Tuesday, February 10, 2009

February is Time Management Month: My Favorite Time-Saving Tip

Routines work for me and help make my life easier and less stressful! For more Works-For-Me Idea, jump over to Rocks In My Dryer.

I've talked about routines in the past and I think this time organizing tip is one worth revisiting. 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. It's all about having a game plan. Of course that plan can always be done away with when you are a mother, but I find it's helpful to start with one; you can always adjust as needed.

Here are some examples:
  • Meal planning for the week on Sunday night and shopping on Monday.

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

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

  • Planning your next day the night before or first thing in the morning.
  • Devotional and prayer time in the morning.

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

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

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

  • Starting meal prep 1 hour prior to dinner time.

  • Opening and sorting the mail everyday after dinner.

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

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

  • Exercising on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.

  • Eating out with the family on Thursday nights.

  • Blogging on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays for 45 minutes.
  • Run all your errands on the same day(s).
Steps to Help You With Your Routines:

  1. Make a list of those recurring activities that you do on a regular basis.
  2. Have you calendar close by to consult.
  3. Sketch out your weekly routines. To start out, you may want to actually write your routines on paper or your calendar-it's like setting appointments with yourself. You are purposely giving yourself time to do a task that needs to get done. Flexibility is a must -it's not about scheduling your every waking moment.

Remember, it's also 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!

6 comments:

Susan said...

Excellent ideas - I do a few of these, but I see the value of purposely planning even more. Thank you for the inspiration. Thanks for visiting my blog also!

Retro Heather said...

Excellent, thank you! Some new ideas here that I might incorporate into my routine.

I wholely agree with planning out the next day the night before. If you work, definitely have your outfit picked out & laid out. I don't have it together enough to plan out meals a week in advance, which is best, but if I at least plan for the next day I can get meat out of the freezer, etc., and that really helps!

Sarah said...

I am so bad about setting routines....thank you so much for the encouragement to do it!
I may start working in the fall, so I am going to need to have lots of routines in order to get everything done!

Paula Constable said...

Sarah,
Yes, routines are really beneficial when your schedule gets busy. The more commitments you have, the less available time you have so routines will help you make the most of your time. You want to be sure you have time for what’s important to you and your family.

Creative Junkie said...

I have tried to do this so many times! I have no self discipline and just can't stick to it! Except for maybe grocery shopping. I do try to do that on the same day(s) each week.

Arlice Nichole said...

These tips rock. Every last one of would make my life so much easier.

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