I find that I think of an important task while my time is already taken by something else. My mind does not return to that important thing once I’m free – it focuses on “done”. Once that happens, not much else is going to happen except unwinding.
So, how to retrain that brain? How to set the important tasks into priority time space?
A challenge for another day perhaps?
If you’re like me, you go through phases of energy – highs and lows, ebbs and tides. When the energy level is high, a lot of it gets used – it seems the key is to harness that high tide and make certain the priority things get accomplished.
How do you decide what’s priority?
Some things are simple:
- dishes have to be done or you’ll have none clean;
- food has to be prepared if you’re eating healthy on a budget or you’ll fall for unhealthy and costly fast foods;
- laundry has to be done or you’ll run out of clothes;
- bills have to be paid or you’ll have no home;
- groceries need to be bought or you’ll fall for unhealthy fast foods;
- some of us have to go punch the clock or we’ll not have a paycheck for bills and groceries;
- a day each week is set aside as Holy to the Almighty.
What time is left?
Well, that really depends on your situation. It’s a good time to take stock of the situation and inventory your schedule.
Here’s my schedule. (Easy for me to say, right? I’ve got an empty nest – no kids to keep track of or run after.) Easy, peasy…
- Well… that would be the case if I hadn’t committed to other interests.
- For instance, I am treasurer of a board of directors for a very small organization (which means there is absolutely no glamour in the position, rather, all board members get their hands dirty providing the labor for each project.) That’s not something I would put on my priority list, but I did commit to serve out my term, so it goes onto my priorities for my conscience.
- Also, I have committed to support the project of a dear friend, so that also becomes a priority for me.
Do you see a slight pattern here? We tend to open our mouths and put forth our very best intentions and lock ourselves in to tasks that require portions of our precious time.
A new priority that I want everyone to practice is that it is okay to say “no” and if you’ve overbooked yourself, then you need to put this new skill to work immediately. Assess those add-on tasks that you’ve agreed to and get rid of those you can.
- Stocking my pantry with healthy food is a priority of mine for health reasons, for budget reasons, and for the nostalgia of doing things that connect me to my ancestors.
- Healthy and budget wise food stock includes:
- shopping the sales for those items that contain the healthiest ingredients;
- planning and planting and growing those foods that I can grow at home;
- canning and preparing those foods that are grown or purchased in bulk;
- learning new skills and trying new methods for the best organic produce;
- saving seeds from the garden to turn into next years’ seedlings;
- drying herbs and flowers for teas, seasonings, or medicinal use.
These things take up a tremendous amount of time, especially when a full time job and my standard priorities are factored in.
- I’ve also decided to write a blog! There’s another thing to fit in. The easy part of writing is that generally I can do it in front of the television. Rather than plugging into the tube, I’m plugged into the netbook (typing away and checking out Pinterest as I go).
- We also have to include the time we spend to do things that we enjoy also, right?
- I surf the internet and catch up on my social networking and email contacts;
- I read a few subscription magazines and browse garden supply catalogs;
- We get together with friends and family, our home or theirs, on occasion;
- I talk on the phone at long lengths with dear friends and family who are long distance;
- We go to trade shows for recreation;
- We run off and go camping to get away from it all.
Where do we save time?
I’m hopeful that there are options.
I’m going to try a few things, and I’m hoping you’ll follow along and learn shortcuts and time management skills with me as we go. I’ll learn from you if you’ll share your tips and I’ll share with you those things that work for me.
- I’ll try new garden and canning tools – which are really some old designs.
- I’ll do some meal planning and canning to stock easy to fix meals.
- I will focus on efficiencies in tasks to see where we can shave off a few minutes or hours in a week
- I’ll find a way to honor my commitments and make certain not to add more.
What do you have planned?