Do you feel like you need more hours added to your day? Is your busy schedule stressing you out? Well I can assure you that you’re not alone. This past summer was by far the busiest I’ve ever experienced since I launched my business. I never take on more work than necessary because in the end my family is my main priority. But for some reason I found myself overwhelmed, stressed out, and working on projects I wasn’t even enjoying. Needless to say, it was the wake-up call that I needed. It forced me to reevaluate how I was managing my time, what I was saying “yes” to, and if it was even worth it.
I’ll be very honest, it was hard facing the fact that I had done a poor job managing my time and that my family had to suffer as a result. Needless to say I turned things around and cut back drastically in every area of my life. Today I’m sharing how I managed to take control of my time again and get out of survival mode.
3 Simple Ways to Take Control of Your Time
Cut out all non-essentials
You would think this one is obvious, but I was surprised by the number of things I had allowed to creep back in. For a long time I managed to keep my schedule manageable and simple, but in the process I forgot how quickly it could unravel if I wasn’t guarding my time. The first thing I did was sit down and go over everything I had on plate. I cut out work projects that were not fulfilling (even paid ones), I said no to non-work commitments that added no value to our lives, and I outsourced the tasks that were draining my energy.
Get rid of outside noise
This one is tough for me because my work involves the web space and I have to be online for work. Early this year I deleted a few apps from my cellphone, so that I wouldn’t be tempted to log on throughout the day. Over the summer I added the Facebook app to my phone again, and sure enough it became a time-suck. I would love to say that most of us are disciplined enough to manage these things, but sadly that’s not the case. Figure out what’s distracting you and preventing you from making progress throughout the day. For you it might be watching TV, YouTube, or something else that becomes your default activity when you have more important things to take care of.
Figure out when you’re most productive
Whether it’s early in the morning or after bedtime, figure out when you’re most productive and use it to your advantage. For me that time slot is during the early morning hours. It’s when I’m most alert and able to work without interruptions since everyone is still sleeping. Knowing that this is my golden hour, I purposely schedule my must-do work projects during this time period. Even if I can’t fit everything in, I can at least get a lot accomplished before my day gets going. This is a very simple concept, but it’s not uncommon for busy moms to get distracted with the family and home. Remember that everyone’s situation is unique, so take back control of your time and do what works best for you.
The past few months I’ve felt a weight come off my shoulders. I’ve had to cut back in a lot of areas, but it has helped me be mindful of how I spend my time. Yes, it meant turning down some amazing opportunities along the way including a press trip to Mexico. But I know that time won’t stand still and that my main priority is my family.
“Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.” ~ M. Scott Peck