This post has been a long time coming and a much requested one. It is related to one of life’s most common complaints – “So much to do, so little time” ! Tell me – I am not the only one. I often get asked about “managing it all” – let me preface by saying that it is not even remotely true. I work very long hours but the goal is always to be more efficient and more productive. Working longer hours doesn’t mean a lot of work is getting done, that’s for sure. With everything we have going in our lives and as different all our lives and routines might be, the one common denominator that drives getting things done is – TIME MANAGEMENT. This not surprisingly, is the question/category that I get asked about a lot. I do have a few tips and tricks that I find useful. I am breaking them down in a few posts – Here you go , the first batch in this series.
// Absolute #1 Time Management Tip : Spend some time to identify the time stealers
What are time stealers? These could be the mindless scrolling on social media, getting distracted by a sale advertisement while you were shopping on amazon for something specific but are now checking that sale out, taking the phone in your hand to remind the husband about picking up dry-cleaning and instead checking the weather , deciding to watch only 1 episode of a show on Netflix but giving in and watching three ( or ten! ), pinning for healthy recipes furiously on Pinterest while at work…. and it goes on. Anything sound familiar here?
Unless you have a handle on the problem, solving for it will be counter productive.
By all means, this for me is a work in progress but I have been making conscious efforts at pulling myself out of digressions and staying attuned to the task at hand.
// Clearing the clutter
This might sound like the most fashionable thing lately to talk about. And to be honest, I am not sure if I can Mary-Kondo my life. But I can’t deal with clutter. It makes me anxious, it drives me crazy.
How does it help with managing time you ask?
It is physiologically difficult to work with complete focus if you have stuff strewn around you. I feel I am a 1000X more productive if where I am sitting down and working is cleaner.
Also, who wants to dig through a pile of clothes that you havent worn in years to find something? Or in the kitchen drawers – I swear there was a time when I was sifting through multiple drawers to find a particular spatula every single day. Just keep what you need and the rest is just “noise” – that is a time stealer.
I went through a huge cleaning process in the last month and it just makes me so happy.
I’ll do a separate detailed post on my cleanup strategy. It has helped immensely.
// Have a home for everything
This is my favorite!
Having a home for everything in the house will help you from not spending 10 minutes every morning to look for the key. Or if you have change lying in different corners in the house, just assign a bowl where all the change goes. Same thing for gloves, scarves, everything ! Ahh that TV remote. I cannot tell you how much time we spend everyday on where is the remote is. Just assigning a spot where everything goes will save so much time.
//Layout clothes for the next day, the night before
This is a habit that my mom instilled in me from school days and it is such a huge time saver each morning. I think this is very important because it sets the tone of the day. If you spend time trying out clothes in the morning, let’s be real sometimes we have to go through a couple of outfits to find something that we like on a particular day. This can have a spiral effect on the day, delay things, impact your mood and so on. I’d say, even iron out the clothes if they need to, the night before. Really be all set in this mundane task.
//Social Media : App placement on the phone screen + Unfollowing accounts that don’t add value
When it comes to time stealers, social media had to be on the list. Perhaps deserves the first spot. The mindless scrolling on Instagram and Facebook is ingrained in the DNA of our generation. I hate the urge to check Facebook or Instagram when I am at work or having dinner or being out with friends. One of the things I did was move the Facebook app to a further down page on the iPhone as opposed to having it on the home page. Another thing I did was log out of Facebook on the laptop and no saving of the password. If I have to explicitly log in, it automatically cuts down the number of times I will be logging in.
On Instagram : this might sound too harsh but getting in the new year, but just do a little cleanup of the accounts you follow. As we grow in age and go through different phases of life – things that we loved 5 years ago might not make sense today. There is no reason to spend a fraction of our day in following those accounts. I don’t mean to sound harsh on this – I am all about supporting friends and brands and just accounts in general. But if I find myself spending too much time on an account – say for example a wedding planning account that doesn’t make sense to me right now, then I am okay with not following it. Seeking inspiration or following an account to look at something pretty is fine, but you don’t need to be constantly distracted by content that isn’t relevant or adding value to your current lifestyle. Having a cleaner, more conscious feed of accounts I love, support, get inspiration from – definitely makes Instagram more valuable and fun to use.
Hope you find these helpful in some way. xx Neha