Do you ever get to the end of the day and wonder what you did with all of the hours between?
I know I have.
It’s hard to believe that 12 or more hours have passed and the things that you can think of that you did take up only a few.
Where does our time go? And how can we manage it more effectively?
Here are five ideas:
1. First take some time to plan what you’re going to do with your time. Set aside some time each week, maybe on Sunday evening and take a look at what’s coming up in the week ahead. Do you have appointments or busy days? And what about not so busy days? On those days you can get some things done. Pick 2 or 3 from your dump list and add them to your calendar. Like an appointment. And then keep it.
2. Use some sort of electronic device to help you keep track. You can use an online calendar system that has reminders, your cell phone or even set an alarm on your computer if you use it a lot. We need those reminders to help us remember to do the things we need to do.
3. Organize your environment, especially those areas that you use a lot. For instance, I cook at least one meal each day for my family. Having a refrigerator, pantry and cupboards that are organized helps me find things more easily and makes cooking more efficient. Do the same for your closet, your purse or your car.
4. Always have something to do. If you are going somewhere that might include wait time (or a lengthy phone call), bring something to do. Forget the trashy novel and instead begin a list of next week’s dinners. Or write out a few bills. Balance your checkbook or update your to do list. Make idle time into productive time.
5. Don’t underestimate small bits of time. A few minutes spent here and there working on a project can really add up. This is where it really pays to be organized. For instance, if you keep all of your bill paying supplies in one place, you can take 5 minutes here and there to review the bills, see which ones need to be paid and write the checks. It can be done in small bits and pieces; it doesn’t have to be all at once.
Once you begin to apply these ideas, start making a list of what you’ve accomplished each day. It might be more than you think!