{31 days of enough time} Final thoughts on having enough time

Can you believe it? This is the last day of the series and it’s been FABULOUS!

I got what I wanted out of it, which is the discipline to get something up every day this month.

Moreover I could actually write every day for another 2 months which is exciting to know since time management is my thing.

31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

If you missed some (or a lot of) posts, simply click this link (or the 31 days of enough time label under each post) and you’ll be able to read all the posts in order.

I hope that you were inspired, motivated and challenged to take a different course of action.

 

This was the plan for the month:

Mondays – something to challenge your thinking

Tuesdays – favourite time management books

Wednesdays – a full-length article so something a bit meatier

Thursdays – my favourite time management tools

Fridays – time management myths

Saturdays – practical tips to create enough time

Sundays – inspiring quote on a pretty picture (all taken by me)

31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

You have enough time

Now that you’ve read for 31 days, what next?

Well, it takes time to embed new habits. When I embarked on my own time management journey, it took me three months to change my old thinking patterns and solidify good habits.

You’ll probably have the same experience.

I have a few other resources to help you on your journey:

And because of my increased focus on time, I saw and read a few great things on the internet this month.

This post by Penelope Trunk was my favourite one of all. And this quote is seriously my favourite one on time.

saying no |31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Everything I’ve written over this month has boiled down to this one thought:

There’s enough time for everything you want to do but you have to get clear on exactly what you want, and get happy not doing everything else.

Until then, life will continue to be frenetic and you will continue to be frazzled :(

31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Which was your favourite post (or series of posts) in the series?

PS Please share on social media if you’ve enjoyed a post… it’s encouraging for me to feel like what I’ve written has actually impacted one or two people.

{31 days of enough time} Weekly planning

There’s nothing better than the feeling of having a clear, worry-free mind.

Mental clutter is heavy!

For me, a big contributor to not having a lot on my mind is getting things down in one place.

That means writing down my monthly goals and then, the secret to my success, using my weekly planning system.

weekly planner 31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Click the picture to download your free weekly and monthly goals planner

It’s the best thing – it feels like there’s more time because there is – a whole week to get things done.

If I feel like I want to do nothing on 2 – 3 days, that’s fine, I have 4 – 5 more :)

Some things that work for me:

  1. I use a form of Eat the Frog with my weekly planning too. I put my “heaviest”, most important tasks at the beginning of the week which is why, if any of my friends are reading, I almost never agree to do anything fun on a Monday or Tuesday. Those days are for “heavy lifting”.
  2. I plan things throughout the week so that each day feels light and I never feel burdened or overwhelmed.
  3. I always plan fun things too, like playing with photos.
  4. I don’t make a huge list – I try not to have more than 10 things total, for both business and personal. That’s a comfortable number for me most weeks.

Weekly goals | Organising Queen

Do you do any weekly planning?

Tell me about your system, otherwise do try some weekly planning next week and let me know how you like it. It might not work for you and that is A-okay – I’m not a one size fits all coach :)

31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Click here to download the no-fuss monthly and weekly planner

{31 days of enough time} How I “get it all done”

When people hear that I work full-time, am married, have twins, write this blog and coach time management, they often ask me how I get it all done.

The short answer is that I don’t.

Yes, I do a lot but I would really like us to focus on what I don’t do:

I barely watch TV and as you can see from this photo, I don’t do much filing :) (this was 9 months’ worth of paper…)

31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Let me explain the few things I’m awesome at (besides annual filing!):

  1. Being very clear on my life’s purpose

I have a life mission typed out and I know my definition of success in life.

I also know my values and my core desired feelings. A quick secret – one of those values is not to have the laundry perfectly done, but it is to take action.

Are you clear on your life purpose?

  1. Making friends with “good enough”

I feel that it’s better to have something done than have it perfect.

If you’re cringing at that sentence, let me tell you that I used to be you. That was until I realized that trying to get the last 20% of any project perfect usually takes more time than the previous 80%.

Do you know when 80% is enough, or are you still stuck on perfect?

  1. Following a To Not Do list

We all know there are 24 hours in a day and there is not enough time to do everything.

It’s far more important these days to know which things to leave on the To Not Do list.

  • In my business, I do only things that could only use my input and I happily delegate the rest to my virtual assistant.
  • In my personal life, it’s important for me to cook from scratch but it’s not important for me to peel and chop all the vegetables myself.

Can you see the difference?

  1. Deciding where I use my time and not feeling guilty about it

Be intentional about your time usage. I watch about 20 minutes of TV Mon – Fri while I change clothes, pack clothes and work bag, etc.

That’s it… except when a season of The Amazing Race is on :)

If you spend more time watching TV because that’s the way you relax, enjoy it!

I’ve chosen to do otherwise. Neither is right or wrong.

I do spend about 2 hours on the computer in the evenings, working on the business and connecting with friends through email and blogs.

I don’t feel guilty about my computer time because I know why I’m doing it.

Of course I procrastinate sometimes by surfing blogs too much but since I generally get things done, occasionally if I slip up, I don’t beat myself up about it.

Where do you want to be spending your time and why? Are you intentional about it?

  1. Taking consistent action

Unfortunately getting things done is not going to just happen so you’ve got to take consistent action.

Whether it’s moving forward with a big leap or lots of little leaps, I try to take some action every day.

I’m good at constantly reviewing where I am in relation to my goals; you can get that way too.

Do you take enough consistent action?

To end off, let me leave you with one of my favourite quotes:

31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

{31 days of enough time} How to say no…

This is my favourite book on saying no!

Sometimes when I read books targeted at women, I get a bit irritated at the tone… because some authors  tend to assume that we’re all the same type of woman and forget about taking into account that we’re all unique.

Not this one.

This is an easy read full of practical advice.

I really loved how this book spoke to me. Matter of fact, I haven’t read it for a few years and now I’m thinking I need to have a re-read.

Do you have a problem with people-pleasing, sticking to your priorities or over-commitment?

Get How to Say No…and Live to Tell About It: A Woman’s Guide to Guilt-Free Decisions and give it a read.

 

31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Have you read this book?

What is your favourite time resource?

{31 days of enough time} Being present vs FOMO

I heard this lovely little acronym a few months ago.

FOMO – fear of missing out

And I could relate.

I’ve experienced it a couple of times usually when I chose one thing (time with my family) over another and then saw friends having fun without me (imagine that!) on social media.

31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

It’s hard because both things are generally good things.

But one thing was the best (and right thing for me) at the time.

Lysa Terkeurst has a new book out called The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands. I haven’t read it yet but I’m a fan of hers so I will read it soon-ish. By the way, I also recommend Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions.

Has this fear of missing out happened to you?

Some of us would try and do all the things to avoid missing out, and have to be in 2 – 3 places.

Running yourself ragged, my friends, is not the path to Enough Time.

Rather choose your best yes and be present in the moment.

The last time this happened to me I had to tell myself (out loud) that I chose something else and then not look at Instagram the rest of the day.

How do you deal with FOMO?

31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

{31 days of enough time} Reality

Reality always wins | www.OrganisingQueen.com

31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

{31 days of enough time} Menu planning, even for spontaneous people

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times – menu planning saves me HOURS of time every week.

I started menu planning in 2006 when I “met” Laura and her Menu Planning Mondays, and I haven’t looked back since.

Menu planning is how I have enough time during the week for blogging, playing with the kids, going to Spanish, cooking healthy, nutritious meals, etc.

31 days of enough time |www.OrganisingQueen.com

My new job means I have an additional 20-minute commute both ways… and I don’t like to eat late so menu planning has become a foundation for my organised home. I’ve committed both to myself and our nanny that I will always have the entire week’s menu planned out so that she can prepare anything we’ve agreed on. For instance, if I put “chicken a la King, rice and carrots” on the menu, Nanny S knows to cut up carrots and have them ready so I can just cook them.

I’ve always batch cooked so I have a number of meals in the freezer at all times. The key is to keep the freezer inventory up to date so I know when I need to cook a new batch of food.

As an indication, I planned out a full two week’s meals without needing to cook anything new….that kind of pre-cooking won’t work forever but I definitely like at least a week’s worth of meals in the freezer.

31 days of enough time |www.OrganisingQueen.com

Did you know that meal planning works for both structured and unstructured people?

Here’s how you do it:

  1. For the structured people, simply make your meal plan for weekdays or the full week. Shop for all the groceries and then try to stick to your menu as closely as you can. If you feel like switching things around, there is still the freedom to do so.
  2. For the unstructured people, make a list of 5 – 7 meals and make sure you have the ingredients for all of those meals. On the day, see what you feel like cooking and do it (then cross off that meal). Do the same thing every day…. or not (it’s your life; don’t feel pressured and definitely don’t feel guilty for not making one of the meals on your list if you no longer feel like doing that one). Benefit – you have a loose plan but you’re not tied down to a specific meal on a specific day.

Do you menu plan?

How does your system work?

31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

PS There’s a menu planner in the free Time Management Purpose Pack.

{31 days of enough time} Using the right tool will transform your life

I have a theory that goes something like this…

people buy things because they think that those things will transform them into the person they want to be

31 days of enough time |www.OrganisingQueen.com

  1. we buy baskets and containers hoping that we’ll become organised
  2. we buy bookshelves full of self-improvement books hoping we’ll become evolved and improved
  3. we buy gym outfits and expensive sports shoes not to mention paying for expensive memberships hoping that will motivate us to get fit and healthy
  4. we buy bigger, better and fancier cameras hoping that will make us take beautiful photos
  5. we buy tons of scrapbooking paraphernalia in the hope of having our baby books done

I could go on and on…

There’s nothing wrong with this, of course.

But we have enough. We really do.

Use whatever tools you currently have, use them fully and make them work for you. This is a great tool to nail down all the basics.

What I want to caution all of us against is putting our hope in the tool or the thing instead of in our own abilities to get whatever we want, done.

31 days of enough time |www.OrganisingQueen.com

I see this especially in the productivity/ time management arena. There are forums and blogs with ginormous readerships where people spend so much time talking about the best tool/ app/ planner/ pen/ printable for this, that and the other, and while all this is going on, they could have used a piece of paper and a pen (cil) and it would have been just as effective. I promise!

As much as I love this app, if it disappeared tomorrow, my old-fashioned paper lists will work just as well.

Today I’m giving you permission to just be. To put aside the myth that the right tool will be your magic wand.

Stop searching for the next best thing in an effort to get more time, or have enough time. Use what you have at your disposal and it’ll be fine.

Let’s be honest.

Do you sometimes find yourself looking for the next best magic trick to transform your life?

31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

{31 days of enough time} Use a timer

31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

This is a common kitchen timer.

Some of you might remember my yellow egg timer. I think back very fondly on that old timer because it happily lived with me for many years until a certain set of curious twins came along ;)

I’ve written a lot about timers in the past because they’re so effective at keeping you focussed and on track. They also really help with Parkinson’s Law.

The kitchen ones are better than the ones on your phone because they make that loud, annoying ticking sound which forces me to focus and get things done.

I was almost sure I wrote a post about using my iphone timer but I can’t find it now?

I personally like to play games against the timer (isn’t it fun being in my head?!) and see if I can beat it. E.g. if I want to tidy my study, I’ll set the timer for 15 minutes and see if I can finish before the timer goes off.

(I like 15-minute intervals – long enough to get stuck into something, but not so long that I get distracted)

Do you use a timer?

Which do you prefer? Old-fashioned kitchen timer or the one on your phone?

31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.comRead my previous posts about timers here and here and here.

{31 days of enough time} Is it time to unplug?

If you’re involved on any of the social media platforms, you’ll regularly hear people mention that the noise is too much.

We’re all aware of Facebook envy, where you imagine that people’s lives are the sum total of their updates, because nobody posts about the flip side of the coin, real life.

Instagram has made it a little worse for some people, I’d imagine, with all those beautiful pictures of families, homes, travel, baking, and so on.

I remember when we went on a beach holiday, scrolling through my phone pictures, I’d see both Instagram-worthy photos (the beach…) and also the moments between Instagrams, like kids having time outs, messy kitchens after meals and laundry day craziness.

31 days to enough time |www.OrganisingQueen.com

The truth is I’ve never really felt like I needed to unplug because I try to live life on my own terms and not compare myself to others… and I feel relatively well balanced. Well enough that I can coach other people in total integrity knowing I am being authentic.

You see, I set up some social media boundaries for myself years ago which are now very firmly entrenched habits:

  1. I like to be more of a contributor than a consumer on any social media platform. If I’m on a particular site, it’s first to contribute (post, comment, etc.) and then to consume (check other people’s pretty pics and status updates).
  2. I also use social media to connect with people. So if I scroll through my feed and see something I enjoy, whether a post or a photo, I’m probably going to comment or “like” that snippet. I want people to know I’m reading, watching and enjoying catching up with them, no matter how superficial some might think that is.
  3. And of course, being a time management coach, I have very firm time boundaries for myself.

Also, very old-fashioned of me, but I actually still use Pinterest for my original reasons, storing bookmarks and websites I may want to reference again, and of late, as a search engine for pretty things.

All of that said, a few weeks ago, I was praying about a situation and I just felt like I couldn’t hear very well because my brain felt too cluttered.

I sensed that I should take a bit of a social media fast to clear my head a bit.

Since I didn’t feel that it was completely necessary to not have any involvement, I did a “light version”:

  • I blogged in advance for the week ahead.
  • No internet at night after supper. Night times were now reserved for cooking, husband and kids, gym, photos, prayer and Bible reading and other projects… like the good old days!
  • I only read blogs while eating my lunch at work and if I could only read and comment on three blogs during that time, then so be it.

What were the results?

  1. I got a TON of things done around the house.
  2. I heard a lot from God – I journalled too so I wouldn’t forget it all.
  3. I felt calmer and more peaceful.
  4. There was more time so I slept more during that week. My usual sleep duration is at least 7 hours and I was getting in 7.5 – 8 hours daily.
  5. Of course my Feedly had about 200 items in it (I subscribe to about 75 blogs) and after the fast, I unsubscribed from a few feeds, the ones where I wasn’t even slightly tempted to do some catch-up reading.

I still don’t think I’ll need to do a social media fast very often but I’m definitely sold on doing one at least every six months.

What about you? Is it time for you to unplug? Either temporarily for a period or maybe permanently?

31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

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