I was forced to re-evaluate my time management practices years ago, both at home and at the office. With my health issues, it’s important for me to manage my time as efficiently as possible. Here are some tools and tips that have really helped me to manage my time better.
I wake up 10 minutes earlier every day.
This is so I have 10 minutes to reflect on what I need to do that day.
Use lists. Listing out what it is needed to be done in that day/week/month, then go through and put it in one of 3 categories. UI: Urgent and Important, NI: Not Urgent but Important, NN : Not urgent and not important. Those items that are marked as Urgent and Important need to be accomplished before the other groups. Then go through and mark each task with your estimated amount of time to finish each task. Now number each task in the order you want to complete them based on your notes. At the end of the day the items not completed move up on the ladder of importance (usually the first to be done on the next day). This way I never fall too far behind, and know what to expect when the new day begins.
When going through my work basket or paperwork at home, I address those items that take less than 2 minutes as they are seen. Double and Triple handling paperwork that could’ve been dealt with in minimal time is just a time and energy sucker.
Make a game of cleaning.
WHAT? I know, I must be crazy right? Well, the jury is still out on that. In all seriousness though, I find it much easier to take smaller bites out of monotonous tasks than spending hours on the same task. So, I set a timer for 10 minutes per room (bathrooms and kitchen get 15 a piece). When the timer goes off I am done in whichever room I was assigned for that time. The only way I get to go back is if I have time left over on another room. I take a break after 3 rooms to recollect my bearings, but even with a break the house is relatively clean in 2 hours or less.
In keeping with the theme of taking small bites, I attribute that to laundry as well. I make it a point to do at least 1 load of laundry every day, so that I am not completely bombarded with laundry once a week.
Meal prep and planning
I go through periods when I am better at this than others. When there are insanely good deals at the store, or we find ourselves with a little extra money, I am all for preparing freezer meals. Slow cooker meals are especially easy and take minimal time to prepare. Sometimes if I know that I am making a meal that will freeze well, I will just make a double batch, and throw one batch in the freezer for a later date.
I hope some of these tips help give you back some of your time, so you can reserve time for yourselves! Please share any additional advice in the comments section!
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