How to Get Time on Your Side

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Do you always feel short on time? These days people are busier than ever. Modern technology has provided us with the means for instantaneous communication. In a “need it now” society, demands are only a text or e-mail away. That is why good time management skills are a must. Follow these simple strategies, and you will be a master of time management!

Identify your top priorities. Think of the amount of time you have in one day as a plate. All the possible tasks and events that could fill your schedule are like dishes in a buffet. There is only so much room on your plate. Overloading your plate is a recipe for disaster, and unlike a real buffet, you can’t go for seconds. There are only so many hours in a day. Identify your top five priorities. This will be the starting point for developing a realistic schedule. Examples of priorities are family, work, school, fitness, personal growth, church, home, etc. Fill up your plate with these priorities first. If you have time leftover, you can choose some extras. Take time every night to review what needs to be done the next day; adjust if necessary.

Create routines. Routines are like the blueprints for our schedule. Without routines, we are more likely to fill our schedule haphazardly with extras, making it hard to meet our priorities. Write everything down on the calendar. Even things like housework and exercise need to go on the schedule. Treat these like all other appointments. Obviously, there will be times where you have to deviate from your schedule, but for the most part, this will help you achieve a good balance.

Multi-task. Multi-task whenever possible. If you find yourself waiting in the car a lot, use that time to read your mail or clip coupons. Drink your morning coffee while walking the dog. Use your lunch hour to dine with family and friends you haven’t seen in awhile. I am writing this post while exercising on the elliptical.

Delegate. If you find yourself stretched to your limits, delegate tasks to others. Take your neighbor up on that offer to pick up your children from school. Return the favor in the future when you have time. Let your spouse vacuum or do the dishes. Or hire some outside help if needed.

Evaluate. Evaluate your schedule every few months to see how things are working for you. At this time, make any tweaks as needed. If you are feeling overwhelmed, cut back on one of the extras, or shift some time from one area to another. Don’t be afraid to say no to others when they ask you to take on more than your schedule allows. Saying no to others is saying yes to yourself!

With a little bit of patience, you can learn how to get time on your side. Until next time, happy homemaking!

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