Keep a calendar! Whether it’s in your electronic device or in hard copy on your desk, find a method that will let you keep track of every appointment, deadline and event every day.
Now you can make a daily to-do list. Start with the priorities and add pieces of long-term projects so that you can chip away at bigger jobs over time. If a task is not essential, put it on a future projects list and dismiss the unnecessary stress. Things is a very effective task manager for Mac and iPhone. Similar applications are available for PCs and other handheld devices.
Just say no
Sometimes wanting to do everything — chairing your child’s school’s social committee, hitting three birthday parties in a weekend and cleaning the house top to bottom — is just not humanly possible. Look at the parameters of your time. Are you trying to do too much in a day? A week? A month? Maybe there are activities that you can trim right off the bat that will give you more time. You don’t need to be present at every gathering of friends or get involved in every work, school or religious activity to still be a part of it all. Take on the tasks and social obligations that are the most fulfilling and worthwhile.
With children, a person’s to-do list expands exponentially, depending on the size of your family. Consider how much your child is getting out of various activities and social events. Is there something that could be removed from the schedule? Quiet time at home with the family could prove even more valuable and save everyone some wear and tear.
The second part of saying no is assessing whether there are opportunities or funds to have someone else to do part of what’s on your list. Can you afford a part-time housekeeper or lawn service? Are there ways to carpool the kids to school or soccer practice? Joining forces with others who have the same schedule as you do offers a chance to have someone else do the driving for a day.
Sometimes we have enough hours of the day to get things done, but we don’t like the things we have to do! A helpful tip from the Mayo Clinic recommends the 10-minute rule in which you work on something you’ve been procrastinating for 10 minutes every day. You might just discover you don’t want to stop until it’s finished!
It also helps to minimize distractions. If you have computer work to do, whether at home or the office, turn off instant messaging and any other automated programs, like an email alert. Make yourself unavailable for as long as it takes to get the job done.
Ask the experts
Whether it’s professional work, house work, daily life or all of the above that you need help managing time for, there are an endless array of classes, books and professionals you can get help from. Check resources such as Flylady.net, CreativeOrder.com and JulieMorgenstern.com for valuable ways to find order in your life.
Don’t despair if it seems like you’ll never have time to get done everything that needs doing in a day. With some planning, awareness and fine-tuning of your schedule and priorities, you will soon know the satisfaction and empowerment of making your time work for you, rather than the other way around.
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Where do you get ideas on how to decorate your apartment?
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