Blog Post originally posted on The Petit Fours and Hot Tamales blog July 15, 2011.
Reevaluation of Time
By Tami Brothers
We either have too much of it or too little. I tend to fall into the too little side of the equation. Like all of you, I have multiple things going on. Work, family, kids, writing, blogging, reading, photography, scrapbooking, running, classes, pets, cooking, cleaning, chauffeuring the kid, doctor appointments, sports, clubs, friends… I could go on and on.
I could also complain every minute of every day. Dwell on the fact that I don’t have enough hours to do everything I want to do. I could. But that only results in wasting some of that precious time. Instead, I need to learn how to better manage what time I do have amongst everything I want to do.
I started the 2011 year Reevaluating every part of my life. My family graciously (ROFL) came along for the ride. So far we’ve tackled:
1) The too big house (see post about the beginning of our reevaluation process)
2) The nonexistent budget
3) The clutter that has invaded our lives and home
4) Our diet habits and exercise routines (or lack of)
5) Our attempts to reconnect as a family
6) My Career and Job Choices
With July being the midpoint of my Year of Reevaluation, I looked back at everything I’ve done to this point and saw a pattern with my time management; or lack thereof. I realized that if I want to stay on this new path I’ve taken, then I needed to find a way to fit everything I want to do into the limited amount of time I actually have to do it.
Sounds like an easy task, doesn’t it? Not so much.
Things to cut
Over the years I’ve gotten into a rut of sorts, doing a lot of different tasks that take up quite a bit of time.
When money became tight, I found ways to continue my love of reading. One of those was by doing book reviews. You’d be surprised at how many different sites or opportunities there are to do reviews for free books. This can really get out of hand fast. I knew I had to cut out 75% of the reviews I do.
I also cut some of the volunteer time I put in for The Kid’s various activities. For this one, I feel a lot of guilt. I was the go-to person and people liked that because then they didn’t have to do as much. But, I started saying no and found I had a LOT more extra trime. Another good thing that came from this is that I found it works in other areas of my life, too.
TV. I can’t begin to tell you how much time I’ve gained by cutting out most of my TV time. I still watch a few programs with my family. It’s cheap entertainment, so it’s hard to give it up completely when it does bring us together. Still, I honestly haven’t missed out as much as I thought I would.
Things I need to work on
Although there are a few other things I’ve cut, I have to admit there are so many more I need to work on.
Blogs are a biggie. I’ve subscribed to more than 350 blogs via my tamibrothers Google Reader acct. That’s a lot of reading every day. Although there are reasons I want to read each one of these, life tends to get in the way. I’ve actually had to open another account so I could follow my friends and specific industry blogs without getting distracted by some that aren’t as important to me. Istill need to find a way to manage my time here.
Twitter/Facebook/MySpace or what some might call Social Networking. I’ve found a few timesavers, such as TweetDeck, but I’m still working on finding a balance with this.
Writing. I have ideas crammed inside my head, but I also have a habit of sitting down at the computer and opening my Google Reader acct, my e-mail accounts, or any number of other things that seem much easier to deal with than putting those words on paper.
Prioritizing. I tend to pick the easiest things to do first. This is definitely not a good plan because my writing often gets stuck at the very bottom of the list.
Sticking to a timeline. This is a biggie. I used to pride myself on being on time and even early for everything. Over the past few years I’ve taken on so many tasks that there simply is not enough time to do everything I need to do. AND as you can see, it happened to be at the very bottom of the list…
How about you?
I’ll be the first to admit I have a long way to go before I can get this time management thing under control. I’ve been told this is a lifelong problem many people face, but I’m bound and determined that I will have more time by the end of this year. I know, very big task ahead of me… 🙂
How about you? Do you have anything in your life that sucks up your time? Have you found a way to manage it?
Stop back by Friday, August 12th to find out The Kid’s opinion of my new calming techniques. Ooommmm….