Sometimes there just aren't enough hours in a day to get done everything we need and want to. Here are five ways to change that:
1. Evaluate daily tasks
Let go of things that don't help you achieve your goals. Obviously, this tip can't be completed if you don't have any goals or priorities — so sit down today and write the most important things you want to get out of life.
One thing that I've learned to let go of in my life is ironing every single piece of clothing. I used to spend hours every single week ironing all my boys' jeans and t-shirts, just to do it again the next week. When I examined my time, I realized that ironing was always taking much longer than I originally thought it would. I had much bigger priorities in my life than my kids having perfectly pressed jeans that would just be wrinkled within minutes anyway.
2. Plan your time
Take one day each week to sit down and incorporate all your weekly tasks into your schedule.
I usually write down all the things I need or want to do during the week and then plan out which days I will do them. This helps me to be realistic about how much I can actually accomplish in one week. I also sit down every evening and plan out the next day (by scribbling it down in a notebook). It's nice to have a guideline when I wake up in the morning instead of wasting half the day trying to decide which task I should start first.
3. Schedule as many tasks and activities as possible
Write things down that you'd like to accomplish, but don't be devastated if you can't get to everything.
Learn that it's OK to let things go or add them to your schedule for another time.
My list of things I would like to do during the week is often fairly long. Many times I will end up having the same exact list for two weeks in a row because I wasn't able to accomplish ANYTHING one week. That's OK — life happens.
4. Understand your energy levels
This one tip has been so helpful for me. It's easy to start plugging things into your schedule, but when the time comes to actually do that activity you may not feel up to it.
I've noticed that I have more energy in the mornings to do physical activities like cleaning. In the afternoon, I like doing my office work because I'm more tired. It's nice to sit at a desk and get some things accomplished. Also, I've noticed that I NEVER have energy to do any office work in the evenings. So, I plan my time accordingly.
This often takes time to figure out and get just right. If I find myself trying to clean without being productive, that's when I realize it's best to walk away and do it another time. I'll go start another project that I actually feel like doing.
5. Re-evaluate your schedule often
I re-evaluate every single minute of the day. My schedule is constantly changing and is rarely the way I've planned it. That may not be ideal, but that's how it has to be right now. I know it's because of my current phase of life. Having four boys, managing a home, working from home and juggling all that needs to be done each day requires flexibility; allow that flexibility by re-evaluating often.