Managing Your Time, Life and Tasks During Retirement

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Tips on time and life as a retired senior citizen. These years really can be the best years and full of adventure.

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Time and life management issues don’t go away just because you are retired. You may think that you have all the time in the world but that is exactly where the problem with time management begins. It’s called the “I’ve got all day” syndrome (IGAD - pronounced egad!)

You still have a job and that job is living a full and productive life. If you think otherwise you may fall into a depression, become physically weak and ill, become isolated and intellectually bored.

One way to avoid falling off the face of the earth is to keep a calendar and a schedule. Not to say every moment must be scheduled but there are important things that you want to accomplish and things to do. If you are not used to ordering your day without an imposed schedule and you don’t really know how to go about it then here are some tips.

Make a List - Make Lots of Lists

Make a list of all the things that you want to do before you die. This has come to be known as your “Bucket List” from the movie of the same name starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman.

Make a list of the things that need repair and attention around you house.

Make a list of all the books that you want to read.

Make a list of all the local plays and recreation centers and concerts and events in your area.

Make a list of all the people that you do not want to lose touch with.

Don't be shy about putting silly stuff on your lists. This is a time to brainstorm so do some free association and maybe sit with your partner or friend over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and make lists together.


What or who is important in your daily life? Do you want to talk to your kids or grandkids more often or take the time to get outside or go on a date with your spouse?

If you don’t put the important things on your daily calendar then it is entirely possible that you will let the days go by without giving them so much as a nod.

Make a priority list that includes:

  • People
  • Education
  • Exercise
  • Community Service
  • Fun and activities
  • Travel

Get a daily planner that also includes a monthly page. Franklin Covey makes a great planner and includes instructions on how to prioritize and coaches the user through the steps of using the planning tools.

If you don’t want to get a planner you can get a big block calendar to hang on the wall and keep a running daily pocket list.

Schedule your Month, Week and Day

Look at your lists and make monthly plan. Include your broad priorities and appointments. For example you may want to just put the word “exercise” on the MWF days and “Family Contact” on four or five days and “Work Day” on one or two days. These can be your broad categories. Include planning days and a book or two by title on your monthly calendar.

When you look at your monthly calendar start transferring events and tasks to your weekly calendar every Sunday night or Monday morning. Spend five or ten minutes each morning reviewing yesterday and transferring stuff over to the new day that didn’t get done. Make those things that didn’t get done yesterday a priority for today.

Don’t be afraid to make your list long. Do include phone calls and things like visiting neighbors and taking a walk or sketching. These are things that need to be tended and they are very important in your retirement. Make sure you are enjoying and living your life.

Eat That Frog

Eat That Frog is a book by Brian Tracy on how to get things done and stop procrastinating. The concept is that every morning when you wake up if you eat a frog nothing much worse can happen. If you have any ugly frogs on your list then you should eat that frog first and the rest of your day will fall into place in a much more pleasant way. Hopefully by the time you reach retirement you will have eaten all the frogs you need to eat or ever want to eat. So really, if you don’t want to eat that frog maybe you should just cross it off your list. But if it is something that you really must do - like a preventative medical procedure or test - you should go ahead and swallow that frog first.