Look at what you're doing now. List the important things. Improve your commutes. Simplify your wardrobe. Countless little tasks can help maximize your life. Are you ready take control?
You wake up in the morning. Shower. Get dressed. Make a quick breakfast for the kids. Walk the dog. Hop in the car and drive to work. You deal with telephone calls, meetings, a boss who wants everything yesterday, long-term projects that aren't even started yet and a To Do list 6 pages long.
Later, on the way home from work you pick up your daughter from soccer practice, pick up the dry cleaning, do some chores, help the kids with their homework, and begin making dinner. You finish eating, wash the dishes, and perhaps toss a load of clothes in the wash.
Then, maybe you do some ironing, check your e-mail and begin getting the kids ready for bed. Before you know it, it's time for you to go to bed yourself--just to get to tomorrow, which is basically an exact duplicate of today.
Whew! It's only a matter of time before you're completely burnt out--especially if you feel the schedule described above pales in comparison to your schedule!
It's time to slow down, and gain control of your life again. Here are 8 simple techniques:
1. List the important things.
Grab a sheet of paper, and make a numbered list, 1 through 10. Then, list the things in your life that are most important to you. Once you do so, take some quiet time and ask yourself if the way you currently spend your time, matches your list of important things. You'll then have a better idea of what things you to spend more time on.
2. Determine what you're doing now.
For the next 2 weeks, write down everything you do and the amount of time you spend doing it. At the end of the two week period, analyze your log, and determine what areas of your life can be streamlined. Example problem areas are: spending the majority of your time at the office, or doing 4 hours worth of chores each day.
3. Make good time when commuting.
Reduce your commuting time by leaving a half hour earlier in the morning or evening before rush hour so you're not sitting in traffic. During your drive, listen to a motivational tape or some classical music to lift your spirit and get you in a productive mood. If you catch the bus or train to get to work, catch up on your reading, write a business letter or make a To Do list. If you have many mass transit scheduling options, schedule your departure times when the fewest number of people are commuting. This way, you won't waste time waiting for the next bus because the one that just arrived is too full.
4. Simplify your wardrobe.
Stop, or reduce, buying dry clean only clothes, so you're not constantly running back and forth to the dry cleaners. Wash and iron clothes regularly, so they don't build up. If you can get two or three wears out of something before you wash it, you'll reduce your laundry time. Unless you've been working in the garden, chances are, the clothes you're wearing today will still be clean tomorrow. Most people only wear 20% of the clothes they have. The rest just sits in closets and drawers. Weed out the clothes you no longer enjoy wearing. Count up the clothes you are keeping. Most people can live on 14 days worth of clothes, with a few extras for special occasions. Then, just rotate your everyday outfits every 14 days. No more time spent thinking of what to wear each day.
5. Work out a realistic time frame with your family.
Are you forever driving the kids all over town for their after-school activities? You might decree that each child is only allowed one extracurricular activity at a time. Or, if you want your kids to get involved in lots of activities, work out a drop off and pick up schedule with your spouse, a relative, a friend or a neighbor. Or, consider starting a car pool club. You drop off and pick up the kids on Mondays, another parent on Tuesdays, etc.
6. Streamline your work.
Are you always working late at the office? If so, does your job offer work-at-home options, can you delegate more, or can you use your computer to speed up the time it takes to complete a regular task? Can you speak with your boss about hiring an assistant? Perhaps you may consider getting your own business off the ground, so that you can reduce your hours at your job, or if you do really well with your home-business, you can then work at home full-time. If you have your own business already, is it possible to outsource some of your work? If you're the 'only person that can do the job right,' your schedule is always going to be full.
7. De-clutter and de-stress.
When you begin to declutter your home and your office, you'll realize how much time it can save you to live and work in an organized environment. When your surroundings are decluttered, your mind has a chance to relax, and focus.
Weed out old and outdated paperwork. Donate things you no longer use. Give items you do use a permanent home. Get rid of old e-mails that have been sitting on your computer for months. Lighten up your wardrobe, your pantry, your basement--you'll be amazed at what you can actually live without, and what you WON'T miss. You'll spend less time looking for things, fretting over feelings of chaos, and more time enjoying your life.
8. Better manage cooking time.
Making a meal? Make enough for two nights. It rarely takes additional time to double a meal, but it saves tons of time if you just have to heat up some of those leftovers later in the week, rather than cooking up an entirely new meal. You can even make enough for two meals and freeze a portion for next week. If you do this each night for one whole week, you will have 7 ready-meals for the entire next week. Just defrost, heat and eat. Cook meals that don't take hours of preparation. While it's ok to do this once in awhile for special occasions, regular daily meals should not involve more than 20 minutes of preparation.
by Maria Gracia - Get Organized Now! http://www.getorganizednow.com FREE Get Organized Now! Idea-Pak and E-zine, filled with tips and ideas to help you organize your home, your office and your life, at the Get Organized Now! Web site.