I could give you all kinds of statistics based on what the average American spends his/her time on but this month I’d like you give you the professional organizer’s spin on where I see my clients time management fly out the window on a proverbial broom stick:
These five topics monopolize many minutes and often hours each day in most people’s lives in our current society. So what’s the best way to handle these subjects and often tasks? By scheduling them into your daily and weekly schedule with structured times that become routines. Seriously.
Let’s take each one and give an example:
- Phone – Most phone calls are not an emergency even though we are glued at the hip to our cell phones. You can decide each day when you want to receive and return calls. That’s why we have silencers, vibrators, caller ID and voice mail. Use them wisely and often. I recently heard a voice mail from a colleague of mine that I thought was brilliant. It went like this, “I will be returning calls today between the hours of 10-2 and 4-6. Should you have an emergency, please text me.”
- TV – With hundreds of channels to choose from we could easily spend countless hours entertaining ourselves. How much time do you want to allot for entertainment? This can be a wonderful outlet sometimes but set boundaries for your viewing pleasure. If I allow myself to watch Property Brothers, Love It or List It and House Hunters, I’ve just given up all my leisure time to HGTV for a whole evening. But if I write in my planner which ones I want to watch on which night I will limit my couch time to only what I truly love to watch. And I will therefore get other things done… One of the best inventions to help you watch what you want to, when you want to view it is the digital video recorder (known as a DVR or TIVO-type service). A small investment in this service changes the way you watch TV and makes better use of your time!
- Email – Now that our land lines don’t ring much anymore most of us need to check our computers for both important information and unfortunately junk mail. Again, similar to the phone rule above, please decide on what works with your schedule for opening up your email BUT when you do decide to log on make sure you plan enough time for this task to process all your emails to closure (that means complete the task and delete) and do not cherry pick. Have your planner and phone next to you so you can either remove the email when done or have a plan in place for following up. Set up when it is convenient for you to do this daily and block out the time in your day.
- Shopping – Women especially get caught up in retail and food stores because it’s part of our role. Only go shopping when your home or your family needs something and shop only off a list and by all means create master lists.
- Internet – Again, like the above four areas we lose time on, be cognizant of why you are on the web. Give yourself an estimated time that you will allow yourself to surf and set an alarm or the kitchen timer.
Every one of my clients complains that there is not enough time in the day but if I have her track her time on paper for two weeks I always find ways to trim the fat. Or, we find ways to rearrange the tasks so that the Minute Muggers above are scheduled and NOT spontaneous which will be a huge productivity treat and not inefficient tricks on our time.
For more information about getting organized, please visit www.POSSEpartnersllc.com or call Jean Marie Herron at 201-406-9643.