Yesterday I talked about the importance of taking care of my basic needs along with the challenges I’m currently facing. That means different things for different people. One personal need that I’ve identified is better time-management and organization.
Gil does not get this at all. When I discuss it with him, he tells me I need to chill out and be more “laid back.” The reality is that being organized allows me to relax and actually enjoy downtime.
Time-management is a challenge for our entire family. Part of it I’m certain has to do with our personalities and temperaments, but I absolutely believe these are skills that we can learn and improve upon.
I typically get places on time, but I’m often flying in the door with seconds to spare. Because of this it takes me fifteen minutes or so to actually become PRESENT. This morning involved me pushing the kids out of the car in the school drop-off line and yelling from the driver’s seat, “RUN!!! Hurry!!! The bell’s about to ring!!” Meanwhile, Wallace is twirling and Piers is examining a rock he found in the driveway. It took me a good thirty minutes to relax after the morning rush, and I can’t imagine that rushing to class is exactly conducive to jumping right into schoolwork.
Gil and I need to model plan-ahead skills for our children. We can do better. We must.
I ran across this timely article on Facebook as I was calming down from the morning chaos:
9 Habits of People Who Are Always on Time — check it out; it’s a quick read with some good tips.
Here’s the summary:
1) When it’s time to get up, they get up. Nope, we’re all masters of snooze around here.
2) They plan breakfast at dinner. I actually do this about 50% of the time, and I always know what breakfast will be in my head. I’m less adept at setting everything out in the evening. The author also emphasizes the importance of putting keys and shoes by the door, having lunches packed, coffee set to begin brewing — whatever it is that you need for morning, go ahead and do it at night. This is the one I need to focus on most. No one in our family is what I’d call a morning person, so the more we (I) can plan ahead at night, the better the morning will be.
3) They end tasks on time. Hmmm. Sometimes I do this. I’m better with this one when it comes to work. And frankly, I think I’m more conscious of time when other people are involved, especially if they’re efficient and timely. I need to guard and value my own time just as I would someone else’s.
4) They recognize patterns and correct them. I’m good at recognizing, not as great at correcting.
5) They embrace downtime. Ding ding ding!! I’m awesome at downtime. However, when I worked full-time and had to adhere to office hours and various regular meetings, this one was harder. I’m so thankful for a flexible schedule. The author recommends using time waiting to catch up on networking emails or reading a book. Waiting, or downtime apparently makes lots of people anxious.
6) They’re immune to “Just One More Thing” syndrome. Yep. Need to work on this one. I run back in the house a lot before I leave. Focusing on #2 will allow this one to take care of itself, I think.
7) They schedule built-in overflow time. This one was always hard for me when I was a nutritional consultant. I set my schedule, but I didn’t protect my own time each day. The author emphasizes the importance of blocking overflow time every morning and afternoon in order to handle unexpected tasks that inevitably arise.
8) They’ve mastered the skill of calculation. Basically, they map out their days, often down to the minute. They’re extremely precise about how long tasks take, often down to the minute. I do this occasionally, but the key is to do it regularly.
9) They know when they do their best work. I’m very aware of when I do my best work — 10am-2pm, and 6pm-10pm. The 6-10 block also happens to be the time I’m getting my kids fed, bathed and in bed, and then recovering, so for now that won’t work, but I love the idea of being aware of energy cycles and using them to maximize productivity.
What about you — which of these do you do regularly?
I’m going to focus on #2 — planning and putting things out the night before.
And again, here’s the link to the original article — http://time.com/3664228/being-on-time-habits/