There is so much to do around here. Just when I think I've got it all under control, someone adds something to my list, needs an all day errand or requests a rush job. Most days I feel like I'm playing catch up on my to-do list.
These last few days have been different. Not because my lists have gotten smaller (I've added goals and challenged myself to reach them in thirty days). Instead I am getting more accomplished because I am budgeting my time more wisely and actually sticking to that budget.
1. Write it down. I've written down a time schedule that gives me a play by play of what I need to be doing and when I need to be doing it. It breaks up my work time and also includes time for creative writing and work on my novels. I have broken down every hour of the day, from rise and shine to good night moon.
2. Delegate. I LOVE to go to the grocery store (it's not like I've ever claimed to be normal ya know!). It was really all about saving money. I'd set a goal and then try to beat that amount. But in the rush to squeeze everything into my schedule, the budget flew out the window. I still don't have time to do the shopping like I want, but I did challenge my husband to do it instead. The list was written out just like it would be for me (by order it would be found in the store) and items with coupons were marked. He enjoyed going to the store, go through faster than he ever has and he actually saved some money. I was able to be home, writing, guilt free!
3. Give it up. I enjoy several televisions shows that come on prime time TV. Actually, I confess that I enjoy other television shows through out the day as well. Satellite is great for being able to watch just about anything at any time of the day. If I turn on the news, just to see what is going on, then I find myself flipping through to another show, then another show, then another show . . . I am better off if I just keep it off. Giving up television is one way that I add untold hours to my week.
4. Get up early. Mornings were never my best time. In high school, when so many girls worry about appearances, I was one that rolled out of bed when my ride called to say she was on her way. A quick pony tail, teeth brushing and clean clothes and I was ready for the door. It was more important for me to sleep as long as I could sleep. I still fight that need today. But my body will naturally wake up after only six hours of sleep if all else is normal. So as long as I hit the hay by 10ish then I am up before dawn (and before the rest of the house). It is so much easier to get things done without the distraction of emails, IM, telephones or "MOM!" screams.
5. Straighten up before you leave. It doesn't matter if you work in an office or your home. Take five minutes to straighten up your desk and put files away (yes, even if you plan to use them tomorrow). Walking into a clean work environment will help stimulate and not stifle. By the way, this also is helpful for the kitchen sink!
There is only a limited amount of time in any person's day. It is important that you make good choices about how you spend that limited amount of time. Keep in mind that one hour is to two days like one year is to 48 years. In other words, how you spend that one hour is equivalent to spending one year of your life. Is it worth it?
Having a time management plan is just as important as having a budget. To make the right choices you need to know how much time activities will take and also what alternatives you may have for those particular activities. Evaluate your own time and see how many years you can save!