Too Busy? Need more time?
Time Management Tips
Ask someone how they are and most likely the answer will be “busy”. We live in a busy society. I am not immune. Many people ask me every week, “How do you do it all?” Yes, I home school 7 kids, run a business, make all my meals from scratch, have animals, garden, exercise, and read voraciously.
I would like to help you to get more out of your day. Below, please find some helpful hints that help me to get done what I need to get done, plus lets me have time to enjoy life:
Now, start timing how long certain tasks take. If you are like me, you’ll procrastinate when you don’t want to do something because it will take too long. But, how long does it take? You might be surprised. Start whatever it is you need to get done, but are putting off, and do it for only 15 minutes. Many tasks actually only take that long.
It’s also important to know that routines are your friend. Routines are what get me through the day. If you do something everyday in a certain order then you don’t have to think about it. You actually get a LOT done without even realizing what you are doing. Have a routine for the morning.
Here’s my morning routine:
Drink lemon water & start breakfast
Check e-mails, facebook, twitter, etc. & respond if needed
Shower, brush teeth, etc.
Bible reading/devotional time with the family
Time for home school
Then, have a routine for bedtime. Mine is the following:
Check e-mails, facebook, twitter, etc. & respond
Do prep work for dinner tomorrow
Pick out clothes for tomorrow
Say prayers with kids
Brush teeth, etc.
Go to bed
If you need to, write your morning & bedtime routines out and post them in a prominent place like the kitchen and/or bathroom. I don’t even think about doing these things because I do them on automatic pilot. Also, you can have a routine for each day of the week. I ALWAYS plan my meals and grocery shop for the coming week on Sunday evenings with my husband. It is kind of a mini-date for us.
Create boundaries. Don’t let the nosy neighbor suck up 45 minutes of your time because you step outside. Use your voicemail to return calls; don’t answer every call when it comes in. Also, you do not need to look at or answer
every text and e-mail when it comes in. Set aside a block of time every morning and evening to check your texts, e-mails, voicemails, tweets, and facebook posts so you are not distracted and/or disturbed during your critical work times. For example, everyone that knows me knows that we home school until 2:00 p.m. If you want to get in touch with me during this time, then it’s best to e-mail me. I will NOT answer the phone during school hours.
Next, don’t go it alone. If you have kids and/or a spouse or roommate, set up a system where everyone does their fair share of work. Chore charts work great for our family because the kids don’t need to be told (nagged) about their chores. They just look at the chart, do the work, and check off what they have done.
My BEST tip is: DON’T watch TV! I realize not everyone will want to do this, but I find it frees up a LOT of time to do other things. Our family watches one show most evenings. It is usually a re-run of “I Love Lucy” or “Rawhide” or something similar. However, the kids aren’t allowed to watch unless their chores are done and their rooms are clean. Dad checks their rooms and checks off the chore chart before anyone can sit down & watch the boob tube for 1/2 hour.
Another key to finding more time to get things done is to track where you are spending your time now. This may seem drastic, but if you do what I am about to suggest you will be surprised at how you spend your time. For 72 hours, write down in a little notebook or journal what you do every 15 minutes for 12 hours a day (for example – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.). Yes, it’s annoying & obnoxious to do, but get over it (this is said in my best “serious mom voice”). You may think you know how much time you spend on things but chances are you don’t. If you are REALLY serious about finding more time to do what you want, then you will buckle down and log your time for 3 days.
Once you know how you spend your time you are able to make a concerted effort to choose how you spend your time.
I hope this article will help you, even if you don’t adopt all of the suggestions I make. Time management can be easy if you know where you spend your time, how long your activities take, and you develop routines to get things done. I love and care about you and want you to have the life God has designed for you. Make a change today to arrange your time to get the thing you have to get done in a timely manner, so that you have time to do the things you enjoy. God bless you!