Wednesday, October 24, 2012

It's About Time! Part 4


So far in our series on Time Management we’ve talked about the first step to take, setting priorities and goals and how to set a manageable schedule. Today lets talk about the things that seemingly rob us of our time.


There are time takers, and there are time wasters.

Two different things.

First, lets talk about the time takers.

A trip to the grocery store is a time taker, for sure. Depending on your circumstances, it could take a whole lotta time. We are blessed to be able to do all our shopping just 15 minutes away. (We don’t have a lot of things to choose from here, which is wonderful, but thats for another time) So we can feasibly do our shopping without taking up too much time. I know of others, however, that have to drive an hour to get to Walmart, so every situation is different.

Putting the baby to sleep is a time taker. Trust me. Just this morning I spent a good 45 minutes rocking him and trying to get him back to sleep. I had planned to blog during that time, but Judah is more important than this blog, sorry y’all. :) So that took time...but it was a necessary time taker.

Now lets talk about time wasters. There could be a zillion and one of these, each a little different for each of us, but here are a few quick ones that come to mind…

Disorganization

Laziness

Disorganization

Distractions

Over commitment

Not choosing to delegate

Perfectionism

Doing the wrong task for the moment

And dare I mention TV, blogging, P***terest, etc? Nope, I don’t dare.

Can you see the difference between time takers and time wasters? We all have some of both in our lives…’cause if we didn’t have any time takers, our lives would be pretty boring, ya know?

But here is the key….

Make time for the time takers. Refuse to take time for the time wasters.

Did you catch that? Schedule in your time takers. That is vital. We talked last week about scheduling out our days so that we effectively use the 24 hours God has given us. Part of that schedule must include the time takers. Will you spend a half hour changing diapers this morning? Schedule it in!! How glamourous will that look printed on your schedule? :) If you make time for all the necessary things, they won’t get pushed out of your day, and you will be able to estimate how much time you have to work on the not-as-necessary things.

But the time wasters. Leave those out of your schedule, or better yet, turn them into time takers instead! Is disorganization your time waster? Do you spend precious minutes or hours looking for things or moving piles of junk around to get to your washing machine? Schedule in time to work on getting organized...and now, instead of being a time waster, you’ve turned it into a productive time taker! Eventually, once the thing is organized, that time will be able to be used in some other endeavor.

I mentioned that TV, Pinterest, etc. can be time wasters. I’m not saying you can’t ever do those things. Instead, turn them into planned-for time takers! Pinterest is a great tool to learn new things and find ways to benefit your life and home. That is time well spent...but set a goal. Say you can fit in 20 minutes a day on Pinterest. So schedule that in! Now it is just another part of your schedule. Just don’t go over those 20 minutes, and it won’t become a time waster.

Here are some ways to avoid time wasting traps:

Learn to delegate

Set goals

Have a running to-do list

Do the best things first

Learn to say “no”

Ask for help

Learn to use a planning binder or day planner (in a way that benefits you, not hinders you!)

Next week, we’ll wrap up this mini series with some final thoughts about time management. In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you...how are you doing with your time management? Any lightbulb moments you’d like to share with us? How do you handle the seeming time wasters that come into your life?



Some books I’d recommend:

Tell Your Time by Amy Lynn Andrews
Life Management for Busy Women by Elizabeth George
Emilie Barnes’ 15 Minute House and Budget Manager...by Emilie Barnes :)
The brand new 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life by Crystal Paine (which is on sale through tomorrow for only $0.99!!!)


***Note: post contains affiliate links

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