Do you ever wish you could wave a magic wand and all the things on your to-do list would instantly be checked off and done? I know I do! When you work from home time management is critical.
Over the summer I put extra focus on my clients and business development activities. I wasn’t managing my time at all and my household responsibilities were falling through the cracks. I wasn’t even making a basic to-do list.
Have you ever felt that kind of overwhelm? Every day the to-do list gets longer and less seems to actually get done?
There are a zillion theories, articles and books about how to manage your time.
But this isn’t about time management. It’s about taking back your time and your sanity.
How to Get Your Time Management Strategy Back on Track
I find the most effective way to combat all of the dropped balls is to just stop doing.
Yes, just stop. Hit pause, regroup and get back to the basics.
I developed a strategy to regain my time using a couple of questions I ask myself. You can download my exact questions and action plan below (free.)
I’m lucky that my husband and I have a good system for sharing chores. I make the side dishes and he cooks most of the meat. He loads the dishwasher and I unload it. But this system only works when we are both doing our part. This summer I didn’t keep up with my part.
One Sunday morning I finally faced reality. And I just stopped.
Picking up the Dropped Balls
That Sunday morning I stopped trying to do all the things. I hit pause, asked myself a couple questions and got back to the basics.
I made a to-do list. A very long to-do list. I chopped a couple days’ worth of veggies. I made my husband hashbrown casserole – he’s a meat and potatoes kind of guy. And I cleaned off my desk.
By the time I went to bed Sunday night I felt lighter and happier. And Monday morning, using my to-do list, I accomplished more before noon then I felt like I had accomplished the previous week.
I got back on track by getting back to the basics. Do you know your basics?
For me, the basics include making a to-do list at the end of the day and starting to work on it at 5:30am the next morning. It includes not looking at Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram or even email if possible until 9:00am.
And equally important, my basics include prepping veggies and showing my husband I appreciate him by cooking his favorite foods.
Reality is a Roller Coaster
You might be thinking that this sounds well and good for me – but your time management system isn’t even working for you anymore. Your career is growing and your needs are changing.
Family is messy, children are unpredictable and reality is a roller coaster.
Working from home requires you to be extra focused on completing prioritized tasks. Being an entrepreneur and growing a business is hard work with a lot of moving parts.
If your strategy isn’t keeping up with your career or lifestyle then find one that does. Challenge yourself to carve out 30 minutes a day for one week to learn one of the zillion time management strategies out there.
Then challenge yourself to implement it for three full weeks before deciding if it’s a fit for you.
Goal Planning vs To-Do Lists
As for me I’m ready to acknowledge I need to try something different. My career has grown and goal planning has taken on a new level of importance.
I’ve always made to-do lists in a smallish spiral notebook and used an online calendar. My life operates on shared Google Calendars and I don’t plan to give those up. But after watching a webinar about the Living Well Planner I know its time to learn goal planning.
I plan to commit to the goal setting section of the planner for three weeks. I have challenged myself to give it a real try.
I have also challenged myself to leave my phone on the charger from 5pm-8p for three weeks and to focus on my family during that time.
When you find yourself overwhelmed, dropping balls and getting nothing done try to just stop doing. Take a moment to get back to your basics.
Discover your basics and get your time management strategy back on track using the same questions and action plan I use. You can download it below.
And if you need a new time management strategy challenge yourself to learn about one over the course of one week. And then challenge yourself to stick with it for three weeks.
You will have more time to grow your career, more time for family and more time to enjoy what you’ve worked hard for by concurring your overwhelm.
I’m taking time to regroup. I’m getting back to the basics. And I’m excited to try the goal setting section Living Well Planner.
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