Saturday, September 30, 2017

12 Quick and Dirty Time Mangement Tips from a Mom of 12

If you have a lot on your plate and you're wondering how to get it done, here are some quick and dirty tips off of the top of my head without much forethought or planning.

1)  Don't put a lot of forethought and planning into the things that don't require a lot of forethought or planning.  :-)  If you have a simple task, don't think too much about it.

2)   Decide what time you get your best work done and do it then.   My most productive hours are from whenever I get up until about 7 or eight hours after that.  So I do the most important stuff early in the day and save the less demanding stuff for later.

3)  Ask for help.   Be specific as to what you need and ask whoever you can think of to help.  It's a strength, not a weakness.   Learn to work in your skill set and share or delegate things that aren't there.   My husband and I have done this pretty well over the years (thought he would tell you that he does everything :-)   If I find myself wresting with something that is taking longer than it should, I try to think of who would enjoy doing it who could do it better than me and enjoy it more and then I enlist them.

4)  Learn to ignore things that "really should get done" until you finish what has to be done.   There will always be things that should be done that are trying to grab our attention.  For example, my laptop can barely fit on my desk right now because my grandkids decided it was their desk.  But I am balancing the laptop on the edge of the desk and ignoring that because I have a goal to get this done before I leave for a book signing this morning.

5)  Don't put too many things on your to do list.   Try for three for the whole day.  If you get those done, you'll feel great.  If you can do more, wonderful.  But if your list gets to long you'll just have to copy some of it over again tomorrow.  Pick your top three, do them, and then write three more.

6)  Pick a day of the week to catch up.  I do it on Friday and I call it #FinishWellFriday.  That's my day to take three things that I have been putting them off and get them done before the weekend comes so they aren't hanging over my head.

7)  If you have a lot of "running around to do", be strategic.    Plot out what makes the most sense in regards to time and mile management.    Leaving with a list of errands that are not in order just wastes time.

8)  Spend at least 45 minutes a week doing "Deep Work."    After reading the book I have tried to take 45 minutes a week to set aside all electronics aside and pull out paper and a pen to think, strategize and problem solve.  It can organize thoughts and help you to move forward like nothing else.

9)  Get enough sleep.   Figure out how much you need (usually 7-9 for adults) and then make sure you get it.  Make that a priority.

10)  Break things down into manageable pieces.  Don't try to tackle a huge project all in one setting.  Figure out a way to break it down and do one thing at a time.

11)  Don't over-edit your stuff.   People ask me how I do it all  and I tell them that it's because I don't do it all well.  Pick a few things that need to be perfect and do the rest at 90%.  Most people won't notice and a lot of time needs to be spent to get things from 90 to 100%.  As an example, this blog post has taken me 17 minutes.  You will find errors.  But I think it is good enough.

12)  Laugh.   Break up your tasks with humor and fun.  Short conversations or quick breaks to regroup make it all more enjoyable.   It's ok to enjoy work -- whether you work at home or outside the home.   Everything can be fun if you plan to make it so.

Feedback welcome since I really did write this all in 17 minutes.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Your post is perfectly imperfect! Or imperfectly perfect?
I use most of these strategies too. Except worrying. I overthink way too much.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts!