at any age to fill your calendar to overflowing. And for seniors in an assisted living community, as for adults of any age and location, overburdening your schedule can lead to burnout and cause you to get less done with your time. Here are a few tips for living your best life and enjoying each vibrant day.
Time and project-management guru Charlie Gilkey praises time blocking methods, especially for creative-minded entrepreneurs. But a lot of what he says about using blocks in our schedule may be applicable to seniors in retirement.
Gilkey says that every person only has a certain number of focus blocks each week. These are the times you handle in-depth tasks that require your concentration but that you might also enjoy. Writing, crafting, building or planning for volunteer work might all be focus block tasks for busy seniors. According to Gilkey, you may only have five or six of these blocks each week, so you have to plan your activities accordingly.
You can read more about time blocking to find out how to incorporate admin, social and recovery blocks into your schedule. The goal is to define how much activity you can endure physically, mentally and emotionally and make the most of that each week.
You may be able to get more than one thing done each day. But as you plan tomorrow or the week ahead, decide what will be the priority for each day. That way, if you wake up feeling less than stellar or something else comes up to steal some of your hours in a day, you can still prioritize your one item. Getting the most important or enjoyable task done each day helps you hit the pillows that night with a sense of accomplishment.
Remember: Sometimes the tip for getting more done is to try to do less at one time.
Doing things you enjoy can help you get more done each day, but avoiding things you don't enjoy can actually derail your entire schedule. You might put off a necessary task, such as making a medical appointment, because you don't want to do it. But your thoughts and energy stay somewhat tied up in that task, and the fact that it's looming over your head can mean you enjoy other activities less or even avoid getting other things done.
Productivity experts tend to have rules about small tasks: if it only takes two minutes to do the task, it's not even worth writing it down and doing it later. Simply do it now and get it out of the way. And if you have an unpleasant or unwanted task that you must do, get it done first and out of the way so you can move on to more positive things.
One way to get more done daily is to not do it all yourself. One great thing about residing in the Collinwood assisted living community is that you can automatically delegate some tasks that previously fell to you to handle. Cooking, landscape maintenance, housekeeping and laundry services are just some of the daily tasks that get handled for you so you can enjoy other activities each day.