It has been hot and humid in Minnesota. Ironically, sometimes the weather we look forward to in the winter actually traps us indoors in the summer! You can be ready for fall rather than overwhelmed! As summer winds down and the preparation for hectic fall schedules begins, here are late summer thoughts to improve time management for fall. Clear the extraneous stuff and free up time for your priorities!
1. Keep a time log for a day. What? Drag a small notepad or binder with you for just one day and jot down what you are doing every five to ten minutes from when you wake up until you go to bed. Why? Because, just like a weight loss diet or a monetary budget, it is easier to manage what you are doing if you can look at a complete and objective record of where you currently are. A time log will give you a record you can review. It will help you see where you can save time and where you can’t. Maybe you feel like you have no time, but you recorded that you watched television or sat at the computer last night from 8:00–10:00 p.m. A time log will show you where you spend your time to help you make educated choices to improve your time use. Keep a one-day time log once every few months or whenever you start feeling overwhelmed and in need of change.
2. Time yourself at the tasks you hate doing. I am not kidding here. Try it now rather than waiting until you hear this advice a dozen times like I did. Okay. I confess. I can be a big baby about making my bed or folding the laundry. I would waste half a Saturday morning drinking too much coffee before going back to make my bed, and I would sometimes think about the laundry folding for two or three days before taking care of it. Timing myself at these tasks showed me I make my bed in two minutes and fold the family laundry in about thirty minutes. Perspective. Timing myself at tasks I hate gave me perspective. It taught me to quit wasting time stalling and just get this “dreaded” stuff done. (Here’s the thing, though. You can’t just laugh as you read about the tasks that I am embarrassed about stalling; you have to time yourself at your own stalled tasks to truly gain your own perspective.)
3. Pick the right time for tasks. You know if you are a morning person or a night person. Do your most challenging stuff in your peak time. Save mindless tasks, like folding laundry, for your mindless time. Yes, you will sometimes find me folding laundry at 10:30 at night, but for me, that is better than trying to balance the checkbook then!
Free up time for your priorities by using these tips to unclutter your late summer and fall!