6 Strategies To Maximize Your Time

20
Jul
2015

6 Strategies To Maximize Your Time
There is no denying the truth of the saying, “Time is gold.”

You never seem to get enough of time. Even if you are given thirty hours in a day, you still won’t be able to get enough of it. Somehow, some things will come up and you will end up wanting more time. Time is a precious commodity. Once it’s gone, it cannot be recovered.

The fact is: when you are busy, time flies swiftly. But when you are not, time seems to be at a stand still. This is true when you are killing time because there is nothing else to do under the circumstances.

How do you maximize the use of your time? It would be worth your time to consider the following strategies:

Check your schedule at the start of the day or the evening before.

Review it in its entirety. You may notice that portions of your day may be hectic, while some may not be too frenzied. Distribute your activities evenly throughout the day as much as possible and anticipate things going haywire!

Prioritize. 

The key to getting the most done is knowing what’s a priority and what can wait. Experts suggest that you divide your to-do list into three sections: those things that need to be taken care of immediately, those that can get done anytime during the week, and those that are long-term or ongoing projects. I have found when I STAR items that are critical to get done, I have more success at getting more of my list completed.

Jot things down to keep your brain free!

Keep notepads handy or your smartphone so you can get those little “things” that pop into your mind OUT OF IT and written down somewhere. I use the notes feature on my phone to keep track of all those little “to-dos” and ideas that pop in my head when I am out and about.

Be creative.

Time is an element when simple creativity can be put to practice. For example, you have thank you cards to write for a recent party – but you have to be out at appointments with your kids – so be sure to take the note cards along with you. You can write while waiting. I love multi-tasking in that way. I also find these snippets of time good for reading or listening to audio books.

Think ahead. 

I enjoy looking for ways to delete steps from a task or cut the amount of time I spend on a task. For instance, I look for ways to prepare as much as I can for morning the night before. Or set the table for the next meal with the dishes you unload from the dishwasher, or clean the shower when I finish my shower, then I am already in and can get it done right.

Delegate.

I talk about this one often, and I am happy to report I am getting better at it! Look at your list for the day and why not give everyone a job. Whether it’s sorting laundry, emptying the garbage, putting away groceries, or vacuuming the family room, there are chores that even the littlest of helpers can do. I love that you can color code and highlight tasks in The Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner (which, by the way, is a free resource for you!) and allow others in your home to help out!

Time is something you could never have enough of. We all feel that way. However, you become wise when you choose to maximize it.

The Benefits of Being a Selfish Mom

26
May
2014

Benefits-Selfish-Mom

Do you know your family is likely begging you to be more selfish?  Perhaps that seems a little far-fetched, but I do think it is true.

This thought came into my head last week as I was out for a 7 mile run, something that takes me a bit of time I will add!  This is usually a 2 hour commitment for me, with preparing to run, running, cooling down and showering, etc.  But you know what?  

I feel so much better when I give myself this gift, and I know I am much better with my family.

Perhaps even thinking of it as a gift may be wrong thinking.  It is a necessity.

So it has me thinking how often we moms make excuses that we don’t have time or can’t make the time to care for our own “seemingly selfish needs.”  I wrote a post a few weeks back on Not Being a Martyr Mom and I think this term Martyr comes into play in the same manner when it comes to caring for our own needs.  We like to kinda throw the “woe is me” card – or perhaps that it just me?

I have a choice each day, I can either play the victim and not take my needs seriously or I can be proactive and take charge of my time, my tasks and make the time to care for my needs.

What needs am I talking about?  The list is really endless, but for me it would entail – caring for my body in a physical way (running, strength training, a relaxing bath, pedicure, yoga, walks) caring for my spirit (daily quiet time, prayer, real quiet time with no noise and no “to-do” list, appreciating my blessings, journaling, writing).  That’s a start.

But I also know that depending on the season of motherhood it can be hard to get time, but it is oh, so important for you to do that.  When you do, do you know what happens?  Let me share with you what I know it does for me. 

Rested

I feel more rested and better about myself when I can take the time to care for my needs.  We sacrifice a lot – by choice, don’t get me wrong – motherhood is good, believe me, but it is OK to care for our needs too.  We do not always have to give, give, give and give more.  You are not created to run on fumes, so refueling our bodies is really necessary.

Connected

I find myself feeling refreshed and able to connect with my entire family more often when my needs are met.  I am more engaged in activities rather than trying to carve out any bit of silence and alone time, especially since I am an introvert.  I am happy to plan activities to share together – I am just plain more fun!  My entire family likes this, so came my question, “Do you know your family is begging you to be a selfish mom?”  They want you completely present, refreshed and energized, rather than just “there”.  Wouldn’t you agree?

Priorities

You can get to a place where you learn to prioritize better, that is what I have found.  I know that things will run smoother when I take the hour to get some exercise or get up an hour early so I can sit quietly and read.  I know my body and I know what it needs.  I can then use those same principles to look at other areas in my life and manage them as well, whether tasks, time with my husband or writing obligations.  It is a balancing act and learning how to care for our needs is important.

Happy Mom = Happy Family

Honestly, the bottom line for me is, I know I am much more pleasant to be around when I step up to the plate and take care of myself.  When my body feels good, my spirit is fresh – I am much better able to handle those curve balls that come into play – you know exactly the ones I mean.

So what can you do today to gov yourself a break and be selfish?  I am sure your family will actually thank you for it! 

Chapter Eight – Learning to Love Your Real Home

18
Mar
2014

Changing-Hearts-Towards-Homes

I just came back from being out of town for 4 days – which for me is full of anxiety.  You see, I hate to admit I am rather a neat-nik, or one that likes to have things put away.  My stress level goes up ten fold if people are leaving stuff all over the house, not cleaning up after themselves and just plain being lazy.

Usually when I return from being gone I am met with incredible anxiety because, well……I have left 4 guys all on their own, and to be honest…..guys are guys!  They just aren’t that concerned with putting things away or cleaning up stuff they “just might use again real soon.”

So I was surprised when I came in and things were not a disaster.  My hubby had taken great care to have things picked up and he knew if he took that extra step, my stress level would be lowered, and I would be a happier mama.

I know, you might be saying, “I wish I had that”.  We all have our struggles for sure and we all live with a variety of people, but the one thing that I think changed for me, was that I changed my expectations.  I cannot expect the house to look like when I left, that is completely unrealistic.

Rather, I can appreciate what has been done with my heart in mind to create an environment that is less cluttered and messy.  Because honestly, I could have continued on a rant at what “had not” been done to my satisfaction, but I chose to appreciate what had been done.  {BIG learning curve for me, and still something I need to work on!}

We talked about clutter and organization in our last book study, “I Used to Be So Organized” and you might be able to get some tips if you did not read that book with us, as well as a post I did when my 2014 Weekly Household Planner was released.  I share some ideas on how to keep an organized kitchen as well as a post about creating a place your family loves to come home to.  All great additional resources.

The kitchen is the heartbeat of the home. 

I love the idea of using a kitchen timer to help you maintain some order in your home.  I was just talking with a mom I was coaching last week about using this item that is already in most of our kitchens, yet in a way that will keep us focused and on track.  How can you use it to help you stay on track of different tasks you need to do?

Determine which is the hardest room for you to manage and pick one thing to work on or focus on this week.

There are no perfect homes, so you have to determine what level of organization and cleanliness works for your family. 

Changing your Expectations

I’ve already shared how this is a critical place to start.  What does this look like for you?  What ‘ideas’ do you need to give up or let go?  How will doing so create a different level of peace in your heart or decrease stress?

Replace Fear

Can you find a level of comfort in allowing your home to be ‘guest ready’, so you can enjoy having others in your home rather than always coming up with excuses?  I love some of Jill’s suggestions.

Replacing Insecurity with Confidence

We are our worst critics – right?  I can almost guarantee that others are NOT thinking the same things that we tend to think of ourselves.  So why not try to change your thinking just a bit.  I know, it takes practice, a lot, but the sooner you start the better!

Replace Judgment with Grace

This has been a constant theme in this book – allowing for grace to flood our hearts.  Remember that you need to give yourself grace and learn to be okay with where you are and the path you have been given.

Embrace your beautiful, imperfect home – yes!  It is a place your family can gather in and feel safe.

What is one thing you highlighted/noted as you read this chapter?  Why did it strike you as important?

Have you changed your expectations about your house in anyway?  How has it helped you to love your real house?

No More Perfect Moms Week Eight

17
Mar
2014

Main-No-More-Perfect-MomsLadies, I cannot even tell you how full my spirit is as I write this – I just finished attending the Hearts at Home Conference and am amazed.  I was invited by Jill to come attend and was all set to learn some things I could share with you about motherhood, parenting and how much what we do each day really matters…..which I did learn a lot about.  But, God spoke to me – personally to me, whispering some things in my ear that I really didn’t want to hear, but needed to hear.  

I have been in a rough season of motherhood, and I have shared that with you, some bits and pieces…..but it is time for me to truly step up to the plate, kick of the spirit of being bitter and discontent and push ahead with a different attitude.

In my morning devotional time, I had this verse explode out of the page at me,

I have strength for all things in Christ who empowers me (I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses inner strength into me;  I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency)   Philippians 4:13  AMP

This verse changes things for me and I pray you can grasp hold of it and push ahead, no matter what you are struggling with right now.  I know for many – we have a lot of our plate to shuffle and manage.  I am thankful for those who have shared on the Facebook page where you are struggling so you can be lifted in prayer – ladies, He has got this for you!  Allow Him to lead you through, allow Him to strengthen you – you don’t have to do it all on your own!

I will hopefully share a bit more later this week about the conference as I get caught up, but if there is anyway you can make plans to attend the Hearts at Home conference next year, March 13 & 14, 2015 – please do so.   I have it on my calendar already!!

Here is the agenda for this week:

{If you are viewing this post via email, you will need to click through to the website to view the video}

 

Week 8:  March 17 – 21 , 2014

Monday – watch the video, download the discussion questions for WEEK EIGHT – there are TWO, Chapter 8 & Chapter 9 

Tuesday – come prepared by having read Chapter Eight, join the conversation

Wednesday – check in over at Facebook for a few questions 

Thursday – come prepared by having read Chapter Nine, join the conversation, begin reading Chapter Ten

Do you struggle with a ‘satisfactory’ level of clean in your home?  Do you feel you are always behind, or are you just having unrealistic expectations?

What spoke to you in the video?  Wasn’t it fun to see Jill’s home?  I am not sure I would be fine with having a video of my home, so perhaps that is something I need to work on.  I appreciate her genuine and open spirit – she brings the ‘real’ to the table and it is so refreshing.

If you have not already grabbed a copy of my FREE weekly Household Planner, I highly suggest you do – try a few weeks out and see if it helps you put perspective into your home care routine. 

Please share in the comments and hop over to the Facebook page.  

Chapter Seven – No More Perfect Days

11
Mar
2014

No-More-Perfect-Days-Expect-Unexpected

As we read through this book, and for me it is a second time reading – I discover that each chapter it what I need to read RIGHT NOW!!  They just keep getting better and better.

I will be the first to admit, I rather like controlling things – especially when it comes to having routine, everyone following along and coloring inside the lines.  So, I am very weak at ‘going with the flow’, which affects everyone in my home in a ‘not so perfect’ way.

“Learning to live with kids requires making major adjustments in our realistic expectations.  We have to learn to expect the unexpected, find flexibility, and increase the margin.  Instead of getting frustrated, let’s stop expecting a fantasy and instead embrace reality.”

Ohhh, that sounds so good, huh?  I can tell from the comments yesterday on the Facebook page that I am not the only one who loves control and routine.  I would say 80% of us do.  Why is that?

I was reminded though of how special my time is and I need to focus on activities and being present with my family.  It is not always about the to-do list, items will get done, or if they don’t oh well {except blog posts which are expected!!} but those moments with my family will be missed if I don’t stop and allow myself to be distracted from my agenda.

I was really reminded of what I am missing and how little fun I am scheduling in my life when I went zip lining in Hawaii last week.  I seriously had never smile and laughed that much – I experienced beauty, friendship, victory, and FUN.  If you missed the video, let me share it again – it was so fun!!!

{If you are reading through an email update you will have to click through to view the video}

 

I am a practical gal, who doesn’t see the need to spend the money on impractical things – which zip lining to me would be impractical.  But I was given a new perspective on what it means to be a bit impractical and do those things we sometimes pass up because of fear or our need to be more practical.

Looking back, I am glad the zip lining was included in my all-expense paid trip, but honestly, I have now ben able to look at opportunities a bit differently.  If I could take my entire family zip-lining and it meant we didn’t eat out for dinner for an entire 6 months – I WOULD!  I am not sure I could say that 2 weeks ago.

Okay, back to the study  🙂

“Control is really a mirage.  The only control you and I can really have is self-control, and the Bible says that is a fruit of the Spirit.”  

BINGO – that is what I need to remember……I need to learn to control my own actions and responses better and in a more Godly way.  Which means making myself available and not feeling confined to my ‘lists’.

We’ll talk more on this chapter and dig in a bit deeper on Thursday – take some time in the next few days to really examine what areas you struggle with and also this term margin.  It is a HOT BUTTON of sorts, making sure you have enough margin – I have flunked!

Do you have enough margin in your life to have the pace and space to allow real life to happen?

Did you download the discussion questions yet for this week?  You can do that here.

And, yes …. I am getting very excited to go to the Hearts at Home Conference this weekend!  I am hoping to meet Jill Savage!!  So fun….I will be posting lots of pictures for you all too!

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