At the start of the new year I posted about trashing the things in my life that were dead weight or unproductive. This is my #1 trashiest idea so far ….Time Management. I do realize this isn’t as sexy as it sounds. I know it’s one of those principles that many would opt to take a pencil in the eye instead trying to employ. I hate it too. Id rather be talking about trashy things like boobs and shoes, or talk trash because I’m short, but we will have to save that for another day (which could be delightfully fun).
To begin the dreadful task of time management, I scrapped everything I was doing and started from square one. I looked at my priorities and decided that work and baby are the most time-consuming, and that will never change. Everything else I have to work around. I have to work, and my 6 month old requires care… as does the husband. Unfortunately, I lost me somewhere in there.
It’s not about how hard you work, but how smart you work.
There is a story of a man who thought working hard would make him rich. He dug many deep holes since this was the hardest work he had ever done. Unfortunately, he never got rich, only a backache. – John Maxwell
I have always lived by working smarter. It just makes sense. I would rather spend 80% of my time having fun doing things that I love, and 20% on things of necessity, than slave away 100% of the time producing non-quality work and hating my life (and everyone around me). To some this may seem like a slacker attitude, but it has given me more and more freedom as I have continually tweeked the percentages in my life.
This go round, I decided something needed to change in how I took care of myself. I’ve been having a hard time shedding baby weight and had no time to exercise. I also have been fighting fatigue and feeling like I am pulled in a million different directions. I realized I have to take care of me first, or I won’t be useful to anyone else.
I took a big chunk of time through the week and transferred it to a few hours on the weekend. I did this by cooking a weeks worth of healthy meals for the fam. I had breakfast, lunches (leftovers), and dinners. I had been eating junk just trying to get through my day (I’m the cook in the family) and now we all can eat healthy meals prepared 5 mins in the microwave. Now I have the time to spend taking care of what I need to – guilt free!
This was time management on steroids and it’s one of the best things I have done for myself in years. As a bonus, I lost 8lbs! I literally lifted the weight from my shoulders!
Here are a few practical things you can do to set your freedom wheels in motion.
1. Identify things in your life that are high priority both in time and subject. Tackle these first. For me, it’s work and making it home on time to relieve my hubby from baby duty so he can go to school. Nothing else matters until these are accomplished.
2. Identify things in your life that are of high priority but low urgency. Set deadlines for completion and work these into your daily schedule. This could be laundry or bathing the kiddos.
3. Identify low importance, high urgency items. This was the food thing for me. Get it out-of-the-way as soon as possible to free up your time to tackle the two above.
4. Identify low importance and low urgency items. These are things like housework, cleaning the garage etc. These are things others can do, or you can do when you have a moment (those with small children or hectic schedules probably do this more often than others, if not, they should learn).
I also would like to recommend a favorite book of mine. I have read numerous times over the years and it contains all this fantastic information. There are other things that will benefit you (in all areas of your life), especially in relationships.
Be good to yourself this year and enjoy your journey to freedom!