For many of us, choosing the not “normal” path time is short. We are busy folks, with long to-do lists and even longer lists of projects we hope to tackle. Its imperative that we maximize our time while not allowing ourselves time to play and relax too. Time management, is one of those things, that varies for each person and what works for Sandy might not work for Jill and vice versa. However, there are few things that most anyone can implement in their own fashion to make life run more smoothly so that more projects can be tackled.
- Project Notebook/Calendar/Planner/Blackberry - Some sort of time management system is extremely helpful. This varies for every person, but having one place that keeps track of every appointment, errands, to-do lists, shopping lists, birthdays, holidays, etc. is essential. Knowing that you have one notebook or calendar to consult at the beginning of each day instead of hunting in three different places as well as the calender on the refrigerator and daughter Karen’s desk calender too, will make life much easier. Make that planner or notebook your life line. Take it with you every where you go and keep everything in it. It make take a little while to make this routine, but in the end it will take less time to figure out your day, week, month, year. Mark things like first and last frost dates, birthdays, keep a section for to-do lists, grocery lists, and everything else that you need. You can buy calendar pages or print them out for free.
- Everything has a place and everything in its place -Just like grandma always said. Its much easier to keep things put away in their proper place, than it is to hunt for them later. When you’re done using something put it back in the same place every time. Make it a habit and you’ll never have to hunt for something for minutes or hours on end again. Train other family members to do the same, by instituting a fine system when something’s not put back correctly. The fine can be as little as a nickel or dime for each item misplaced, that money is then used for date night for mom & dad. Or a massage for mom…
- Idle hands are the devil’s playground - You should absolutely plan time for rest, but also remember that its okay to watch a movie and do some knitting or embroidery at the same time if you so desire.
- Keep a meal plan - It’s okay to change your meal plan if you desire or something comes up. However, having something written down each week will save you time and money, because there’s never any doubt. The meal plan will also alert you to things that need done, like taking the chicken out of the freezer, or making rice.
- Make time for fun & rest -Be sure you manage your time to include fun and rest. Without some time to de-stress and have some fun, little else will get accomplished because you’ll be too burned out.
- Be realistic -When you’re planning your days, be realistic about what you can accomplish in a day. If you’ve got two toddlers in diapers, you’re probably unlikely to accomplish as much as the person with no children. Don’t expect yourself too, either. Set your days around what is doable without stress and learn to be okay with that. As your life changes and grows you may find you can fit in more or less, learn to accept yourself and your life as it is. In the end, this will help you more than most any other time management tip.
What’s your best time management tip? What advice would you give someone struggling to manage the details of daily life and still have time to enjoy life?