Making Time

I was at an event for moms and I noticed a recurring theme. Everyone was talking about the lack of time. Asked what their biggest challenge was, everyone of the moms answered, not enough time.

The numbers of hours in a day is finite but the tasks we need to do are infinite. How do we reconcile the two? We can’t make the days longer, so the only thing we can do is make the tasks shorter. But how?

For a long time I struggled with too many things to do and not enough time and then I came up with a strategy that made me feel like I had added hours to my day. I’m going to share it with you. It works for me and I know it can work for you.

It involves 4 steps and they are:

  1. Plan

  2. Prioritize

  3. Delegate

  4. Automate

Here’s how it works.

Plan

Think about your typical day and all the things you have to do. Write them all down on a piece of paper. I find it helps to use a planner with the days of the week and the times of the day. The earliest time slot is for when you get up in the morning and the last time slot is when you go to bed at night. Fill in everything you need to do. If you have more things than can fit in the planner, put them on a separate piece of paper.

Prioritize

Now take a good look at your planner. Do you have any gaps? I was surprised to see that I did. It was free time I didn’t realize I had. Do you see tasks that can be consolidated? Can you multitask anywhere? Are there things you can just let go of? Are there things that would be better done at a different time? Whenever possible , match your tasks with the time of day that you are more or less productive. If something takes more energy, physically or mentally do that when you are most alert. Things that are “no-brainers” can be slotted in during your “off-peak” hours. If you’re working, whether in an office or at home, you need to block off those hours as work time. Sometimes it helps to color code tasks by category, especially if you’re a visual person like me. You can easily do this using Goggle Calendar. What does your week look like now?

Delegate

This can be hard because, let’s face it, nobody can do what you do as well as you can! But once you do it you’ll be amazed at how much more time you have. Look at your day and pick 2 things that someone else can do. Here’re some examples to help you start thinking: house cleaning, food shopping, picking kids up from school, dog walking, laundry, clothes shopping… You get the idea. Your list may be much longer - great! I suggest you start with 2 things and build up from there. Once you start delegating you’ll wonder what took you so long.

Automate

Automation is amazing. Things happen on their own. It’s like magic! Almost anything that is recurring can be automated. I have pet food delivered every 3 months. Prescription medications can be auto-filled. Bills can be paid automatically. Look for tasks that can be automated and then automate!

Now that you have some extra time be sure to schedule time for yourself. The biggest gift you can give yourself is the gift of time.

I hope this was helpful. I’d love to know what you think. Are you overwhelmed? Should I do a time making challenge? Leave a comment and let me know.