Time is money. Literally and figuratively. One of my constant goals is to make better use of my time. I am in awe of people who are able to start a project and finish it. What sets “those” people apart? Why do they seem to have more time to relax with their family? I think the secret is in intentionality.
I had an amazing bible study the other night which focused on the negative trait of “idleness”. Oh, how often am I idle? ALL THE TIME! Let me count the ways I waste time: Netflix, Facebook, twitter, starting projects I never finish… the list goes on. I end up wasting time on things that I don’t really want to do in the first place. Then I play catch up on the important things that do take more time and energy.
One of the things I am finding is that productive people are intentional with their time. They don’t just nonchalantly mention that they want to have a coffee date next week, they whip out their calendar right then and there to schedule it. They don’t start laundry and leave it undone. They finish doing it. They don’t wait until the end of the year to upload and organize their photos. They do it weekly. (I am really putting my weaknesses out there for the world to see here!).
Intentional people have goals in mind ahead of time. They might visualize their goal or write out a list of goals. They make plans to see that their goals are met.
Here is my list of ways to be more productive, and thus live more intentionally with my time.
1. Work less.
Busy work is not always good work. Irrelevant “errands”, for example, don’t always need to happen. I don’t need to check out every sale. I make way too many to-do lists that are filled with unimportant tasks and stress me out. I want to start focusing on to-do’s that really matter.
2. Do important tasks in the morning.
Did you know more productive people tackle their biggest tasks before lunchtime? Checking emails or social media is usually a surefire way to waste time. I can kill an hour easily checking my email or Facebook feed. One of my goals is to read more of the bible this year. I notice that when I wake up and do it right away, I feel more peaceful throughout the day. If I wait until bedtime, I usually get too tired and put it off. I should do the most important tasks when I am bright and awake and ready to start my day. I also need to make sure that I am taking time in the mornings to fuel up for my day. I need to eat right, take personal time to meditate and pray, and work out.
3. Take breaks often.
I notice that productive people take breaks to recharge and focus. Days where I run myself ragged and forget to eat are often my worst days. I end up grumpy and vulnerable to making rash decisions or saying things I regret.
4. Schedule free time.
Productive people don’t always work. They work hard, and then spend time resting. One of my biggest downfalls is that I feel more important if I look or feel busy. This shoots me in the foot. I want to be better at being present with my daughter at events like gymnastics, the park, or bedtime. I don’t need to be doing anything else during those moments- just focusing on my time with her. I want to be better at creating boundaries to protect my precious down time with my loved ones. No phones, no emails, no tweets. Just pure, good old fashioned family time.
5. Stop multi-tasking.
I waste so much time to multi-tasking. I also end up with a messy house. I am trying to focus on starting and completing one task at a time rather than doing multiple things at once. Sometimes less is more!
Ok- now for the fun part. I recently ordered my first ever Erincondren.com Life Planner to help me be better organized. This planner inspired this post and I am so excited to be able to give away $50 to Erincondren.com to one of you!
I am so impressed by this planner! I have owned countless planners over my years, and this one blows all the others out of the water. I cannot store my calendar in my iPhone. I need paper and pen. This planner does it all for me. First, I love the design. Erincondren.com has the most beautiful patterns and papers I have seen! I love pulling my planner out because all the colors and fonts make me simply happy.
Of course, my favorite part about this planner is all the pics of my family reminding me of what matters most when planning my life. Honestly, it is a keepsake in itself. The inspirational quotes are wonderful to look at.
I love that this planner is so easy to use. It is made for mom’s like me juggling lots of different roles. There is ample space for me to write notes, meal plans, or exercise routines.
There is even a plastic pouch for me to keep items such as receipts, tickets, or business cards handy. There are a couple folders as well to tuck in important papers.
Thank you to Erincondren.com for giving away $50 to one lucky reader of The Dwelling Tree! I am super excited for one of you to win something from the erincondren.com website.
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE DOES NOT IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. Promotion Description: The “$50 Erin Condren Gift Code” begins on 2/10/2014 at 12:00 AM (MST (US & Canada) and ends on 2/18/2014 at 12:00 AM (MST (US & Canada). Eligibility: Open to legal residents of USA who are 18 Years or older. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. Winner Selection: The winner of the Sweepstakes will be selected in a random drawing from among all eligible Entries received throughout the Promotion Period. The random drawing will be conducted by 48 hours by Sponsor or its designated representatives, whose decisions are final. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible Entries received. Winner will be notified by email at the email address provided in the Entry Information on or about 48 hours after the random drawing. Potential winner must accept a prize by email as directed by Sponsor within 48 hours of notification. Any winner notification not responded to or returned as undeliverable may result in prize forfeiture.