By prioritizing daily necessities and desired activities, you can complete goals while nurturing your health, which will help give you the energy to take part in your favorite pastimes.
Read on for seven tips for maximizing your time through thoughtful scheduling.
Seniors today have a vast number of scheduling tools at their disposal. Besides the tried-and-true calendar and daily planner, you can pick from whiteboards, electronic apps and programmable watches.
Having more than one copy of your schedule, such as one on your phone and a second on your refrigerator, gives you access to your information during outings or at home when your device is charging.
Schedules don't have to be boring or sterilized. You can mix it up with colorful pens, stickers and doodles. On electronic planners, check whether your program will let you use different font colors or highlights.
Pick colors or symbols to mark specific event categories, such as family engagements, medical appointments and the scheduled events here at LifeStream at Glendale. You'll be able to tell at a glance what's coming up next.
Artsy seniors may also enjoy decorating their calendars and making them their own. Just be sure to keep a balance of letting the symbols and colors help you memorize your schedule without cluttering it and making it hard to read.
Think through your typical day and write down necessities first. If you shower each morning, note how long you take from start to finish. Consider when you typically sleep and how long it takes to prepare for bed, and leave ample time to complete activities comfortably.
Filling in your daily activities of living will help you see what times are best when suggesting a visit with a family member or arranging a medical appointment. These unchanging time slots may include:
Older adults have more resources than ever at their disposal. Here in our Glendale independent living community, we schedule daily games and exercises to help foster healthy mental and physical activity.
However, your leisure options don't end at our door. Our residents can attend events hosted by the city, public library and nearby senior centers throughout Glendale. Restaurants and businesses also frequently offer concerts, poetry readings and trivia nights to inspire loyalty among their patrons.
Besides live events, older adults also have access to thousands of movies, television programs and hobby-themed videos through multiple streaming sites such as Netflix, YouTube and Tubi.
You may not know what to schedule first because of the seemingly endless possibilities. While it's good to try learning new things and skills, it's just as important to focus on yourself and your habits and personality.
An extrovert should be mindful to hang out with friends regularly, even if they have to compromise on their original schedule. Similarly, a shy, introverted senior should plan time for individual pursuits and not feel obligated to attend every invitation to group games and social events.
Ask yourself what makes you happy and fulfilled. If an activity like dancing makes you tired but happy, it's a good choice. But if a fast-paced competitive card game just makes you tired and stressed, you might want to switch plans and take part in a volunteer group or crafting club instead.
Being with your peers can be one of the best parts of retiring in an independent living community. Our residents are a friendly, welcoming bunch, which makes conversations around the dining table and group games in the common areas appealing.
That said, there's only one of you. You can't join every activity, sit at every table or go on every off-site outing.
If you're worried about disappointing someone, be caring but honest with them. Tell them you simply have too many things on your plate and are trying to find a balance that works for you.
An invaluable but often overlooked step to scheduling is sometimes to plan nothing. Leave parts of your schedule open for spontaneous activities. More importantly, leave sections of your schedule free for rest.
Getting enough sleep, nutrition, exercise and social and mental engagement are key components of good health as an older adult. However, rest is just as vital.
Leisure times when you read a book, watch the stars, soak in a warm bath or listen to music help reduce stress and relieve tension. Open times also free up time to suit your mood. One day you may wish to play bingo and another day garden. By leaving these sections of your schedule open, you can alter plans to do activities as they appeal to you.