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New Year Goals: The Illusion of Time Management Part 1

the illusion of time management part 1

As we look toward the new year one of the biggest things that everyone want to better understand is time management.  Let me share a secret with you:

There is no such thing as time management.  We cannot manage time.  Time is what it is.  God has given us 24 hours.  We cannot manage it like our IRA to make it grow or shrink.  What we can do is organize and prioritize our lives to achieve the most productivity in our given 24 hours every day.

“Time management is an oxymoron. Time is beyond our control, and the clock keeps ticking regardless of how we lead our lives. Priority management is the answer to maximizing the time we have.”
~ John C. Maxwell

When you’re working through your day remember this: Work Smarter, Not Harder.

Working smarter rather than harder means knowing what tools and resources are available to you and utilizing the right ones at the right time. This will give you optimum use of your time.

I have a total of 14 tips for you.  Today we’re discussing seven of them:

1.  Multi-Task (but not too much)

Muli-tasking is a beautiful thing, if you know what you’re doing.  You can multi-task and end up making things more disorganized and stressful.  Don’t try to multi-task things that need your undivided attention. If you have to redo or reread you’re creating more work for yourself.

2.  Use a Timer

Using a timer is a great way to keep on track and not rabbit trail to things that aren’t on your current list.  I can’t count the number of times I reorganized an entire pantry/closet when my intention was just to look for one thing.  If you set at timer you can stay focused on the job at hand.  Need to research a Autumn craft idea for the kids?  Hope on Pintrest but set your kitchen timer for 20 minutes.  When it goes off you’re done.

3.  Create deadlines

If/When you are at work there are deadlines.  Your boss may say, I need a report by next Friday.  You have no choice but to get that task done by Friday.  Your home life or home business can be thought of much in the same way.  Give yourself deadlines. The beauty is, you won’t get fired if you miss the deadline but you’ll be much more productive if you have the self-discipline to stick to it.

4.  Don’t Over-commit (learn to say no)

Learning to say no is an art form.  If you’re a rescurer or fixer by nature you’ll tend to say yes to help out to things for the sake of helping out.  There is nothing wrong with helping others, we’re called to help each other, but we must learn to say no and prioritize what we have on our schedules.  Sometimes no is simply not now.  “Can you help with Friday’s spaghetti dinner?”  “No, but if you give me more notice I will be sure to put the next one on my calendar and help out that night.”  

5.  Allow Margin

If I booked my Money4Life clients back to back I would be okay for the first two or three clients.  But eventually a call would go longer by a few moments and I’d be behind.  Then I’d be feeling stress and pressure and I’d be late for my sessions or I’d have to play catch up.  Margin is important.  There is time allowed between my sessions to account for those extra minutes that are sometimes needed on a call. When you schedule yourself so tightly that there is no room to breathe you are going to end up stressed, late and rushed.  If you need to be somewhere at 9am and it takes 20 minutes to get there, leave at 8:30.  If you’re early you have some time to pray, read a book, sing to the kids in the car or just be still.  All of which can be a welcome thing in a busy day.

6.  Determine Priority

Priority doesn’t mean what you want to do but rather what is most important.  Some days I don’t want to do laundry but clean socks and undies are important.  Working on the family budget doesn’t usually elicit a joyous response but it is necessary and might need to be priority one day.  I find by getting one or two not-so-fun-but-necessary tasks out of the way early in the day it frees me up for the “fun” (or at least not dreadful) things I need to do.

7.  Outsource/Ask for Help

Utilize the family! If you are lucky enough to have a four year old who loves to vacuum or dust with sock (albeit naked) do not hesitate to enlist their help.  Momma, you do not have to be perfect at balancing all things all the time.  There are times in life when we just need some help to get us back on track.  It’s okay to ask someone to watch the kids so you can get a deep cleaning done if that’s what it’s going to take.  You are not a bad housewife if you have someone come help you organize the attic.  You can always trade off with your friends for help too.  Ask them to help you and offer to help them with a chore they need help with.

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Stay tuned for the rest of my tips on managing your priorities.

What ways do you find the most helpful in “managing time”?

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