Most of us often think about how we can make the most of the 24 hours given to us every day.. well at least I do. With work, school, house work, errands, etc.. we often miss out on viable time with friends, family, significant others and worst of all OURSELVES! We miss out on personal time, self care, our aspirations, or if your like me, focusing on your business.
Here’s the deal… You CAN have it all.. But you CAN’T do it all..
Let me explain.
You CAN take care of your family, yourself, go to work, relax, yada yada..
BUT you CAN’T accomplish every task on your to-do list by the end of the day it’s not possible..
The good news is that you can get SOME things done.. and some will turn into more, more will turn into almost done, and then.. well you get the point.
The truth is as adults, especially if we are parents, there will always be something to do, some task to complete, some appointment to go to, something for your child, but if you take away the mindset of having to do it all right now, you will eventually free yourself from the angst of feeling like your not doing enough, or the rut of not doing much at all because of the “mounting” pile of things to do before you.
Organization is key to getting things done. Organize your thoughts, appointments and tasks by writing everything down. Well it’s 2019, so I guess typing/ speaking everything into your electronic device (I am still old fashioned and like to use a huge desk calendar, planner, and agenda notebook). I use these different tools for different reasons, but this method works for me.
The desk calendar I have is actually located in a common are of my home (the dinning area). It is hanging up so I can see it often. The spaces are big enough to write multiple appointments/ due dates in the blocks. I try to update the calendar as often as necessary, which can range from daily to weekly depending on the month. This is a good tool to use (as long as you use it) because it is easy use and is highly visible.
When I am out of the house and I need to write down an appointment or upcoming event I use a pocket planner. Pocket planners are cheap and handy, they can fit into your purse or as the name suggests, your pocket. I prefer to write down appointments that I schedule at the doctors office rather than take the reminder card because I will often loose the piece of paper or forget to write it on the wall calendar. With everything written in one place, it’s easier to keep things organized as well. At the end of the day, transfer everything to your calendar.
Lastly, I use an agenda which is actually just a plain notebook where I write out my daily to-do lists. This helps me keep track of things I need to do throughout the day and helps me visually prioritize them which is VERY IMPORTANT! I like the agenda opposed to just a regular calendar or planner because I can list things in order of importance or time sensitivity. I can check things off as I go, and things such as “fold laundry during nap time” don’t fit the criteria for a calendar or planner. At the end of the day, write out your agenda for the next day, be as detailed as you want, highlighting important things you want to accomplish.
Things to remember
- Use pencil. If you cancel an appointment or need to make any changes it will be much easier to edit.
- You can go out of order. We’re human beings not robots and lets face it, stuff happens.
- It’s okay if you don’t get everything done. That’s what the next day is for. If you are missing important tasks, rewrite your list according to priority and do the highest priority things first, i.e. finish that project before you do the house work for that day.
- Do whats best for you. If you work better with your cell phone use that instead of the paper and pencil method. For maximum optimization, sync your computer and your smartphone calendar together, for dual reminders. If you feel like having three separate tools for organization is too much or maybe you think you need more (I also have another notebook for lists, business, and budget), do accordingly to you.
- Stick to it. If you don’t do it – it won’t happen. It’s that simple.
- And last but not least.. don’t forget to add your family, friends, and mainly YOURSELF to your to-do list. While your writing down appointments, after school activities, meetings and more don’t forget to include “dinner with the family”, “10 minuets of yoga”, “work on my craft from 8 pm-9 pm”. Don’t forget to add LIFE to your to-do list! Once written down and prioritized, I’m sure that you will see that you DO have the time.
These tips have really helped me stay on top of things as a single parent, stay at home mommy/ employee, and entrepreneur. I am much more organized and have much less anxiety and stress when it comes to getting things done. I am able to get things done and focus on my son, getting my site up an running (more info coming soon 🙂 !). I hope they can help you as well. These simple little tricks help me get some major things done!