I don’t know about you, but I always tend to benefit from reading some reminders to help me to become more savvy with my time. I will list some fab ways which, if you adopt, will make you more efficient in using your time and more mindful of the time that you end up wasting. Now, who doesn’t need a few time-saving tips in this fast-paced age?
I will begin with some very practical tips to start us off:
1. Use the entryway to store keys, shoes, bags, coats etc. This way there is no last minute panic to find those essential items on the way out.
2.. Always use Google Maps/ Satellite navigation when planning a new journey.
3. Don’t schedule back-to-back appointments. If you have two appointments in one day, leave enough time to get to the second one with 15-20 minutes to spare. This will save you coming in late if an unknown incident then occurs to delay your journey.
You have to be OK with downtime. This means that you have to learn how to fill the time when you arrive early for a meeting or show up to a doctors appointment 15 minutes ahead of time. Not only do you know how to use that time, you will use it productively. You can update a grocery list, respond to emails on your phone, you can clean out your purse. If you’re travelling with kids, get used to arriving early- have some simple healthy snacks at hand or a few books to look at to pass away the few minutes you might have to wait. This is better planing than planning to be exactly on time, as this means if something unpredictable and avoidable happens (let’s face it- it happens a lot with the little ‘uns) you have enough leeway in order for it not to make you late. This means that you will arrive less frazzled if you are a little late and there is no stress in this situation at all!
5. Use your phone to set alarms for social appointments. Use it for reminders to call people back; cancel appointments; respond to emails or fill out essential forms for the children’s school. Anything really. When you have numerous children or an otherwise busy day, just giving yourself a physical reminder to complete tasks in your quiet times means you’ll end up being more organised. Use a calendar or notice board in a prominent area in the house (and make a habit of checking it every night for the following day!) to remind you about important dates and appointments. Talking about filling in forms for school, if you get a letter to sign, consider signing it immediately and hand it in straightaway. If this is not possible, sign it upon arrival at home and store it in the car/coat pocket immediately so that you remember to hand it in the next day.
6. Don’t check whatsapp/facebook/any social media just before you’re supposed to leave for somewhere! Be aware of seconds that turn to minutes that can make you late!
7. End tasks on time- Wrap things up if something is taking too long! Unplanned phone calls, visits, chats after the school run etc. Make your apologies and explain you have things to do, people to see etc.
8. Plan for the unknown- To fill up your petrol tank when it reaches 1/4 tank. Yes, I’m serious. But not just the petrol tank. You will learn to always have a snack with you, you will keep tissues and baby wipes in your car. Simply put, you will prevent the unknown last minute delays the best as you can. If you are a mother of a young baby, you will fill up a baby bag and keep it downstairs so that, even though you may have numerous children, you are ready to go at a moment’s notice and you’ll have all the essentials with you (including nappy rash cream and an extra pair of clothing including extra socks!).
9. Make plans! Plan dinner for the week and then use this info to plan your shopping. This will help you to spend your money more effectively too. Plan a particular laundry day, vacuuming day (whole house) and shopping day- keep it the same every week. Be flexible if something comes up but silently plan in your head when you’ll next get that job in and make sure you do it! This will help you to relax when you have some unscheduled free time and it will make you more efficient in the week.
10. Routines- Check Flylady.net for some fantastic tips on planning some fab daily, weekly and even monthly routines that will help you stay on top of everything in the house. Also, here is an excellent article on establishing those all-important morning, homework and bedtime routines for the children
And now for some general ‘rules’ regarding the use of our precious time:
11. Complete your most important tasks first.
This is the golden rule of time management. Each day, identify the two or three tasks that are the most crucial to complete, and do those first.
Once you’re done, the day has already been a success. You can move on to other things, or you can let them wait until tomorrow. You’ve finished the essential.
12. Learn to say “no”.
Making a lot of time commitments can teach us how to juggle various engagements and manage our time. This can be a great thing. However, you can easily take it too far. At some point, you need to learn to decline opportunities. Your objective should be to take on only those commitments that you know you have time for. This might mean you forsake something or activity that is close to your heart for a time. Despair not, life is a cycle and everything is in phases. Sacrifice this for an easier week and you might find when things ease up a bit, you can bring it back and participate with energised vigour and love. (I’m talking about you, my lovely singing buddies. Boohoo!)
13. Sleep at least 7-8 hours.
Some people think sacrificing sleep is a good way to hack productivity and wring a couple extra hours out of the day. Uh uh. Sorry- this definitely doesn’t work.
Most people need 8 hours of sleep for their bodies and minds to function optimally. You know if you’re getting enough. Listen to your body, and don’t underestimate the value of sleep. Read my post on sleep for more on this.
14. Devote your entire focus to the task at hand.
Make every minute count. Close out all other browser windows. Put your phone away, out of sight and on silent. Find a quiet place to work. Concentrate on this one task. Nothing else should exist. Immerse yourself in it.
15. Get an early start.
Read this article to find out why it is recommended to get an good night’s sleep and wake up early as opposed to sleeping late and rising late. In the article, a professor of neurology was quoted to have said:
‘It could be psychological stress, eating at the wrong time for your body, not exercising enough, not sleeping enough, being awake at night by yourself, maybe drug or alcohol use.
“There are a whole variety of unhealthy behaviours related to being up late in the dark by yourself.”
So, not only will it make you more time efficient if you decide to become a ‘morning lark’, you can avoid lots of unhealthy side affects of being up so late too!
16. Turn key tasks into habits.
Make a habit of the tasks you’d like to perform daily. Prayer and/or meditation would come into this, as would daily exercise routines. This makes each task become quite natural and enjoyable. Could you do something similar? (Read “The Simple, Powerful Guide to Forming Any New Habit“) Realise that ‘ a person is made up of his habits’. Try employ habits that will equal personal and spiritual growth and progression and you’ll be onto a winner.
17. Be conscientious of amount of TV/Internet/gaming time.
Time spent browsing social media,gaming or watching TV can be one of the biggest drains on productivity.
I suggest becoming more aware of how much time you spend on these activities. Simply by noticing how they’re sucking up your time you’ll begin to do them less.
18. Leave a buffer-time between tasks.
When we rush from task to task, it’s difficult to appreciate what we’re doing and to stay focused and motivated.
Allowing ourselves down-time between tasks can be a breath of fresh air for our brains. While taking a break, go for a short walk, meditate, or perform some other mind-clearing exercise.
19. Exercise and eat healthily.
Numerous studies have linked a healthy lifestyle with work productivity. Similar to getting enough sleep, exercising and eating healthily boost energy levels, clear your mind, and allow you to focus more easily.
20. Do less.
Do only the things that really matter.
Slow down, notice what needs to be done, and concentrate on those things. Doing less things will create more value, rather than doing more things that are not fulfilling in any way.
Our lives are full of excess. When we can identify that excess and remove it, we become more and more in touch with what is significant and what deserves our time.
21. Lock yourself in.
No distractions, no excuses. Sometimes, the only way I’m going to get something done is if I’m under lock and key, alone in a room.
22. Find time for stillness.
In our go, go, go world, too many people don’t find time to just be still. Yet, it’s extraordinary what a stillness practice can do. Action and inaction should both play key roles in our lives.
Discovering time in your life for silence and non-motion reduces anxiety and shows you that there is no need to constantly rush. It also makes it easier to find your work pleasurable.
24. Efficiency is key and enjoyment can always be worked into your day. Work can be play. If you are already doing what you love, you’re onto a winner!
Some of these tips were taken and adapted from this website.
So that’s it from me for now, do you have any time-saving tips you’d like to share? How do you manage your time effectively? Do let me know in the comments below.
Until next time then,
Peace and love,
Sidra Ansari ❤
PS To help me on my journey to enoughism I will write down 3 things I am grateful for at the end of each post. These are:
- Mr Cuddles is crawling! At the ripe old age of 9 months and was beaten by his cousin, who is 5 days younger, by about a month at least! But no matter, we enjoyed the extra weeks of ‘not having to watch his every move’! And are now being constantly entertained by his shenanigans! Fun!
- We had a fabulously successful Open/Fun Day at the children’s school. The school has a wonderful new website at akss.org.uk where everything is a lot easier to navigate and things are looking up in terms of getting the word out that the school exists and increasing the number of pupils there, which is fantastic.
- We had a visit from a professional storyteller John Edgar. It was such a treat to see how enthralled the kids were with this traditional storytelling. It was a laugh-a-minute with John’s expert rhyming and rollicking storylines. I’m very grateful to have been able to share this experience with my children who had a grand old time. I highly recommend his services to all.
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