It’s not that I don’t have time .. Everyone has time. If you ever analyse your day, looking back on what eats away at your time, you will genuinely find some extra/spare time. You may have spent this time waiting somewhere, procrastinating on your favourite social media sites or just plain sitting around with no plan. That is me, regularly.
I have lots to do. Lots I want to do and lots that I need to do. There is soooo much that I can look around and easily find at least 10 or so things to do at any one time. If I do not have a clear cut idea of what I want and need to achieve, I will potter from one task to another, do none of them well or completely and time slips away. Or better still, find it all too much and procrastinate on the internet instead.
This is where I am going wrong – NO PLAN! NO CLEAR INTENTION FOR MY TIME!
Don’t get me wrong, I love to plan. It is how I choose to do this planning that is getting me unstuck. I write lists and re-write lists but rarely do I refer to them on a regular basis. They get buried either as a scrap piece of paper in a pile of others, in a notebook put away for safe-keeping never to be seen again or just plain lost only to start a new one, more wasted time, things missed and a brain full of ideas and to-do’s.
Firstly, a ‘Brain Dump’ – corralling the many lists I already have (that can be found) adding all those things swarming around the vast space called my brain and writing it all down in one place.
No fancy schmancy list, just pen on paper.
Now, that’s my mind clear but it is a LOT of items to deal with!
I have things that NEED to get done e.g. financial forms, housekeeping, etc. and I have things that I WANT to get done e.g. organising, decorating, home upgrades, etc. I have been foregoing the NEEDS for the WANTS a lot lately, as these are the things I enjoy to do but sooner or later this decision is going to come back to haunt me and I really need to sort it out.
The approach is to separate the needs and wants completely. Priorities!
The ‘To Do’ List will be displayed prominently for regular referral. In realising that my many lists become all too easily buried, I have figured out that I am one of those ‘visual’ people. If it’s not something that I can see or touch, I am just going to attempt to push it to the back of my mind or anywhere else it will fit. Hence, deciding to go with a more ‘permanent’ item, a dry-erase board for all my to-do’s.
The WANTS list will be entirely separate from this. In order to keep focus on the items that need attention and to allow me to take a different, much needed approach. Less overwhelm at the sheer amount and more getting on with it. More action.
My Command Centre/Launch Pad sat in planning stage for soooo very long until I changed my approach. I wrote down absolutely EVERYTHING that I needed to do for the project to come to fruition. I put steps in order, I obtained the items and I worked through the broken down list until each was completed.
This would have to be, by far, the most success I have had with lists and in order to move myself out of the ‘Planning Zone’ and into the ‘Action Zone’, quite clearly I need to break it down more.
For that project, I just used pen and paper but can see that with soooo many projects i.e want-to-do’s, this could quite easily get out of hand. I searched online for a printable to incorporate all my projects in one list and found this one from The Organised Housewife, just what I need! This will be kept with all my supplies and when I do find time, after attending to the need-to-do’s, I can choose one step of a project (or two as time and supplies allow) to complete.
So much of my delaying of decisions stems from overwhelm, not acknowledging the difference between the need-to-do’s and want-to-do’s. With it clearly written out for me in two separate areas, this will ensure that I focus on the needs and seeing the great big long list that I need to get through should work wonders in hurrying me up.
These lists will help towards the overwhelm as will a ‘one thing at a time’ approach, too often I am trying to do many things at one time and not doing any of them well leaving me frazzled and with a lot of partially finished stuff.
If I pace myself, tackling one thing at a time, a few things each day, I find I accomplish a LOT more over time than in big spurts less often. Cramming as much as possible into any one day or time slot just does not work for me, I very quickly burn out and am useless for days after. It also helps to include a happiness element to each day. The all work, no play can make for a boring, un-motivating day.
Lacking Motivation is a regular occurrence for me. Better/more sleep and generally looking after my health brings more energy and motivation to accomplish tasks, I need to focus on this a LOT more. You can read about my attempt to rid myself of the nightowl and get some more sleep here and my health journey here.
How do you manage your time?
Are you a multi-tasker? Do you find you accomplish any more than you would if you focused on one task at a time?
Any tips to keep from getting distracted?
Linking in for Weeks 14, 15, 16, 17 & 18
P.S – The irony is not lost on me that I should have fallen behind in the SYL12 Challenge right when it was up to the Time Management Category! I am one of those always starts things, not always finishes kind of people and that NEEDS to change, I am going to complete it, I will!