Does Your Day Control YOU?

I ALWAYS prided myself in my ability to remember EVERYTHING…from phone numbers to who wore what outfit to what party.  I was the student who got As in class and never took notes because I could remember it all!  Even as a mom, I prided myself in having a schedule memorized and knowing when we needed to be where.  …..then as we added more children to the family, a husband with a schedule and then a business to the mix — I was beginning to feel out of it!  I found my self —- EEEEKK——- writing things down.  ON PAPER.  gasp!   Who can relate?  You know exactly what I’m talking about.  You feel overwhelmed, out of control and over stressed.  Like your day is controlling YOU instead of YOU controlling the day.  You need about 20 more hours to actually accomplish everything.

Guess what?  You don’t have to feel this way or live this way.  There is a very simple time management tip to help keep you centered, grounded and focused!  A LIST.  <—- yep, a TO DO LIST!  Paired with a SCHEDULE.  Yep, even this go with the flow mom has a schedule.  These principles will HELP YOU to be in control of your day and feel more productive when you lay your head down at night!

Let’s talk about a schedule first… To begin, you must take a look — a CLOSE look — at how you’re using your 24 hours each day.  This is tedious, annoying, frustrating…AND NECESSARY.  There are a few apps to help you track your time.  I have found Atracker to be helpful.  What are you wasting time on, what is something that MUST get done and how do you prioritize it.

So…we have our time journal, now we need to figure out what is CRITICAL - things like taking care of your family, cleaning, groceries, your job, etc…  You also need to identify (and be HONEST) about what you’re doing that is a waste of time.  Most people who tell me they “don’t have time” are just spending too much time doing things that are not critical — television, video games, surfing the web, facebook, etc…  time to cut it back.  Remember, you can even overdo good things (in my house, this would be things like cleaning too much) <— because THAT happens SO often with 3 kids.  :)  ….I digress….   Seriously, though, if you are volunteering 10 hours a day every day, that is probably cutting into your critical time.  You must evaluate what you MUST do and what you MUST CUT OUT!

My priority list of time:
  • Mike and the kids
  • Personal Development (nutrition, fitness, learning new skills)
  • Meal Planning & Grocery Shopping (these go hand-in-hand for me)
  • Cleaning and home care (including repairs, upkeep, chickens, etc…)
  • My Business
  • Family Time

SO, now that I have this list, I need to design a schedule.  BUT, the key to success is keeping it flexible.  You don’t necessarily need to schedule every hour of every day — rmemeber, sometimes life throws you curve balls and you have to be able to adapt.  Here is what my schedule looks like:

Monday - Friday:
4:30am-6:00am — Daily Devotions, My workout, Business hours
6-7:30 - Get the family up and off to school and work
7:30-5 - my JOB (flexible hour for lunch used for running OR my business)
5-6 — Family dinner and conversations
6-8 — homework/baths/family time
8-9 — Business time
9-10 — hubby time
10 - I’m in bed!!

Sleep in until 6am <— I know, right?  You’re laughing!
6-7 — coffee and conversation with my hubby (I look forward to this!!!)
7-8 — workout time
8-9 — breakfast and get family ready for the day
9-11 — business time

Seep in until 6am :) again!!!
6-7 — hubby time
7-8 — workout and get ready for church
8-9 — get everyone fed and ready for church
9-11 — Church (love our 9:45 service!!!)
noon-1 — grocery shopping
1:30-3:30 — PiYo Live class
4-10 — get ready for Monday, pack lunches and CHILL OUT

I have miscellaneous things that require my attention — like once sports season starts up I’ll have practices.  Tuesdays we have dance & guitar lessons and Thursday we have ballet and tap.  I use those times to work on my business, check email, be productive!!!    The important thing is to live in the moment!!! When you’re doing one task, TURN OFF distractions.  Trying to do 5 things at once will just make you feel unfocused, distracted and stress you out.  This is a general outline of you should be doing….now we need to focus on our TO DO list!

HOW do you keep track of your list?  I use Gtask Pro that links with my google calendar that I can share with my husband. (SO COOL now that he has a smart phone!!)  Some people use paper - that’s cool too — but it should ALWAYS be with you.  Franklin Covey makes a great planner.  The daily option gives the right amount of space for your schedule AND your to do list.

You will want to make sure that your schedule and list talk to one another.  When you’re scheduling appointments (doctor, meetings, recitals…. ) this goes on the schedule AND your to-do list.  This is why you want to make sure your list and schedule LINK.  You want all of this information in one place.  No more sticky notes here there and everywhere!!!
Non-specific items (aka “the curve ball”)  Erin, can you replace the filters for the wood stove?  Mom, I need a packed lunch for my field trip.  Mom, I need glue sticks for school.  You decide by WHEN you need to do these things and schedule them.  PUT IT ON YOUR LIST and schedule it.

My best tip, I learned from Chalene Johnson —- and that is to make your list at the same time, in the same location each day.  So, after I finish my daily devotions, my mind is clear and all is quiet (HA!)  … I check my schedule and create my TO DO list.  GTask Pro allows me to focus on TODAY, this week, etc…  Only add WHAT MUST BE DONE TODAY to your list today.  You want to keep the list to around 6-8 most important items.  You should only really need to spend 10 minutes on this each day.  Maybe less if you get super good at it!

Get your list made and refer to it throughout the day to stay on track.  If you create a schedule, make your list, and refer to it throughout your day, you are now equipped to stay on task!!! 

Be true to your priorities!!  If 5-6 is scheduled for family time, DO NOT schedule a business meeting for that time.  Keep your time dedicated to help keep yourself centered and balanced. 

These are VERY basic concepts and will more than likely take you some time to get into a routine and adapt it to meet YOUR needs.  This is one area that is worth your time to work on!!  I am by no means perfect, but I have figured out what works for me!!  I’d love to help you so feel free to ask me any questions!  This is one area I’m passionate about helping people with!  In fact, you can enroll in my FREE Time Mentorship eCourse!

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