Deadlines Amuse Me

DeadlineI don’t know about anyone else out there, but being the right brain that I am, I frequently find myself scrambling to finish things.  In fact, I saw a sign that sums up my life; it read “Deadlines Amuse Me”.  Yep, that’s me in a nutshell.  So I have embarked on a time management journey to regain control.

I started by evaluating the different areas of my life and breaking them into groups.  For me, the four biggies were home, family, work, and hobbies/activities.  Then I broke each one down into subgroups, assessing where my time is mostly spent.  This is where you need to be brutally honest!  For example, I am involved in a couple of groups where many of the participants don’t get out much.  This means our meetings are their big social event of the month.  Trying to keep them on task is like herding cats!  I find the best way to remedy this situation is to give myself a block of time for that meeting, and make sure I stick to it.

The subgroup I have under work obligations is pretty full.  So I divided it up into things that have to be done, things that should be done, and things I can delegate.  Then I break the lists into smaller tasks and prioritize them.  I know some people will tell you to do the big tasks first, but I like to do some of the smaller things first to get myself going. The delegating list gets a little tricky for me, being the Type A person that I am.  But a very wise person once told me not to micro-manage; train your people and let them go.  That is in the top ten of great advice I’ve received.

When it comes to the activity group, one thing I have listed that frequently gets overlooked is exercise.  My brother told me that on his weight loss journey he started doing push-ups against the sink every time he went to the bathroom.  I thought he invented a break-through time saver!  Then I saw on Twitter that other people are doing lunges when they visit the loo and someone else does ballet moves while drying her hair.  What?  Brilliant!  So even on days when I can’t fit in a full work-out, I get some exercise in.  When I work from home, which is most of the time, I do push-ups and triceps dips every time I run upstairs.  I should be set for summer, if it ever comes back to northern Minnesota.

Overall I have figured out that there are lots of little blocks of time in my days that were being wasted.  By budgeting my time, making lists, and following through, I have eased up on the stress in my life.  The crafts that I like to do or “recreational” social media activity can be done while watching TV or spending time with my family.  Children can help in the upkeep of the house and meal preparation.  Group involvement can be fun and effective if everyone knows up front how much time is available for getting the work done.  And most of all leave the cat herding to someone else.

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One response to this post.

  1. I am really impressed by your organised approach to time management. I used to be quite intimidated by what I perceived to be as the vast amounts of tasks ahead of me and further to this, that some of those tasks would require a lot of time to complete. However, I found that, once written down and categorised, the list was not as daunting as I initially led myself to believe. My tip (which echoes your post): write down all the things you would like to achieve in the upcoming week and cross out each task aftter you complete it. You will be surprised at how manageable your time suddenly seems to be and feel great as you complete and cross off each task.

    Reply

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