I keep thinking that one day there will be more time in the day to get things done. My daughter started first grade this fall. For years I heard about all the time I would have once she was in school for a full day. Some suggested that I might even get bored.
Yeah…hasn’t happened. Sure, I do have more time to work, a good thing, but a child in school requires more time in other ways. And I definitely have not been bored.
What about you? Have you waited for a season in your life where you expected to have more time and didn’t? Perhaps you sent a child off to college, settled in a new job, or finally retiring. The promise of more time is there, but life has a way of bringing in different things that often leave you busier than before.
Whether you are in a busy season or just looking for ways to maximize your time, the following suggestions are helpful:
• Recognize that you can’t do everything. You may need to repeat this a few times before it finally sinks in.
• Set goals. What do you want to accomplish in your personal, family, and work life? Don’t overthink it; one goal for each area is fine.
• Use goals to evaluate current activities. When I found myself spending too much time in the kitchen and not enough with my family, I simplified our meals. No one has complained, and I definitely feel less hurried.
• Say “no” to people, events, or activities that don’t support your goals. We are saying “no” to weekly structured activities for our daughter, who is still adjusting to being in school all day. There will be plenty of opportunities later.
• Put one thing on hold. My new blog is in cyber storage. I may take it out again. If not, it’s not the end of the world. Not everything I start has to be finished.
• Cancel what is not being used. If it’s not being read, watched, or attended, it won’t be missed.
• Delegate or pay someone. Give your kids a few more responsibilities and opportunities to make extra cash. Don’t have kids? Hire someone else’s. Years ago I paid a neighbor’s son and his friend to take care of extra chores in the yard. It was a win/win for all of us.
• Get some perspective. Sometimes you are too close to a situation to see it clearly. Ask a trusted friend, family member, or colleague for help or input.
• Schedule it with a friend. Busy people are in dire need of some fun and relaxation. You may break an appointment with yourself, but you will rarely cancel on a friend.
• Remember, most things are not set in stone. If you make a change, and it doesn’t work, you can always change it back.
Our family is still adjusting to changes in the routine. We have found more time for each other and for fun activities. Some weeks are better than others. We continue to evaluate what we are doing to make sure everyone’s needs are met.
What about you? If you don’t have the time you need, set some goals and reassess your commitments. Put something on hold. Say “no.” Schedule something fun with a friend. Take a look at your time. You’ll be glad you did.
If you need help saying “no,” check out http://www.get-it-together-llc.com/monthly-article/archive/time-manageme... for a step-by-step guide.
Renee Ursem, Professional Organizer and owner of Get It Together, LLC in Las Vegas, helps people learn how to organize and maintain their spaces using simple, practical strategies.
Renee can be reached at www.get-it-together-llc.com. Find her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/GetItTogetherLLC) and Linkedin.