1. Are you allowing others to ‘steal’ your time? Better manage your time by learning to say ‘no’ and not taking on more than you can handle. If you ‘have’ to add another item to your list-consider the amount of time you need to invest and the energy required. Don’t feel guilty or resentful for turning it down.
- Create a to-do list. “Studies show that people who write their lists down are 90% more likely to complete their list than those who do not.” I recommend highlighting items off your list rather than crossing them out. At the end of the day, it’s rewarding to see the highlights.
- Be honest with yourself about the length of time it takes to get things accomplished. Block out time to accomplish your tasks. Invest in a planner, Blackberry or Outlook. Use one you are comfortable with-there’s no right or wrong tool. Do what feels right to you.
- Try not to multi-task-this works for some but not all. Trust me, one size doesn’t fit all. Concentrate on one task at a time; this will eliminate stress, costly mistakes and your sanity.
- Do you have a home office? Eliminate distractions by investing in a timer. Let others know you will need ‘quiet’ time. Don’t allow household to become your main focus. Work as if you’re in a corporate work environment. Set work hours 8-4 or 9-5.
- Combine tasks-do you organize your time in blocks based on logistics? In other words, do you try to plan to do several things if they are located in the same vicinity, rather than going back and forth?
- Use your time productively. What do you do when you’re waiting for an appointment? Do you catch up on your reading, emails, bill paying or phone calls?
2. Putting Things In Their Place. Put items back where they belong. “A place for everything and everything in its place.” This alone will save you time. It’s better to put the item back then to lay it down and think you will come back to it.
3. Build a Schedule. I recommend sitting down on Sunday and planning your week. Be sure to schedule time for you. If you don’t take care of number one who else will. Turn off the phone and the chime for emails. This means no Television or instant messaging. There are 168 hours in a week-how are you utilizing your time?
- Total Available Time 7 X 24 =168 subtract 56 hours for sleep 112 hours remain subtract 40 hours for work 72 hours remain subtract 6 hours for personal time 66 hours remain subtract 5 hours for exercise 61 hours remain subtract 41 hours for driving, family, eating, etc. 20 hours remain
- Take a look at this information and manipulate the hours to see where you come out at the end of the week. Do you have 20 hours left over to play with? Or are you in the red (meaning do you not have enough time to do what you need to do this week?) What are some of the things you can cut out of your schedule? Remember, there are only 168 hours in the week, no one can change that…it is a fact.
4. Establishing priorities. After writing your schedule, do back and determine the level of importance for each task or item. 1 = important 5 = unimportant. If you find you have too many 1’s go back and reevaluate is these tasks are actually 1’s. Delegate if you have to. Hire an assistant. In the long run you will be happy that you did.
5. Set goals. If you don’t write your goals down, there are simply dreams; use the SMART method when writing your goals.
- Time Bound
Set Specific Goals
- Your goals must be clear and well defined. Consider this, if someone invites you to their home and you’ve never been, how would you find them? Would you get in the car and start driving in hopes that you end up at the right place? Possibly not, so why would you not map out your goals?
Set Measurable Goals
- Include a month, day (if possible) and year. It’s always best to say “My goal is to hire a Professional Organizer and get organized by July 1, 2009, for example.” Having a time line will keep you focused and on target.
Set Attainable Goals
- Make sure your goals are achievable. It’s okay to set outrageous and bold goals as long as you have a plan of action. Don’t set yourself up for failure or “erode your confidence” if you have no desire of achieving that goal. However, you don’t want to set goals that are too easy-set challenging and realistic goals. This way you can “raise the bar” and your level of satisfaction.
Set Relevant Goals
- Your goals should reflect the direction of your life or career path. If you’re scared of highs and hate cold weather you won’t set a goal of “Climbing Mt. Everest.” Your goals should align with you-remember stay focused, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Set Time-Bound Goals
- Always have a deadline for your goals. Having a deadline and a sense of urgency will increase your success and allow achievement to come quicker.
- Take Action At the end of your day; take ten minutes to plan for the next day. Write your to-do list, prioritize it and be sure to clutter-free your desk.
|Paris Love is a Professional Organizer serving Metro Atlanta and the Gulf Coast. Paris has written articles for Brown Skin Magazine, Online Organizing, Home Base Quarterly and the Covington News. Currently, Paris is passing on her passion for organizing by helping others live an organized and clutter-free life. For additional tips or to sign up for our monthly newsletter go to http://www.organizewithlove.com|