For many, today is the first day of school…. what does that mean? For parents, a return to a routine with several hours to get things done while the kids are in school. For kids, a dreaded day and the end of their summer fun. Is it me, or do we manage our time better when we have a lot on our plate?
When Belinda was in school, I managed to get her off to school, commute to work (2 hours round-trip), home for gymnastics (or cheering, which ever the sport was of the moment) practice for several hours, help with homework, maintain the house (with some dust bunnies), volunteer my time and run a part-time craft business. It doesn’t look like a lot on paper but managing time was something that I had to do every day. Everything got done and I never felt like I had an incomplete to do list or one that ran over into the next day. Now that the school days are passed and the daily work pressure gone, I struggle. The more time that I have, the less I seem to get done. Does anyone else experience this?
My to do list tends to grow as I get lost in cyber-space. You know that area, right? You are just going to answer a few emails, then you get a notification about a Facebook post and you just have to respond and before you know it, several hours have gone by and your to do list has nothing scratched off. Today, is a new day and a new start (okay, so you have heard it before)!
I saw an article by Peter Drucker, a management consultant, who recommended a two step process for managing time:
- Start with a list of where your time is going – a time journal. I know, another way to waste time and get lost right? The truth is for many of us, we don’t know where the day goes. How often do we say “how did it get to be 3PM?”. By doing this the first step will be to cut back on unproductive demands on our time during the hours that you want to work. For me, this means doing my devotions in the morning followed by blogging. THEN I can read the rest of my emails and work on my to do list. I need to stay away from Facebook or set a timer. I know that Monday – Thursday, I have from 7AM – 11AM to get work done in the office before I get drawn into my hubby’s day. Then I have time again when he leaves for work on Wednesday and Thursday.
- After you list the activities that you spend your time on, he suggested that we ask three questions about each of the activities:
- What would happen if this task were not done at all? If nothing would happen, then the obvious conclusion is to stop doing it. Easier said then done, right?
- Which could be done by somebody else just as well? Raise your hand if you are the “they just don’t do it right” type of person when you really mean, they just don’t do it YOUR way. Hubby says, the “independent me” thinks that I need to do it all. WRONG! It is time to share the wealth. It is time to let him do it, HIS WAY and as long as it gets done, it is okay.
- What do I do that wastes my time without contributing to my effectiveness? For me, I had to put this in the form of “does this make money for me or is it a time waster?”. When I am in my office, the tasks need to be helping me to build my business (and not just by making packets, etc.).
Now, that I have evaluated where and how I waste my time… I am ready to move forward, what about you?
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!