As we head into the new year, time management is more important than ever! We are being pulled in 100 different directions. With a new year comes a flood of fresh ideas. Maybe they're New Year's resolutions or maybe they're projects that have been sitting on the back burner.
Regardless of what you're up to, there are so many things that needed to be done. So that's why I'd like to talk to you about the 4 things you are doing that are sabotaging your time.
You may think that you are doing everything right. Making lists, waking up early, going to bed late, and maybe finding extra time here and there to get some more things done. But how smoothly is your day running? Are you still having that internal struggle with yourself?
Are you still secretly building up resentment because there is so much on your shoulders?
If you are secretly shaking your head yes, then my dear, you are sabotaging your own time!
Don't fear, it's not the time to run out and grab a bucket of ice cream and say screw it, and give up. I'm here to help you learn from your sabotaging mistakes so you can start creating awesome days for yourself.
For years, I thought there was no way to fix the mess that I was in. My days were completely over scheduled. I was jumping from one appointment to the next, grabbing a sugary quad espresso and a bag of chips for lunch, and wondering why the heck I wanted to take a nap an hour later.
I'm not turning this post into a dietary tale, I just want you to understand where I was a few years back.
My daily schedule was non-existent. Sure I had appointments on a calendar, but I didn't account for all that I needed to get done.
Being unorganized was an understatement. I was showing up to work 15-20 minutes late, leaving work an hour or even 2 hours late some nights. I was missing out on important milestones.
Let's just say, I just didn't have it together.
That's why I'm here today, to show you how to stop sabotaging your time.
Sure, I know that you are not doing these things on purpose. When we are sinking sometimes we just go back to our current behaviors and hope for the best.
As Dr. Phil always says, "How's that workin' for Ya?"
Let's change some of these mistakes that you're making and make a better day for yourself and your family.
In order for this to work for you, you'll need to take action, that's why I've put together a workbook for you, to set you up for the most success as possible! You can download that here!
I'd love to dive in and share the first thing that you are doing to sabotage your time.
The first one I touched on a little bit before and now I'd really like to dive right in...
Not taking care of yourself!
Earlier I talked about how you might start building up resentment in your life because of everything that is on your plate.
As a woman, there is more pressure on us to complete more, balance more, and strive for that amazing perfection expectation that no one ever meets.
Models are airbrushed, singers are auto tuned, and celebrities have teams behind them to create the illusion of perfection.
As mothers, there's an even bigger layer of expectation put in our laps. Not only are we expected to exceed those expectations we are now responsible for other people. To make sure their every need to met, the home is tidy, dinner is served, and we look (somewhat) presentable.
We are the last person we think of in the chain of importance.
Our kids look great (most days), our husbands are taken care of, and when people come over to visit, our homes sparkle.
It is no wonder we build up resentment, feel unheard, feel misunderstood, and are ready to throw our hands up.
I know what you're thinking how the hell am I going to find the time to take care of myself when I barely have enough time to eat my lunch?
My question to you is, when was the last time you carved out time for something that you wanted to do?
When you answer this question make sure it wasn't something that had to be done.
When was the last time you went out with friends and had lunch? Went to a local coffee shop and just sat and enjoyed some time away?
How about going to an exercise class?
The point is, if you expect your life to work, it is time you give yourself a break and allow a little bit of "me time" into your daily mix.
I'm not talking hours here. When I first implemented this rule into my life, I was able to carve out 15 minutes a day. I woke up 15 minutes earlier than everyone in the house and sat and read a book.
It became my favorite time of the day.
I knew for 15 minutes I wasn't running and performing for anyone except for myself.
I encourage you to look at your day, and find a time when you can carve out some me time too!
Not setting aside planning time
This is so important. Seriously, if you take just one thing away from this post, then take away this. Set aside planning time.
You don’t need a lot of time, just about 15-20 minutes of time so you can plan out the next day.
By doing this you’ll be setting yourself up for an amazing start to your day. You are going to know what needs to be done, there will be no confusion of what needs to be done.
Do you have those days where you know you need to get things done, you just don’t know where to start or really what to do when?
This used to be me all of the time. I’d wake up with an idea of what needed to get done, but with no real plan. By noon, I have know idea really what I got done because I really didn’t have much to show for it.
So, instead what you need to do is set aside some planning time in the evening before you start your night time routine and set aside some time in the morning after you’ve taken care of your morning routine.
I know that does sound like a lot of time spent planning but it really isn’t.
What I typically do is set aside about 10 minutes in the evening to look over my schedule for the following day. Then I check the family calendar and then create my “game plan” for the next day.
I write down any appointments, meetings, or errands that need to be done, then I create a plan of what I need to get done (like tomorrow won’t happen without it) and a few items that I’d like to do (like in a dream world, I’d like to get these things done).
I know what you’re thinking that scheduling planning time in the morning sounds redundant but it’s not I promise you. What I like to do is set aside about 5 minutes looking over my daily “game plan”. I visualize me completing everything on my list and that is it.
When I’m visualizing myself, I’m going through the motions of completing each task. That’s it.
Since I’ve been doing that, my productivity has doubled. Maybe I’m prepping my mind and body for the day ahead. Whatever the reason, it works for me and I suggest you to try too!
Creating a mile long to do list
We just talked about setting aside planning time and now I’d like to talk to you about your game plan for the day.
This is probably one of the biggest things that are sabotaging your time. You are setting yourself up to fail before you even start.
If you are creating a never ending to do list, you are punishing yourself.
You are literally saying, to yourself, well this is everything that I’m NOT going to do today because I’m already overwhelmed. Oh well, time to sit on the couch and give up.
Sorry for being harsh. I’m totally talking from experience here. I used to create a “master to do list”, The list was about 12 pages long. I’d cross one thing off and add about 27 things. It was never ending.
No wonder I never completed ANYTHING!
So what can you do?
I’m glad you asked!
I don’t know if you know this about me, but I’m a rule person. I need structure and rules or I’m like a 12-year-old being left home alone for the first time. Hitting the cookie jar, jumping on the bed, or anything else that is something that my parents wouldn’t be okay with.
I’ve created a few “rules that every to do list needs to follow.
First off, no more than 8 things can be on your list at one time. And no you cannot just keep adding after you cross one off.
The only time you can add more items to your list is when you complete the list.
Next, you list needs to be prioritized.
I like to add to the top of my list the most important thing (like tomorrow will not happen unless this gets done) if I don’t have anything like that then the first thing that goes on my list is the one thing that will most likely not get done. Or the thing that I’ve been procrastinating on the longest.
Then work down from there.
So why this way?
When you start your list, you are going to pick the easiest or the funnest tasks first and leave the worst stuff for last. By that time, you’ve lost the motivation or the energy to finish.
Why not set yourself up for the most success by completing the things that you’re most likely going to put off.
You’ll be so happy that you did!
Not putting systems into place
Do you have systems in place that keep you organized?
Do you have systems in place that save you time?
If you don’t then you are definitely sabotaging your time.
Here are some examples of systems that you could implement:
- Creating an evening routine
- Creating themed days
- Setting up an automated schedule
- Having "me time"
- Setting goals that can be achieved in 12 weeks or less
So what is the big deal with systems?
They are going to be the foundation of your organization skills and your time-saving skills.
These systems are going to keep you from feeling overwhelmed, unmotivated, and lost.
Your systems are going to save you time and really become the most efficient version of yourself.
So, what steps do you take to create systems that will help you out?
This is really something that I struggled with for many years, I didn’t know where to start and what to do.
I knew that I loved lists, so I started creating lists of everything that I needed to fix.
The problem with that is that I was overwhelming myself with everything that I was doing wrong. I really felt horrible because I kept looking at what I was doing wrong.
I don’t want you to be that person. I don’t want you looking at a list focusing on the negative.
I want you to wake up every day motivated to get more done.
I want you to know what your days look like.
That's why I created The Time-Saving Busy Mom Workbook. Inside this workbook you'll find 8 tips that are busy mom approved that will help you save time and help you become more organized. It's free and all you have to do is click the button below to download it.