Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My Favorite Time Management Tip: Routines

Do feel like you just don't have the time to get certain tasks done? Let's face it; we are all busy. I say it's about choosing (or not) to make time for those tasks. And, many times you can't wait until you "feel like doing it". I don't recall a time I ever felt like doing the laundry or making dinner. These very well might be a couple of tasks some of you enjoy, but not me!

I touched on routines in the past and I think this time organizing tip is one worth revisiting and elaborating on. It's about picking a day or time of day to do recurring tasks or activities. By doing this you take control and decide, based on what works best of you and your schedule, when you want to get stuff done. Here are some examples:

  1. Meal planning for the week Sunday night and shopping on Monday.

  2. Paying the bills every Thursday or on the 15th and 30th of each month.

  3. Washing 1 load of laundry everyday or all of it on Wednesdays.

  4. Planning your next day the night before or first thing in the morning.

  5. Checking email at nap time and after the kids go to bed.

  6. Returning phone calls between 9 and 10 a.m.

  7. Vacuuming on Mondays, dusting on Tuesdays, and washing the floors on Wednesday.

  8. Starting meal prep 1 hour prior to dinner time.

  9. Opening and sorting the mail everyday after dinner.

  10. Filing your "to file" pile the same day every week.

  11. Waking up 30 - 60 minutes before the kids to get yourself ready for the day.

  12. Exercising on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.
  13. Eating out with the family on Thursday nights.

To start out, you may want to actually write your routines on your calendar-it's like setting an appointment with yourself. That way you are purposely giving yourself time to do a task that needs to get done.

Remember, it's not about cramming more and more into your schedule, it's about making the most of your time so you have time for what's important to you. Don't forget to allow for some down-time in your schedule, too! Balance is important!

What are some of your routines that work for you? Share them with us!

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