Finding Time

“There just aren’t enough hours in the day!”

Ever feel like what you had to get done was never going to get done? That you would just like to go away and hide for a couple days to avoid the phone, the door, and the interruptions? If you have, you are like most folks–just trying to cope with the weight of day-to-day time pressures.

Finding more time and using the time you have more effectively.

 The bigger ones….

  • 1. Know the difference between wasting time and enjoying time. Doing nothing but enjoying a sunset with the family probably isn’t wasting time, but yapping endlessly on the phone with someone you really don’t want or need to talk to, is! Keep mental track of exactly how you are spending your time. You will probably find that a good portion of it is wasted. Even if you convert only ten percent wasted time into enjoying time, you are making progress.
  • 2. Cut down on interruptions. Starting and finishing a task is much more difficult when you are interrupted every few minutes. Get caller ID and don’t answer the phone if you don’t want to talk to the caller. Give the children something to do while you complete the tasks you need to get done. You will be much more effective if you start a task, and take it to completion before starting another. Jumping from project to project usually means that you end up with a lot undone. Plus, you will get a sense of accomplishment as you bring each task to a close.
  • 3. Develop a schedule. You must determine that you will schedule your day. This is the time for this activity. No other. Learn to say, politely, NO, to any unnecessary disruptions of your schedule.
  • 4. Set realistic deadlines for yourself and other family members. Don’t expect things to be done before they can realistically be completed, but don’t allocate to much time to each project.
  • 5. Use the Internet to save timeThere is a wealth of information out there, saving time going to the library, shopping, planning trips, etc. You are probably aware, though, that as much of a time saver the Internet can be, it can also be a horrible time waster if you are not able to control your online time!

And some smaller ones…

  • 1. Plan shopping trips. Combine as many shopping expeditions into one as possible. Lay out an intelligent route that circles you back home. Use your shopping list–laid out the way the store is laid out. If at all possible, leave the children at home (you’ll cut trip times by a bunch!) or, if you have to take them, get them involved according to their age and ability. It will keep them occupied and may actually help. Shop at “unpopular” times if possible. Sundays are often the worst day for shopping and the traffic and standing in line can sometimes double your shopping time.
  • 2. Have a set place for frequently used items. Ever wasted 20 minutes looking for your car or house keys? Lost a half hour hunting down your glasses? Get into the habit of always placing such frequently needed items in exactly the same place, every time.
  • 3. Save time by preparing. For example, have your outfit and your children’s outfits put out and ready the night before rather than rushing around trying to get them ready as you prepare for work and school.
  • 4. Shop at stores where the service is better (meaning faster). Saving 5 minutes driving time by going to a grocery store where you alwys seem to wait an extra 20 minutes in line (due to poor service) actually costs you time.
  • 5. Buy stamps by mail. A little one that can save a lot of time. Have you been to the Post Office lately? Talk about wasting time! Standing in line for 15 minutes or more just to buy stamps when it can be accomplished in just a few seconds.
  • 6. Sort the mail over the wastebasket. If a piece of mail is necessary, file it. If its not, pitch it. You’ll save lots of time not shuffling around old, worthless mail.
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