Time makes me cuckoo. There is never enough time in my day to get everything done. Once in my life I was considered to be a very organized person. So much so, that I was asked to give seminars on the subject. Y’all get up off the floor and quit giggling!
OK, the truth is that the people who thought I was organized were other storytellers, and we are an “artsy-fartsy” bunch of folks who aren’t always thinking in our right
mind brain. But, I was organized, and I lost it somewhere along the way.
If you had been a fly on the wall at my house in the last few months, you would have thought it was a natural disaster area. I have definitely looked like a good candidate for some federal assistance; it’s been the most disorganized mess you could imagine. Time has been my enemy. There just is never enough time to do all the things I “want” to do AND all the things I “should” do. Believe me, I’ve been wasting a lot of time feeling guilty about it.
In my defense, I have been trying to “juggle a lot of different balls.” I’ve had the Share A Square project, my storytelling business, my family, my house, my blog…. But, everybody else on God’s Green Earth is doing the same thing. Whether you are a high-powered executive or a stay at home Mom, whether you are an engineer or a day laborer, you all have a lot of different roles you play in your life. How are we supposed to keep all the balls in the air? How can we get all the things done that must be finished in a day? How do we make the most constructive use of our time?
I’ve been pondering those questions, and trying to remember the organizational tools that worked for me “back in the day.” I realized that there were things that I was no longer doing. They are things that seem obvious, but I had decided I didn’t have time to do them! That was my biggest mistake.
My problem was that I always made my list in the morning, when I was “fresh.” However, I found myself tossing and turning all night worrying about what had to be done, so I wasn’t really very well rested in the morning. Now, I make my list at night before I go to bed. Somehow, it seems to help me rest easier knowing that I can plow right into the tasks the next morning.
I have two kinds of lists. One is a master list where I write any task that needs doing (from getting the oil changed in my car to paying a bill to writing a thank you note). As I think of it, I jot it down. I use the master list each night to create my “to do” list of the chores that I can reasonably do in a day. The key word is “reasonably.” I have a tendency to expect too much of myself, so I write a humongous list and then am disappointed and deflated when I don’t get it all done. I have to remember to give myself the opportunity for success. I struggle with it, but I try to prioritize my tasks and list what I know I can do in my day.
I had gotten into the habit of not putting things away. If I didn’t finish a task, I left the tools necessary for it out where I could see them the next day. I didn’t want to forget them. It doesn’t take long to get “buried” that way. When there is a mess everywhere, I waste a lot of time looking for the things I need. Instead, now I clean up as I go along, and put the task on my list so I won’t forget. I can work much better if I’m not flustered by clutter.
It’s been amazing to me to find that doing these six simple things has helped me get my train a little bit more on track.
Maybe one day people will think I’m organized again? Probably not, but maybe I’ll get organized enough to quit whining about it.
[This post was written for Inspiration Bit's Group Writing Project: Time Management. Many people are writing posts on this topic, so check out the site to see everyone's tips on managing time. If you hurry, maybe you can write a post and add your own tips! I bet you have some, too!]
These are the folks who participated:
- All For Time and Time For All: The 10 Commandments of Time Management by Simonne
- Lessons in Time Management by Em Dy
- Guru Natalie weighs in on Time Management by Natalie
- 9 Reasons to Wake Up Early by Y.Graf
- Time Management For Bloggers and Photographers by Brian
- Manage time by sorting your blog comments in 6 ways by Bes
- My Troubles With Time Management by Ronald
- It’s URGENT, Urgent I say… but is it? by Marques
- Time Management: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff by Jenny Mcb
- Time Management – Don’t put Everything off until later by TeaMouse
- 8 Work At Home Time Management Strategies by Char
- Time, Time, Time by WG
- Thoughts On Managing A Precious Resource by Ajay
- Time Management – tackling K2
- Time Management Tips for Using Email
- Stress Can Be Good by Lauren Mari
- Secrets To Successful Time Management by Gleb Reys
- 3 simple time management tips by Carey
- How I manage time between blogging and studies by Shankar
- Better living through sticky notes by Lisa
- How I Manage My Time by Keith
- 6 Essential Time Management Strategies by Randa
- Time Management: Managing Large Multi-User Projects by Jennifer
- A Routine Shall Set You Free by Brooke
- Supercharge Your Job Search by Saving Time by Jacob
- Time Makes Me Cuckoo by Shelley
- 11 Time Management Tips – How I manage Work and Blog by Ashish
- Simple Tips for Managing Time by Pearl
- Strategies for Effective Time Management by Janie
- Time management: the un-techniques by Peter
- dIstressed or dEstressed? by Em Dy
- Freelancing And Time Management by Tara
- Internet Is The Devil In Disguise by Vivien