How To Find Time to Do the Things You Want to Do
Time Management Strategies
There are many things we must do, and so many things we would like to do, but it is often difficult to find the time to be able to do them all. After eating and personal hygiene, making money, cooking and cleaning, taking care of the dog and children, there doesn't seem any time to do the things you want to do. There just aren't enough hours in the day.
While you cannot get more than 24 hours in the day, it is possible to find the time to do the things you want to do. Here are some ideas about how I make the best use of my time.
Routines help save a lot of time. There is little to no decision making, and your body automatically winds up doing things that you routinely do. Your house can stay clean if you routinely clean it, instead of letting things get dirty, and then you have to do a massive cleaning project.
Reallocate Your Time
One of the problems with time is that there isn't enough of it available when you need it. I have found that there are ways to make time during the busy times by doing things when I am less busy.
For example, since the morning seems to be particularly hectic, I try to get things done in the evening. I listen to the forecast so I know if I need my umbrella, and jacket or coat. I lay out the clothes I am going to wear, pack my lunch, and set out the things we am going to take to school or work. The more I can do the evening before, the freer my morning becomes.
Another way to reallocate time is to wake up earlier. When I go to bed earlier, I can wake up earlier, and have less stress in the morning from rushing around.
Prioritize Your Time
It has been said that you make the time to do the things that are important to you, but sometimes we wind up doing things we feel we should do, that we don't have the time to even decide what is important.
Taking the time to decide what is important, and making sure that our time is properly allocated to the important things helps us use our time wisely. When I decide that quilting is important to me, I can make sure I save fifteen minutes every day to do it, even if it means that something else doesn't get done.
Take Care of Yourself to Save Time
One of the things we wind up doing when we are short on time is to shortchange ourselves. We think we can get by with less sleep, or skip lunch. We also tend to shortchange our children and other loved ones, because we see them as an extension of ourselves.
If we take care of ourselves, we can extend our longevity, and are actually adding time to our lifetime. We need to make sure that we get enough sleep, and eat healthy food at regular intervals. When we get enough sleep, we are more alert during the day and can get things done better and faster. We won't make as many mistakes that need to be corrected. When we eat at regular intervals, we don't get cranky and irritable.
When you prioritize your time, be sure to put yourself and your loved ones first.
Let Things Go
Once you have prioritized your time, there will be things you may want to do that simply can't fit into your schedule. You have to let them go. Say no when someone asks you to do something that is not a priority. You don't have to feel guilty about it, because you know that you are using your limited resources as well as you can.
Time Saving Devices
Take advantage of things and ideas that can save you time. Whether you can double your recipe and make frozen meals, or use a dishwasher, or get a dryer that dries your clothes in half the time, there are plenty of ways you can do things faster.
Decision Making To Save Time
When you make a decision, sometimes it saves time to make a decision in bulk, instead of on each individual item. For example, when I am going through my clothes, I decide that everything with rips or stains must be thrown away, and things I haven't worn in a year must be given to a charity. The decision is made first, and then it is simply a matter of applying all of my clothes through those criteria. It makes the items easier to process without debate and I don't have to come up with new criteria for each item of clothing.
Good Enough is Good Enough
Sometimes we want everything to be just perfect, and we take the time to go over and over it with a fine tooth comb. Sometimes we have to realize that good enough is good enough. We can take a common dish to a potluck, and we don't have to clean the house until it is spotless. We can proofread our hubs, but eventually we have to go ahead and publish them. If we find errors later, we can fix them then. It is okay if we are not perfect.
Use The Small Chunks of Time
It would be nice if we had hours and hours to do the things we want or have to do, like cleaning or quilting. But it is really hard to find big chunks of time in our daily lives. Instead, we have to make do with doing a little bit when we can find the time. By quilting for a few minutes every day, I can get several quilts made in a year. By cleaning a few minutes every day, I can keep the health inspector away, and give us a comfortable place to live.
Avoid the Time Wasters
There are things that eat away at our time. The internet and other things on the computer, video games, and the television all tend to take away more time than we expected. Some things we can decide not to do. I avoid some video games because I know they really eat away my time, and are not a priority for me. I have friends who have decided never to watch television. Others limit it to special shows only. We can decide how much time we want to allocate to these things, and set an alarm clock to remind ourselves when the time is up.
Ask your family members to help out in taking care of the house. They live there too. You can also barter your skills with friends or neighbors. You can cook for them while you do your own cooking, and they will babysit your children while you shop. By bartering, both of you will save time.
You can save time by combining activities. You can listen to a book on tape while you are driving to work. You can work on your quilt or other craft project while you are waiting at the doctors or dentists office. You can make write out your menu while you are waiting in line at the grocery store. Exercise while you are watching TV. Have the laundry running in the washing machine while you are cleaning the house.
Research has shown that multi-tasking is really doing each task consecutively. You really can't do your homework and watch tv at the same time. But these types of combinations really help save you time and help keep you focused on your prioritized goals.
A great way to combine activities recommended by a fellow Hubber is to make dinner with your children. You get to spend time with each other, teach them how to cook, and get dinner on the table all at the same time.
How to Find the Time to Do the Things You Want to Do
Time is a precious resource, and there are many things competing to fill up the space. By being mindful, and making sure that you only allow your time to be used by things that are important to you, you can truly have the time to do the things you want to do.