Time Management Tips: How to Find More Time in Your Week
Time Management seems to be a concept that the majority of families are struggling with right now. When life is incredibly busy and you feel like you are running in one thousand different directions at one time, time management can be a skill that we all need to brush up on.
At the beginning of this year, I decided that I was going to eliminate the word ‘busy’ from my repertoire. I was very tired of every conversation involving a runaround about how busy life was. Because the truth is, life is super busy, everyone’s lives are super busy. I was (somehow) busy when I was 22, and I know that I will be ‘busy’ tomorrow. But the truth is, we create our own busy when we don’t prioritize and slow things down. And we use ‘busy’ as an excuse for so many things. To not take care of ourselves, to not connect with our family and friends, and to not try new things.
I am reading the book – 168 Hours: You have More Time than You Think, and it will give you good food for thought. The book discusses the fact that every single person in the world has 168 hours each week. And when you break that down – 40 hours to work, 56 hours to sleep, etc. you will see that you actually have more time than you think. In fact, you are blessed with ample time to do absolutely anything and everything that you want. The truth is, most people just waste a lot of it. And time is not something that you can ever get back, so it is a resource that we should be very conscious of and thankful for.
Here are some of the things that I personally do to help make the most of my time:
Stop Saying “Yes” to Everything
You are an adult. You do not need to do the things that you do not want to do. In fact, you shouldn’t spend time in places that do not make sense, because this takes away from the time that you have to put to use in places that matter. This may mean that you need to cut certain activities and/or people out of your life, but trust me, when you do, it is very freeing. You will have the ability (and now the time) to do the things that matter to YOU.
Build Time into Each Day for You
If you have never read the book – The Miracle Morning, you are missing out. The book will teach you how to start each day with intention, by starting each day earlier. Get up at 5am (or 6am) and spend 1 hour (or 20 minutes, whatever works for you) doing something for yourself. Meditate, do yoga, journaling, have a shower, read a book, go to the gym …whatever it is, it is going to be a refreshing way to start your day. For those of you that are like me and have your own business, this could involve business activities that are easier to get done in the peace of the morning. Checking emails, posting to Social Media, putting in orders, etc. The best part is, if you start your day with this type of activity it is done and over with. You have already carved out that time, and it is much easier to start that way than to try to find it when you are already exhausted at the end of the night.
Minimize the Activities Your Children are Involved In
None of us want our children to miss out on anything – but have we truly stopped and looked at how over stimulated the children of today are getting? I see babies that are enrolled in multiple activities, High School students that do not have the time to spend with friends, and toddlers that can’t play independently because they haven’t had the opportunity to learn this skill. One of the reasons that we moved to the country was so that we could have the space to let the kids play and explore on our property. We don’t have to go any further than our own backyard to go for long walks, to go tobogganing and to have adventures.
I love this quiet life, and the way that it compliments a weekend after a hectic week. So far we have been able to limit the activities the boys are involved in, and I am happy with this balance. I love watching them play with one another, and on their own around the house. And this also means that we have the freedom (because we are not slaves to a schedule on the weekend) to make choices and to take advantage of invitations that come our way.
(Update: since I wrote this blog a few years ago, the boys have now entered into the rep sports season of our lives. This doesn't change what I believe in from the above, our priorities just shifted slightly.) We still say no when it doesn't work for us, and we still make intentional choices around their activities. For instance - in the Summer, we don't do any rep, just recreational sports. This keeps our weekends free for the cottage. We have also turned down birthday invites and play dates because we prioritized family time that particular weekend. It's a juggling act, but it's all still choice.)
Love Your Job
This might not seem like it has anything to do with Time Management skills, but trust me, it does. You are going to have so much more energy, and be so much happier in life, if you are working a job that you love. If you are happy with how you spend the better bulk of your day. This will give you energy and excitement for the rest of your life. And the truth is, we all have the novelty of choosing to do something that we love. Even if we think that we don’t. Think about it.
When we start actually choosing how we spend our time, we find that we have a wealth of time, and we start enjoying our days because they are full of activities that we have chosen. When we leave space in our schedules, we are able to accept invitations and do activities on a whim because we feel like it. When we love the job that we do, it will never feel like work, but just another thing that we love to do. And when we start our day by filling our own cups, we will have more time and energy to fill other peoples.
Just my 2 cents.
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