{31 days of enough time} Know your priorities

This is one of my favourite topics to talk about mainly because of the answers I get when I ask people what their priorities are.

People always confidently tell me what their priorities are but then…. they falter a bit when I ask which decisions they’ve made or how they’ve arranged their lives around their priorities.

um, what?

:)

Let’s go back a step.

If I ask you what your priorities are, I’m sure you could list your top 3.

priorities | www.OrganisingQueen.com

E.g. Family, health, home

Now, let’s discuss, how do you practically prioritise those areas?

Some examples for family…

  • everyone eats supper together every night
  • you spend time together with your immediate family, just by yourselves, at least one day on the weekend
  • doing a fun thing together every month

Some ideas for health…

  • you work out 3 – 5 times a week
  • you cook healthy meals
  • you get enough sleep

Some ideas for home…

  • you spend an hour organising your home every week
  • you menu plan
  • you declutter regularly and properly consider where things should go before bringing them into the house

Why is it important to know your priorities?

So you know where to spend your time

If you’re invited to too many birthday parties or socials, for example, ideally you should first be making sure those top 3 priorities of yours have good foundations before tending to a priority number 7 on your list.

This is a simplistic example but I think it makes the point.

Tell me, what are your top 3 priorities?

Are you making the time for them in your life?

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{31 days of enough time} One of the worst uses of time…

worst uses of time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

{31 days of enough time} Choosing clothes

After doing this 90% of the time for years and years now, it still amazes me just how much time I save.

Because when I don’t choose my clothes in the evening, the morning is a big rush as I run around getting ready for work.

I’ve written before about how I once ran a very impromptu focus group with my 5 colleagues to see how they all approached the choosing clothes thing.

The most structured chose all her clothes and accessories for the entire week on a Sunday afternoon, and hung them in her wardrobe ready for the week.

That felt a little bit too stuctured for me but I must say, I’m fast coming round to that idea, especially now that we get mostly accurate weather forecasts for a week at a time.

31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Of course, on the other end of the spectrum, my one colleague said she jumped out of the shower, opened her wardrobe and just threw on anything she felt like wearing that day.

The rest of us varied between choosing clothes the night before to on the day.

Another friend told me she starts on one side of the wardrobe, and wears clothes from left to right and when she gets to the other side, she starts on the left again :)

I still choose my clothes just the evening before and it saves me at least 10 – 15 minutes of faffing around in the mornings. I’ve pared down my clothes considerably (next month I want to write about this capsule wardrobe business that’s so popular!) and yet it still saves me time.

31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Where do you fall on the scale?

Do you choose your clothes the night before, weekend before or do you just throw on the first thing that catches your eye?

I love these human quirks so please feel free to share lots of detail. I’m always delighted when you do :)

31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

{31 days of enough time} I’m the only one who can do it properly

If you haven’t guessed it yet, when you say things like, “I’m the only one who can do it properly”, you’re doing three things:

  1. you’re giving yourself more work and
  2. you disempower those around you
  3. you deprive others of a learning or giving opportunity

31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

The key to all people who successfully manage their time is that they have the ability to delegate.

Delegate doesn’t only refer to those people who have staff.

You can delegate to your husband, kids, friends, etc.

Some of us have control issues and feel like if we don’t do it all ourselves, it won’t get done properly.

Who defines what properly is?

We need to challenge these old beliefs.

So what if your towels aren’t folded like Martha Stewart? They’re folded, right? If it’s going to make you twitch to see them folded improperly, then by all means, have at it BUT don’t complain that you don’t have even 10 minutes a day to read your Bible or a magazine…..

Choices…

My personal rule is that if someone else can do a task at an 80% effectiveness level, then they should. You may have to tweak or coach a bit to get to this point, but invest the time upfront to do that.

It pays off in the long run.

Two quick examples:

1. My kids started putting away their toys when they were 9 months old. Basically, the minute they could crawl, they had to crawl to fetch their things and bring it to the central toy spot.

Yes, it took time in those early days to encourage them and celebrate when the toys were all packed away. Yes, it would have been quicker to just do it myself in two minutes (my kids don’t have a lot of toys) but it’s paid off in HOURS over the years. Hours I use to cook, tidy, organise, or just plain relax.

2. I remember when the kids were still babies all of us new mothers would chat and compare situations. Some of my friends insisted on doing everything themselves as their husbands didn’t do things properly.

Fair enough if that floated their boat… I was only to glad to delegate baby duties so I could enjoy a mug of tea and read a blog post for 10 minutes :)

I’ve recently delegated Sunday night supper to my husband. Yes, I prefer that we all have more veggies, etc. but that’s an afternoon I can spend reading my novel for another 30 – 45 minutes instead of being in the kitchen ;)

Where do you stand on the “I’m the only one who can do it properly” scale?

31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

PS I hope you’ll be able to access this resource – there’s a lot more information on the topic of mindful delegation.

{31 days of enough time} Saying no

My love of the humble notebook and pen is well documented on this blog as my favourite organising tool ever. It captures all the bits and pieces so that our minds are clear(er), helps us organise our tasks and plan so that we have enough time for the things that matter.

31 days of enough time |www.OrganisingQueen.com

But after that, my most favourite time management tool is simply saying no.

Not to be dramatic at all but learning to say no will give you enough time, actually MORE than enough time, for all the things you want to do, and do well.

When you learn to say no, and get comfortable wielding that tool, you’ll be able to create time for your passions, purpose, hobbies, relationships, your self.

Most importantly, you get to say yes to the things that matter to you.

Read the quote below. Three times even. It’s that good (and is my new favourite time management quote).

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

She’s talking about people who can say no.

It’s not (only) about saying no to other people. It’s probably more important to know what to say no to in your own life.

A few examples…

  • No, now is not a good time to commit to a ministry that requires a weekly commitment. Try monthly.
  • No, you need to focus on the kids now and your career later. Or it’s time to focus on your career now instead of being Pinterest Mom.
  • No, you need to focus on your sleeping patterns now … and stop watching TV/ surfing blogs so late.
  • No, you need to deactivate Facebook :) and Pinterest and focus on creating your own home that works for you.

Only you know what you need to say no to…. but if you don’t know, the quicker you do some soul-searching, the happier you’re going to be about the choices you’ve made.

On a scale of 1 – 10, how well do you know what you’re saying no to these days?

Are you able to wield your “saying no” tool well, or do you need to practise?

31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

{31 days of enough time} B…b..b.. Boundaries!

When I first started teaching about boundaries, it wasn’t as common a subject as it is now. But then it seemed, as with any good thing, boundaries got overused.

We’ve all seen the emails with a blog post’s worth of text in an out of office reminder. That’s either very strong boundary-setting or going over the top, depending on the reader.

The best way I know how to describe a boundary is that it denotes an imaginary line drawn where that person’s emotional stuff is on his side of the fence and your stuff is on your side of the fence.

31 days to enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Setting good boundaries requires you to be assertive, not aggressive, respect that things may not go “your way” and that’s okay, but that you have a choice as to how you will then choose to interact with the person.

For example, if someone speaks to you in a way that you find demeaning, the person who has good boundaries would perhaps tell that person, “when you shout at me like that, it makes me feel _____. If you do that again, I’m going to walk away/ put down the phone, etc” and then do it.

You can’t control the person’s behavior but you can control your exposure to it.

The reason boundaries are so important is because it’s one of the main reasons women especially take on commitments they don’t really want to do, and then subsequently don’t have enough time to enjoy their own lives:

Here are two incidents that happened to me in the last 3 days and that show some other boundary situations:

Incident 1

Three of us did group personal training sessions for two months last year until I pulled out. You’d think I’d enjoy the group interaction and I do… just not while personal training. I eventually realized that I need (and want) the trainer to solely focus on me – what I’m doing wrong, where I’m battling, encourage and support me 100%. When I pulled out, I decided that if I went back, I’d only do one-on-one sessions. That was my personal boundary.

This year my gym employed a new personal trainer. I set my sessions up and arrived last week to find someone else in the session with me. I didn’t make a big deal seeing as it was our first session but it niggled at me until I checked with the trainer and yes, indeed, two other people would be joining one of my two weekly sessions, at a reduced rate for all of us, of course.

I sent one or two more emails on Monday mentioning that I’d booked her for that time first and when I got an email back, I realized this was going to be better spoken about in person. You can always tell these things!

When I went for my session that evening, I had a moment where I wondered if I want to be that person who makes a big deal about everything. Then I realized that this is important to me – getting fit and healthy is one of my biggest goals for the year – and I need to address this issue.

So I did. And it was totally fine. The other ladies are being moved to another day. Success.

Incident 2

I booked a 30-minute massage. I was early enough to be ready on the table at the appointed time. The therapist did the massage, her finishing routine and left the room. I looked at my watch – only 20 minutes had elapsed.

Again I had a decision to make. I didn’t like this therapist’s style – she seemed too rushed and in a hurry to get me done – so I probably wouldn’t go back since I go get massages for relaxation and nothing else. Should I still talk to her about the quick massage?

I’m a believer both that things get easier the more you do them but also that other things get more difficult if you let them slide.

I didn’t want to create a habit where I start shying away from dealing with things so I mentioned to her that the massage was actually only 20, and not 30 minutes. She was most apologetic and told me her watch is probably fast….. that wasn’t the issue for me. I wanted her to know and apologise, which she did.

Can you think of one or two circumstances where you feel your boundaries were or are being overstepped? Are you willing to have that uncomfortable conversation?

Check for the niggle inside of yourself and either deal with it, or choose to not let it bother you anymore if it really is inconsequential.

Strengthening your boundaries is like exercising a muscle; the more you do it, the easier it becomes.

31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

{31 days of enough time} The four-hour work week

When this book came out, I bought it, read it and loved it.

And then I heard all the brouhaha on the internet about people who don’t love the book.

I guess this might be my most controversial book on the list? :)

Still, I looked into all the people who hate the book (or the concepts) and I must say, I still don’t get it.

Here’s how I think:

  • If I buy a book and I learn ONE thing in there that saves me even 5 minutes a day, that is well worth the time I spent reading, and the money spent purchasing it.
  • All I’m looking for when I’m reading is the one thing.
  • So if I find something additional, BONUS!
  • And here’s the kicker – if a book makes me change my thinking, then it is even more worth it to me.
  • I’m not looking to be wowed on every single page.

This is my approach for any kind of information – if I’m getting SOMETHING, I receive that (gladly) and toss the rest.

All that to say this – I loved all but one chapter of the book (and at the time of this writing, I can’t even remember what that was) because it challenged my thinking in a major way.

And I think that’s what the haters don’t get about The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated)

Maybe he does run his business working only 4 hours a week. I do know you can do much more with your time if you have incredible powers of focus and clearly he does. He is a master at learning things super fast.

But even if he runs his business in 40 hours a week, that’s still fine with me because my thinking was completely changed around delegating and outsourcing and doing ONLY the things you can do, etc.

Things I do in my business and talk about on here, actually :)

Over the years I have reaped a ginormous return on investment on my R150 or whatever it is I paid way back when. And again, I still have my well-worn copy on my bookshelf.

Have you read this book?

If yes, what did you think?

If no, will you give it a bash?

 

31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

{31 days of enough time} You get to choose

Recently I read a blog post where the blogger took quite a bit of flak for daring to suggest that people have a choice.

I’ll be the first to admit that some choices in life are so obvious that they’re really not much of a choice, but in the end,  I agree with that blogger that we DO have a choice.

Granted, some choices are really quite basic – do we want to buy food this month or not? And of course, some choices are really “first world” – should you donate organic food over processed food? (Alert – starving people don’t care!)

But I always feel that saying, “I have no choice” disempowers you.

Isn’t it better to say, “I choose to do _________ “.

31 days of enough time |www.organisingqueen.com

Recently I chatted to someone who said something quite insightful to me. She said, “I don’t love this job… at all… but right now, I’m choosing to stay because I can do it, and I’m working on some other things right now”.

I loved that she made a choice and that she didn’t say the usual things people say – I can’t afford to leave… I wish I could do this or that.

 ******************************

Let’s bring this back to the topic of how we spend our time:

I post photos of my albums (Project Life and the usual ones) and often people say, “oh I wish I had the time for that”.

You do!

We both do! The difference might be that I make the time.

31 days of enough time |www.organisingqueen.com

Rather own your choices and say, “I really need to relax after work at night so I choose to spend time watching TV” or “Right now my children need my help with their homework”.

But!

If you want something badly enough, ask yourself how instead of saying I can’t.

Like this: how can I give myself some time to do _____?

  1. maybe I can take my book to work and read for 30 minutes every lunch time instead of playing on Instagram?
  2. maybe I can take 30 minutes every Saturday to organise my photos?
  3. maybe I can take my friends’ kids one Saturday a month for two hours, and she can do the same, and I can finally make headway on my projects?

I often look at the beautifully put together people of this world (!) and then I own my choice – I choose to sleep an extra 30 minutes in the mornings rather than do a fancy beauty routine ;)

What are you choosing to do these days?

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{31 days of enough time} Time = life

Time equals life | www.OrganisingQueen.com

31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

{31 days of enough time} Evening to-do lists

Last week I shared a tip that helps me create time throughout the week at home, and today I’m sharing one that creates time every day at the office.

I know this is not rocket science… in fact, most of life isn’t. But the difference between effective and ineffective people is that the first group implements and don’t just give mental assent to good ideas :)

The majority of successful people use a to-do list to tackle their priorities on a monthly, weekly and daily basis.

However, this tip just takes that good habit to the next level.

31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Make your list before you leave the office at night. If you work from home or it’s the weekend, make your list at night so you hit the ground running the next day.

Also, if you make your list in the evening, you (1) sleep better because you don’t have that nagging feeling that you’re going to forget to do something, and if you have to decide something or come up with a new idea, (2) your subconscious brain can get started on the solution while you sleep.

Win-win!

Do you make a to-do list on a daily basis?

If you do, kick it up a notch and do it in the evening before you leave work. Simply stop working 15 minutes before you normally do so you have time to make your list.

PS 6 is my comfort number of daily tasks. Not silly tasks like read emails, but proper “write up this report” and “analyse those financials” tasks.

31 days of enough time | www.OrganisingQueen.com

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