Certainly we have all heard the sayings ‘slow and steady wins the race’, ‘1000 cuts will kill’, ‘one step at a time’… Those proverbs have a funny way of readjusting our perspectives and slowing us down in our routines.We all know that rushed work is not our best work, but we cut back on quality to save time.
How many of us have already abandoned our New Year’s resolutions? (I’m raising my hand right now) I work a part time bar tending gig along with my full time job and find every excuse I can to not wake up early to go to the gym.
But I (and most people) know better. We are not saving time by skipping workouts, or half-assing home projects, or making friendly promises we know we will never keep. But doing things with minimum or no conscious effort creates more work for us in the long run. Running out of time and rushing tasks creates errors, stress, and inconsistencies. Talk about clutter.
But this world moves so fast.
Technology is not to blame. The phone in our hand has an off button. It works. I promise. I tried it. Almost had a heart attack when my phone screen shut off but it was nice and quiet for about 30 seconds. Try it. It’s liberating. I guess that is how folks felt when the phone was attached to the wall by cords and not to our hand by expectations like it is now.
People today have several weekly obligations. These duties didn’t exist ten years ago. Information is constantly transferring. Something happens on the other side of the world and we know about it here in the United States within minutes. We are able to stay UTD on community happenings, world events, and within our own circles so efficiently. But are we using these tools to save time or waste time? (hmmmmmm…)
Example A: If you send someone an email, considering how instant the transfer of information is, you could expect a timely response. Maybe an entire business day or maybe two depending on how close to the holidays it is. A text message, a more informal but fast way to communicate a written message. Usually, a text holds the expectation to be answered even sooner. The phone call will always be the best way to communicate with people second to face-to-face encounters- tone and attitude are personable and irreplaceable persuasion tools next to body language. But it’s not the most timely when it comes to unemotional and concentrated messages.
How many emails/texts do you receive a day on average? According to a study done by Text Request, adults under 45 send and receive 85+ texts every day, on average. A similar study by Text Request found that email users receive an average of 88 emails per day, but they only send 34 emails per day.
Example B: Not only does work not stop at work any more, intense schedules packed with curriculum and activities take over calendars. Families nowadays must be organized considering all the different activities each person may be involved in. From April to July 2017, the number of employed youth 16 to 24 years old increased by 1.9 million to 20.9 million, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Sarah Jane Glynn is a Policy Analyst at the Center for American Progress. She did a study and found that fewer than one-in-three children today have a full-time, stay-at-home parent. In 1975, only a generation ago, more than half of all children had a stay-at-home parent—usually the mother.
So with all this hopping around, how can we keep track of everything and stay on top of tasks while maintaining organization and communication?
Answer: we can’t.
Things will get missed if you try to take on everything. You will set yourself up for failure using disorganized or unrealistic expectations. Your time is valuable. But for it to become valuable to others, you must value it first.
Dave Ramsey Personality and Certified Business Coach, Christy Wright, illuminates the value of our time. During episode 24 of her Business Boutique podcast, she talks about all the little things that steal your time and why you should cut them out of your life.
Now it’s easy to say “I won’t loiter on Facebook, I’ll make every Sunday morning a workout day, Friday’s I won’t stay out later than 10 pm, Tuesday’s I’ll have the kids work on their toy room” but we’re forgetting one thing. LIFE HAPPENS.
Wright explains that prioritizing is a huge key in proficiency.
She suggested time blocking on a calendar every month. A great time to do this is while you draft your monthly budget and list your monthly goals. Take the planner and a green maker and and jot down what you MUST make time for. Dance recitals, birthday dinners, family visits, dog grooming appointments, teacher conferences, etc.
Being proactive instead of reactive can change everything. Put those things on your schedule as they come. We waste so much time doing things twice.
Wars are won by winning the little battles. Slow and steady baby. Win the race by taking strong steps, not fast ones. Falling down wastes time and is preventable in most cases.
So each part of your day can be categorized and each phase of the day there are things that you can do to reach the long term goal. This is simply an example for a 9-5 full time service rep and single lady with a dog and a part time bar tending gig.
Morning: At home. Let dog out. Work out. Laundry. Pack healthy lunch. Put something in the crock pot. Feed dog. Stretch. Read. Coffee. Shower, make up, shoes, out the door.
Afternoon: At work. Get fresh client requests cleared up to the best of my ability. Answer emails. Block out an hour at work to clean up old to-do’s. Work on other projects for an hour. Eat healthy lunch. Get back to it. Make calls for an hour.
Evening: At the part time job. Service with a smile. Clean up as I go. Get done with cleaning the bar through shift.
Evening: At home. Laundry. Dinner from the crock pot or leftovers. Food prep for the next few days. Set out clothes for the next night. Pack clean bar work clothes. Exercise dog. Stretch. Clean up kitchen ENTIRELY. Phone conversation with boyfriend and some computer work. Read.
Sleep: Put phone down. On silent. Sleep. Actually close eyes and experience REM cycle sleep.
Money is finite. And so is your time. There is only 24 hours in a day. We mustn’t waste the time we are saddled with. We can’t afford to waste a minute and still reach our goals.
Waking up early and going to bed early are a hard standard to maintain and it can be boring for some. But the results and the feeling of being refreshed in the morning, rather than groggy is WORTH IT.
If we focus on utilizing our time instead of squandering it on reality tv or chilling with friends, then we can really start to see our lives build consistency and stability which is the key to efficient communication and great time and money management.
Say good bye to stress and cut out the clutter! I would love to make time to chat with someone who does a fantastic job of organizing and utilizing their time.
Email me and tell me how you stay on top of those things!