3 tips to manage your time like money (when less sleep isn’t the answer)
For me, getting up two hours before I am required too does not stick. It is a short-lived promise that usually leaves me tired and wishing I had my hours back. I require 8 hours minimum to feel like a real person, and am beyond envious of those who can sleep 5-6 hours and function like a civilized person. So, this year, instead of the typical “I want to lose 15 lbs” New Year’s goal, I went for goals that were going to make me a smarter, more productive person. My biggest accomplishment has been learning how to better use my time (yes, I do leave a spot for a glass of wine in my day).
They say it takes 30 days to break a habit, so you have to give them an honest try
Here are my favorite tricks so far-
1. Time Blocks:
Do you remember in elementary school when your teacher would write the schedule up on the board? I always thought it so I don’t ask her a million times what was going to happen next. But in reality, it was probably for her mental sanity. If you know you have to teach math, art, history, science, writing, reading and include recesses/ lunches and just decide after each one what comes next… it can be overwhelming. Flying by the seat of your pants and being at peace with it is a trait many strive for but can not obtain. If you have a plan written up and know exactly what comes next you can have much better mental preparation.
Try the night before thinking of all the tasks you need to get done the next day. Keep a journal or a white board on the refrigerator and plan it to the point you think you have OCD.
- 6:00 wake up
- 6:10-7:00 my morning routine (insert coffee, for goodness sake don’t forget the coffee)
- 7:00-7:45 get kids up, make breakfast, pack lunch etc.
- 8:00 leave for school
- 8:45 head to work
- Work task 1
- Work task 2
- Work task 3
- Work task 4
- Lunch (if you’re lucky)
- Work task 5
- Work task 6
- Work task 7
- 5:00 head home
- 6:00 make dinner (even more helpful if you plan out what you are going to make the day before), start homework & wash jerseys/put laundry in
- 6:45 eat dinner
- 7:00 bath/ shower
- 7:30- kids in bed for mommy time/ plan list for tomorrow
- 8:00 mom time kick off- all of the sudden you have 2 beautiful hours of peace and quiet before bed, still allowing you to get 8 hours.
Now look, I know what you’re thinking, NO WAY. I have so much more to do than that, my life never goes according to plan, how can I plan for things that just pop up?
One of the biggest and best realizations I have had this year is that I am only one person and I can only do so much. And when I started scheduling myself to the minute, I quit going into overtime. I could just say “well I have to be done with my hair, this is the best it’s going to be”. There was something incredibly freeing when I started restricting my time and holding myself to it (totally contradicting). Now of course there are times/ tasks this would not work for. But for most, it does and you have to try it to believe it. It will take time to get in a routine that works, but I promise, it works. Also, this will give you a satisfying list to check off at the end of the day.
Don’t make separate lists either. Don’t make a mom list, and a work list, and a house list, a wife list, and a Good Samaritan list. You’re going to drive yourself nuts. 1 list- that’s all.
2. Prioritize your priorities-
Going back to the same theme of the previous tip, YOU CAN ONLY DO SO MUCH. You have 5 million things that sound like they need to be important today. Track how you spend your time (done above). And then make a list of the things you deem a priority. Church, family dinners, time with your significant other, making it to all soccer games, etc. And then when your making your list for the next day include those items first. And build around it. Maybe that means not being PTA mom, or signing up to work an extra shift at work. Even if this doesn’t save you time, at least your hours are spent the way you want too. And when you are doing what you love, it doesn’t feel as much like work.
3. Take breaks-
How can you gain more time by taking breaks? Shouldn’t I just hammer it all out and then if there is time left over take a break? NO. Productivity is a weird thing- if you work too hard, get to stressed and overwhelmed, or are too tired instead of your mind working harder you actually get more distracted. It takes you longer to complete a task than if you got up and went for a walk and came back with fresh eyes. Or if it is a task that can wait for tomorrow, and it is sucking the life out of you, wait and look at it with fresh eyes. Give yourself permission to walk away. Spending 5 hours on a task that should only take 3 is not commitment; it’s a waste.
Along with these three tips, Caliber can give you peace of mind and hours back to your weeks by letting us do your cleaning for you! We are trained professionals, allowing for best time optimization. Cross that off your list today