One of the things I promised myself I would not do this year, is use the excuse "I don't have enough time".
It actually makes me cringe just how much I have abused those five words in the past.
I mean hey, in my defence it IS the perfect excuse to avoid getting off my ass ass and doing some exercise, or to avoid having to sit through a wisdom tooth extraction or even getting out of having to take a bunch of over hyped kids to watch movies like Frozen (although thankfully mine are now beyond this and on to far more exciting movies like the Minion movies and Star Wars (KILL ME NOW).
On the contrary, It makes me sad to think about how many things I have missed out on because I seriously believed I didn't have the time to fit it in.
You know family stuff or time spent with friends and such.
As much as I despise the feelings that are often associated with time lines - like deadlines and being on time and running out of time etc, I am fully aware that a bit of careful structuring of the hours in the day could actually mean I recover some precious minutes... hours even.
In my pursuit of making and taking more time, I sat down the other night and wrote out a list of ways I could snatch back some more time in my day for myself.
Now whether I use that time to finally getting around to having that wisdom tooth pulled out, losing my ass, relaxing with friends and family or simply staring off into space whilst dribble runs down my chin is irrelevant really.
Just knowing I have that time up my sleeve to use how I see fit on any given day is the reward in itself and not to mention the benefit of reducing some of the time related stress.
So here's how I figure I will manage to make and take some more time for myself.
1. Get Organised.
Yup keeping the house tidy and organised and preparing stuff the night before will mean less time wasted trying to find things and running around in a tizz in the morning.
I am far less stressed and way more motivated when I am organised and not surrounded by clutter.
2. Keep Up Those Lists
Ha. I am a notorious list maker, and as long as I don't waste too much time writing and rewriting those lists (which I have been known to do) then my lists should help to keep me on track with knowing what I need to get done each day.
Same goes with menu planning and shopping lists etc - a little bit of time spent in the planning department will save a whole lotta staring off into space whilst I wonder what the hell I'm going to cook and need to buy blah blah blah.
3. Multi Task it Baby
I have shared before my Sanity Folder which I take with me everywhere. This folder allows me to make use of the time I spend sitting around waiting for kids, waiting for appointments or even sitting in traffic.
Now if I apply that same concept to every day tasks then, sweet baby cheeses I could be like a God Damn productivity machine!
I mean let's face it - I really could clean out that kitchen drawer whilst I cook dinner, ring back that friend whilst I hang out the washing and I could even fold the washing whilst I watch Vanderpump Rules...
no... That show NEEDS my full attention.
4. Avoid Interruptions
I have taken to switching my phone onto silent and not having any extra tabs open on things like Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook whilst I am working because man those sites are time suckers.
I have also trained my family and friends to know that even though I work from home, surprise surprise I am actually working, so popping in for a surprise visit won't always guarantee an enthusiastic reception from me.
My goal is to give whatever I am doing - my 100% focus... including when it comes to spending time with family.
5. Make The Most Of My Productive Times.
Let's face it - I never have been and never will be a morning person, so setting myself a schedule that sees me working on an important project first thing in the morning would be about as useful as a keg of beer with no tap.
I have realised that the afternoon before the kids come home from school and evenings after they are in bed are probably my most productive hours... so that's when I plan on tackling those things that require me to use at least half of my brain.
6. Take Bite Size Chunks.
Let it be known that I spent pretty much ALL of yesterday cleaning out our house.
It was a gorgeous sunny day that was just begging to be enjoyed... although that being said I was burnt to a crisp from spending Saturday in the sun so I couldn't really go outside anyways... but that's beside the point.
Why waste a whole day on something like cleaning when I can tackle it in bite size chunks? You know like cleaning a room each day or sorting out on cupboard a week.
Apart from the fact I wont lose a whole day to the task, bites size chunks sounds far more appetising then trying to tackle the lot in one sitting.
7. Get Help / Accept Help
I am such a 'nah I'll do it myself' kind of gal... but WHY?
No seriously WHY?
Control Freak Issues?
If someone offers their help or there is an opportunity to get some help then hello, I am no longer going to turn my nose up at it. Enough said.
8. Say No
Yeah yeah... work in progress. Say no more.
9. Avoid Procrastinating.
This one practically hurts to write because procrastinating is literally one of my favourite past times. However, if I think about all the added time pressure I put on myself my putting off the inevitable or leaving everything to the last minute... well it's enough to make my head explode twice over.
Nup procrastination has to go.
I'll simply have to get everything done first before I waste hours on faffing around the house, creating or Googling shit.
10. Clock Off
This one was the biggest smack in the face realisation for me.
As a business woman, as a mum, as a friend, as pretty much an everything, I need to set myself boundaries and stick to them.
If I don't set myself a finish time for work, there is a good chance I will continue to work into the night.
If I don't insist that the kids do their homework during homework time, then they'll end up doing it and begging me for help when we are supposed to be doing something else.. like relaxing!
And if I don't want to be on the phone to people at 10pm at night or answering emails after a certain time, then I need to stop taking the calls and answering the emails and reset the boundaries... it's as simple as that.
I have no idea how this careful planning is going to pan out for me... ask me again in a few months time, but I figure just being more aware of the time I spend doing things or NOT doing things is pretty much half the battle won.
How about you - are you any good at managing your time?
Got any awesome tips you could share with us?
How would you choose to spend an extra hour a day?
I just want to use this perfectly timed post (pun TOTALLY intended) to do a little shout out to Jord Wood Watches who were kind enough to send me a gorgeous Maple watch over Christmas WHICH I have to say I pretty much have not taken off since it arrived.. apart from swimming and showering of course.
Jord is run by artists and creators, designers and marketers who spend their days (in their words) “creating, considering, arguing, and hopefully agreeing. Then we'll scrap it all for the joy of starting new.”
Jord wood watches are all-natural handcrafted wooden watches that not only tell the time - they tell a story.
Given Valentine's Day is just around the corner I thought I would share my pick of the ladies range of watches starting from just $129. But don't take my word for it, check them out for yourself.
Best Wooden Watch