Taking Back My Time

To-do lists. They are the bane of my husband’s existence. But I absolutely love to-do-lists. I feel so accomplished and so full of purpose when I can cross off an item. I feel like my time is being used wisely. And this year, I am determined to regain and repurpose my time. For years I have allowed others to tell me what to do with my time. Don’t get me wrong, in some instances this is necessary. If you don’t do what the boss says with your time while you’re on the clock, you’ll find yourself with more time to spare than you know what to do with. However, as I take a look back and evaluate past actions, I can see what tweaks are needed for the future.

For example, when asked to come to a function/volunteer/participate/do a task, I will smile politely and say “I’ll get back to you.” I used to be so quick with a “yes” and “of course”, as it was the polite thing to do and seemed to roll off my tongue naturally. But also being a person who keeps my word, saying yes too fast can place me in an uncomfortable position. I buy myself some time. And I get back to you.

I also do a better job of budgeting my time. A wise friend once told me that he picks three major goals for the week, and strives to make those things happen. I’ve had great success using his method. Of course this doesn’t include the mundane tasks that have to be done. Rather, it refers to larger projects you want to focus on.

My husband has given me valuable insight on this one. I make sure each goal has a system. (Hubby says he can’t take full credit, he read it in a great article). Nonetheless, it’s working wonders for me. If my goal is to read every day or workout, it won’t magically happen. Especially if my two little ones have anything to say about it. But if I say I will read at least 10 minutes per day between 9pm-10pm, now we have a system to accomplish the goal. And one more item checked off of the to-do list :).

Lastly, I make lists. Then make lists again. My lists have lists. I may be exaggerating (but only slightly). I note everything I want to accomplish for the week, break it down by what I will do each day, and then each day keep those scheduled items written in a small notebook with me. It sounds like a lot, but is really my key to a calmer, less-cluttered life, that allows me to enjoy my tasks … and my time.

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