I have spent the last 21 days trying to improve my time management skills and made significant progress. I have enjoyed the organized and clutter free aspects that have crept into my life but I’ve realized this is not a change that will take 3 weeks or happen in a 30 day challenge. (although, by God, I love all kinds of 30 day challenges, it’s almost an addiction, HA!) It will be constant stream of growth as I continue to recognize where my time wasters are, how to purge them, and how to streamline my time to be the most productive.
Three important lessons I’ve learned thus far:
- Use a planning system. It’s important to find a system that works for you. I currently use a calendar and a planner. I’ve tried to combine the two using various methods and it just doesn’t work for me. We will cover out planning systems next week so you get a better idea of what works for us. (and Tabetha and each have our preferred methods). Purge those minor tasks from your to do list. If needed, keep a running list of tasks you can accomplish in under 15 minutes and when you have a few minutes, tackle one of those tasks. Your to do list should include only the top most important things you have to do. Break large projects into little bites and schedule those baby steps in your calendar!
- Give it a home. I can’t begin to tell you how much more motivated I am now that I have a clean and organized work surface. My disorderly desk has always bothered me but I never got a handle on it. By eliminating all the unnecessary items, it not only cleaned my work surface, it cleared my mind. My next project will be my sewing room. I can’t wait to feel about my sewing table like I feel about my desk. The most important aspect of giving it a home, and this is why I have failed in staying organized for the past 100 years, is to actually return things to their home…Immediately upon finishing.
- Plan Ahead. By effectively planning ahead, you will create more time in your day. I’m sorry to announce that there will never be more than 24 hours in a day but that doesn’t mean you can’t use those hours more productively. I am training for the Houston Chevron Marathon (I like end goals so I am always training for ‘something’) and so I need to not only work (nights no less!), manage my home, run an indie business, I also need to fit in my runs, my workouts, my gym time. By planning ahead, I’ve discovered where I can successfully cut time and where I can’t. For instance, food preparation is one of my favorite time savers. There is much to be said for cook once, serve twice. I’m also a big fan of meal planning, prepping my fruits and veggies for the week, freezing make meals to toss into the crockpot.
I am seriously looking forward to the continuation of this process. I will post exciting ideas, tips, and suggestions occasionally and I hope you share with me what works for you!