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Are you looking for ways to manage your time so that you can get more done in less time? Do you feel like you are constantly struggling to get everything done and then never have time left for the things you really enjoy?
We all have the same 24 hours in each day. It’s up to you to decide how you want to use that time. I’m guessing you would rather have more time out of that 24 hours to use doing the things that fill your life with purpose.
For me, it is spending time with my family, working on my blog, having time to myself to recharge, and working towards goals.
Here are my time management tips to get more done in less time:
Get a calendar that works for you.
Simple, right? I cannot even begin to tell you how much money I spent on the next best planner. I would get lost on Pinterest drooling over all of the fancy, creative paper planners with coordinating stickers and pretty handwriting. And I was convinced that the latest planner was going to be the next best thing to help me get every appointment and to-do list organized.
The reality? It just was not for me. Instead of being fun, it was just another thing to suck time away. It became a chore and after a short period of time it would just collect dust in the bottom of my bag or in a drawer. Maybe getting creative like that is your thing. And if it is, awesome!
The key is to find something that works for you. Since I already use the calendar on my iPhone to sync with my work calendar, plugging in my after work obligations works best for me. Now I have everything in one place and I can manage work and home from one electronic calendar that is easy and accessible since I usually have my phone with me.
Plan out dinners for the week.
I would faithfully go grocery shopping each week without a solid plan. Then dinner would roll around and I would be at a loss for what to make. The busy nights were even more frustrating and instead of thinking ahead we would get a pizza or fast food. We were spending a ton of money on groceries and then even more on eating out.
The game changer for me in meal planning to get more done in less time is using the Paprika app. There is a mobile version for your phone or tablet as well as a version for a computer. The iPhone app is a one-time $4.99 charge, but it has been well worth it.
With Paprika you can save recipes from online sites or create your own. You can then use the recipes that you have saved to create a menu for the week and a shopping list. Being able to plan for the week (and to do so ahead of time for nights that I know that we won’t have a lot of time to make a meal) has saved me time, sanity, and money.
Break up big tasks into manageable chunks.
Let me explain this one. I was spending what seemed like the entire weekend doing laundry because I would let it pile up during the week. Talk about a not very fun way to spend a weekend.
As more of an experiment, I decided to switch up my routine and started to do at least one load of laundry each evening. What I discovered was that it made something that needed to be done much more manageable and less daunting.
Keep a to-do list.
Don’t try to wing it thinking you can remember it all. Keep a to-do list for all of the things that need to get done daily, weekly, and monthly. It will help you feel less overwhelmed and you can see that you are getting things done as you cross things off.
Stop trying to multitask.
I used to think that being able to multitask was a badge of honor. It’s really not, though. Multitasking can suck your time without getting things done. Don’t get me wrong, there are times where you will need to use your multitasking skills out of necessity. Just don’t do it with the thinking that you are going to be more productive. Start a task, finish it, and then move on to the next. You’ll be able to things done more efficiently by focusing your efforts towards one task at at time and ultimately get more done in less time.
Most important, you’ll be amazed at how doing a few simple things can help you to get more done in less time and be able to have more time to do the things you really enjoy. Need some ideas for how to spend this extra time you’ll have? How about a fun date night at home?
What are your best time management tips and tricks? How do you get more done in less time? What things in your life have been the biggest time suckers?