Everyone has the same amount of hours in a day. 24. If you have more than 24, well, I can’t help you. You’ll need a counselor for that. Everyone has different responsibilities they have to accomplish in a day. So while we CAN’T compare our lives to other peoples, we can learn time management for our own lives.
Life lessons I’ve learned this year: if you wisely use the time you already have, it will beget more time.
(Btw, beget is a weird word and I couldn’t stop repeating it in my head. Beget and Baguette….. and now I’m hungry.)
If you have an extra five minutes, spend it wisely and you’ll find more time the next day. So on and so forth. You want more time to spend with your family? Skip Netflix that night and get your work done so you can spend some quality time with them!
What are some ways you can learn time management?
1. Decide on the necessary.
Cut back on everything but what is absolutely necessary in your life and build from there. I was afforded the opportunity to have a life-planning redo. Meaning, I was able to start from a completely clean schedule, as in absolutely nothing on the horizon. We had moved to a new town, away from family and friends, (that part of it was sad) but it also gave me a chance to reevaluate my own life and see how much stuff I wasted time on.
There were a lot of things I spent time doing simply because I thought other people expected me to do them.
That is the LAMEST EVER reason to do something.
Don’t put other people’s expectations on yourself- real or imagined.
For example, I thought I had to be supermom and be an amazing cook, interior designer, crafter extraordinaire, and all around miracle worker when I had my first baby. The reality was, my baby and I were gone every day working- yes the baby came with me. Then I would come home and try to be fantastic at the homemaker section of my life because I was afraid I would be considered a failure as a mom/wife. I was worried about how I would explain to people that we spent most of the hours in our day taking care of animals. (Yes, I have a people pleasing problem.)
My child also refused to sleep at night. It wasn’t long before I turned into a walking zombie. We made it through though, and I have some fond memories of getting to work with my baby and he loved it. I wouldn’t have changed that part of it for the world! What I WOULD change is getting rid of the unnecessary. I don’t need to craft, cook, look like a model, and lift like a beast because that’s what the “Jones'” do. I just need to focus on what’s important in MY life.
2. Cut back on your possessions.
Don’t be a slave to your possessions. When I began embracing a more minimalistic lifestyle I began to have more hours in my day. Less stuff = less stress = more time = peace of mind.
Less stuff = less stress = more time = peace of mind.
When you’re not wasting time trying to take care of stuff you don’t use, your mind is less cluttered. When your mind is less cluttered your productivity increases.
If you reduce the number of possessions you have, you’ll find a lot more time available at your finger tips.
3. Don’t be somebody else.
God made you to be you. Don’t try to be somebody else.
I’ve got a sister who is amazing with young kids. She’s got the patience of a saint AND she’s super creative and fun. She was a fantastic preschool teacher for a lot of years and now is a great mom. Once upon a time, I aided at her preschool part-time.
You know what I learned? I’m not a kid person. Needless to say, I moved on rather quickly and left that job to someone better qualified to handle three-year-olds.
Anyways…. The point is, don’t waste your time being miserable. What makes one person thrive could crush another person. Some people thrive on creativity. Some people thrive on messes. Some people thrive among other people while others love solitude.
Understand what makes YOU operate best and be unapologetic for it. I am NOT saying that you should never do anything you don’t enjoy.
Challenges are good for the soul.
I AM saying that everyone is unique and if you’re busy pretending to be/like/do what somebody else does then you are going to waste your life and most likely be miserable doing it.
Don’t waste your time trying to be somebody else.
4. Revamp how you do food.
Food takes a ton of time- especially if you have a family. I’m not sure how it happens but you can go from being single and never cooking to camp cook in the span of “I do.” It’s crazy.
Before I got married, I never remember cooking. I’m not even sure what I ate because I hardly ever grocery shopped.
It must have been copious amounts of coffee and cold cereal because I did not spend hardly any time in a grocery store or kitchen at that point in my life.
Were any of you like that or am I the only one?
Fast forward to me feeling like I lived in the kitchen. I was either at work or in my kitchen for the first couple years of marriage. And it wasn’t fun to me. I was grumpy and by the time I was done cooking I would pile my dishes in the sink and hope they would magically disappear. They never did.
Then I discovered the glorious crockpot, freezer meals, and meal planning amazingness. It’s fantastic! I like to do a combination of all three of those things plus some fifteen-minute meals. We still eat home cooked meals but between those, I do minimal cooking and we still have delicious food. Everybody’s happy.
Use your crockpot/instapot.
Make a month of freezer meals.
Use a fifteen minute meal plan.
Start meal planning and I bet you will save yourself hours of time! Free week meal plan worksheet you can use to get started.
5. Schedule your time.
When you know what you’re supposed to do next, you’ll find that you don’t waste time. I try to keep a rough daily schedule.
I say rough because I have kids. And kids are the ultimate schedule changers and that is 100% okay. Even though the schedule changes on a regular basis it still helps me get a lot done.
Perhaps routine would be a better word here.
For example: I get up in the mornings, grab my coffee and blog before the kids get up, then do any meal prep while I feed the kids breakfast and get the laundry started, and so on and so forth the day goes. They are small routines that I build to help the rest of the day flow better and it makes a huge difference. I don’t waste time wondering what I should be doing- I can tackle my work and have time to spare.
Time blocking is an effective way for me to get things done with kids.
The experts say you should schedule every minute rather than time block, and I’m sure they are right. But with my current season of life scheduling minutes with two little people who have their own schedules in mind, change how I schedule.
When I’m working while the kids are sleeping, I do schedule in exactly what I’m going to do. It helps me accomplish more in a short period of time.
6. Don’t overload yourself.
Excuse me while I slow clap for this one.
Oh my how I love to overload myself. I like to get a lot done. I like to get everything done. I like to do everything at once. I like to spread myself as thin as a potato chip. Don’t be me.
I like to write to-do lists with fifty things on them. I start ten projects at once. And have issues finishing any of it. Before I had my second baby, I wrote a to-do list with 76 things on it. No joke. In my defense, I got most of them done (only because the baby was two weeks late), but I suffered a lot of burn-out and wasted time along the way. If I had simplified things down to doing just one thing a day, I think I would have gotten way further than I actually did.
I read Gary Kellers book called The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results
Buy it and read it if you suffer from having the attention span of a squirrel- like I do. It has revolutionized my way of thinking and planning. I needed that reality check. Keller talks about how adding more to your to-do’s or schedule is not necessarily a good approach. He says to figure out the one thing that needs to be done and then do it. Find the one thing that is going to make the most difference, and accomplish it. So find out the one thing you need to do and DO IT! In the long run, you get way more work done and will see an increase in your efficiency.
Don’t scatter your time and attention by trying to do fifty things. Focus on one thing at a time and finish it.
Learn time management and help your efficiency in work and at home. It’s amazing to see the difference.
While we all suffer from the limited hours in our day, we can spend those hours wisely. Yes, sometimes life throws things at us that we can’t control. Like on a daily basis. But it doesn’t mean you have to run around in life stressed to the max. Free up your time with time-saving lifestyle changes and you’ll be able to do more of what matters to you.