Just in time for the holidays, we thought that we would share some resources to make the most out of the little time we have this time of year…
I recently read an article in Inc. Magazine called “Never Say I Don’t Have Time” by Jessica Stillman (http://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/never-say-i-dont-have-time-again.html). I read the title and moved on, thinking, I wish I had time to read that! A few days later, I found the time. Of course, in my mind, it didn’t relate to me. As a working mother of two toddlers, I was bound and determined that in fact, I just don’t have the time. I don’t have time to workout, to make spaghetti sauce from scratch, to get my hair cut or to clean my linen closet. I don’t have time to read the book I have been wanting to read or to do that art project with the kids or plant and tend to a garden. The list goes on and on of what I DON’T have time to do. After all, I am always connected and always checking in with work, I constantly have the housework to catch up with and the kids constantly demand attention (oh and food). So I decided to keep a time log, as recommended by Jessica in the Inc. article, to truly see what I am spending the most time on. I took the challenge of tracking what I make the time to do and what I brush off.
Surprise, surprise, I have more time than I think that I have. I waste more time than I think online, on Facebook and Pinterest (valuable time that I would rather be doing other things). I decided to re-prioritize what I want to spend my time on and how I could multi-task in new ways to make time for things that are important. My list started out short but seems to be growing as I realize what I want to make time for. By making that mental change as stated in the Inc. article of stating “it is not a priority” vs. “I don’t have time,” I realized that I wasn’t quite willing to label things as “not a priority” and therefore became more willing to find the time. Here is my multi-tasking list to re-prioritize my time…what is yours?
- Make a to-do list that is realistic, attainable and pre-prioritized. I now re-write mine at the end of each work day for the following day to try to start the morning with productivity rather than fumbling about figuring out what to do first.
- Instead of getting frustrated when the kids seem to be bouncing off the wall, take that bottled energy and make a game out of exercising with the kids. Buns of Steel takes on a whole new meaning with a 2 and 4 year old!
- Set a timer for social media at night. There is really no need to spend more than 10 minutes on Facebook for me, none. Take the remaining time to read.
- Cook two meals at a time instead of one. Use the time saved on the second night as time to take a walk. This helps to make the most out of ingredients (and time at the grocery store) while also free-ing up time later in the week. I take inspiration from the recipes shared by The Lodge at Woodloch chefs team.
- I bought a Roomba! Vacuuming, while necessary, was not a priority for me to spend MY time on. I now use that time to do something that is on my priority list.
I realized that cleaning the linen closet is just not a priority and therefore it remains a mess but I have stopped complaining about it (oh and freed up some time there). While I am far from having endless amounts of free time, I am much more comfortable that I am getting the most out of the time that I have. Here are some great resources for time management:
Written by a time-challenged, always late, list maker, mother of two, work-a-holic (Brooke Jennings Roe).