The first outdoor hints of spring often bring with it the urge to purge house and home of winter; to do a thorough cleaning, toss out the clutter, and let a fresh breeze blow away the stuffiness.
Houses aren’t the only thing that can benefit from a good ol’ spring cleaning. It’s likely that your schedule could use a thorough scrubbing as well.
“Nothing gets filled up with useless odds and ends like a calendar,” shares Michael Hyatt. “You know the story: past commitments that don’t fit our present circumstances; too many yeses to other people’s projects; breakfast meetings, lunch dates, and dinners with clients, colleagues, and old friends you were never close with, to begin with.”
The same “spring cleaning” strategies that leave your home feeling fresh and light and breezy can do wonders for your schedule. After all, no matter who you are, no matter how you try to slice it up, there are only twenty-four hours in each day.
Use these strategies to purge the sludge and put a little “spring” back into your schedule
- Consolidate your calendar
An I’ve-got-it-all-up-here, finger tapping convincingly on one’s temple, approach simply won’t cut it. The most fundamental step to corralling your schedule is a calendar – whether it’s a hard copy on your desk or in your pocket, a component of your mail software, or an online version such as Google Calendar. Whatever best fits you and your lifestyle. Many folks opt for a format that will sync with their phone and other devices which puts their daily schedule literally at the tip of their fingers.
The most effective calendar time-management tip? Combine work/personal/family/leisure activities in one place. Why hassle with two, three, or four separate calendars just to see if you can spare an hour a week from Tuesday? Include everything you must remember whether it be an appointment, a deadline, or something fun. Especially don’t forget to schedule in the “fun” stuff.
- Consolidate tasks and locations
More hopping back and forth, either from one task to another OR from one location to another, may be happening than you realize. In our hurry-hurry world, we become accustomed to a certain degree of chaos, believing that it’s inevitable. Such a frenzied, survival-mode mentality squashes moments of reality that try to advise, “Hey, there’s a better way to do this.”
Serious, unhurried scrutinization of your schedule is likely to find tasks and activities that when consolidated will save time—not to mention stressful wear and tear on body, mind, and spirit. This goes for both work and home life.
- Tame technology habits
What would an in-depth look at your technology habits reveal? An obsession with checking your inbox? An over-zealous attachment to texting? Habitual, almost unconscious fascination with social media?
Sure, email is an efficient means of communication. The same goes for texting. And social media has opened wide, promising doors for promoting anything and everything. But too much of any good thing can spoil the porridge . . . or however the saying goes. With discipline and self-monitoring, these technology-related marvels can drive your success. But when boundaries aren’t established, enormous amounts of time can be eaten up by these modern day wonders of twenty-first-century life.
Reign in the potential for technology to gobble up valuable chunks of your day by allotting specific times to check emails, check and reply to texts, and get caught up on social media.
One of the surest ways to put the “spring” back in your schedule is to pass off less important tasks to someone on your staff. Type “A” persons, however, and those bent toward perfectionism, in particular, have a rough time sharing work because “No one else can do it the way I can . . . well enough . . . to suit me.”
Begin small – delegate a twenty-minute-a-day task – and let yourself get used to accepting assistance. Next hand off a one-to-two-hour a week job. Already you’ve carved from your schedule 160 to 220 minutes each week, time that can be better spent reaching toward an important goal.
- Learn to say no
Even a quick glance at your schedule is likely to reveal some weak moments when, “Sure, no problem, I can handle it,” slipped from your mouth, when everything inside you was screaming, “NO! Not one more thing!”
Before you say “yes” to more work, more responsibility, more volunteer or community commitments, more time away from the family, ask yourself these questions suggested by Kristie Notto,
- Do you have the time or energy to do that extra task?
- Does it invade on your personal time?
- Does it involve doing something you enjoy?
- Does it fit in with your list of priorities and goals?
More words of wisdom from Hyatt. “To honor your existing commitments, you have to learn to say no.”
Revisit these strategies every month to keep your spring-cleaned schedule from getting bogged down – because better time management leads to a more relaxed, less stressed you. It also makes the work day more pleasant and allows for more time to do the things you enjoy.
A relationship with B. Loehr Staffing will result in you getting faster solutions to your staffing needs. Free up your time by allowing our team of Staffing Specialists do the legwork for you. Contact our office today.
Phone: 314-567-6500 Website: blstaffing.com