Five months after my oldest daughter Sarah was born, I went back to college. I gave birth to Andy a couple of weeks after I finished up my statistics class in the summer of 1984.
Carrying a full class load and taking care of 2 babies – they’re 16 months apart – was a lot of work.
Sometimes I think the two most valuable things I learned in college were how to park anywhere – even the tightest space – and how to manage my time.
Here are a few of my time management tips – you’re on your own when it comes to parking.
Use small bits of time to your advantage. I used to always carry something with me that I could do with a few moments of time. In fact, I still do.
For instance, are you sending out cards this season? Put your cards, an address book, and a pen in a tote bag and bring it with you when you’re running errands. While you’re waiting in the drive through line, at school for the kids, or in the doctor’s waiting room, you can address a few cards.
You could do the same with bills, or make your grocery list, or your Christmas list, or a list of things to do.
Got a few minutes in the morning waiting for the coffee? Start unloading the dishwasher, or making lunches. Sure, the coffee might be done before you are, but at least you’re made a start.
Make a habit at least once a day of wiping down the bathroom when you’re in there. Swish the toilet with a brush and wipe the sink down. It takes a minute or two and cuts down on your cleaning.
Got a few phone calls to make? You can do mindless chores like dusting, picking up, loading the dishwasher, washing dishes and more while you’re on the phone. Even if it’s a business call, you’ll most likely have some time spent on hold. Put it to use!
If you use the card file system to keep track of your housekeeping, make a note on the cards that have a chore listed that takes less than 5 minutes or so. When you find yourself with some free time, pull a card and take care of it.
Of course, I’m not suggesting that you fill every spare moment you have with stuff to do. All I’m saying is, by taking advantage of those small bits of time, you can find yourself with a lot more time left over at the end of the day. And those are all for you!