Happiest of Thursdays, friends! It’s time for this month’s Seeking Advice! Seeking Advice is my monthly series where I ask you all for your advice on a topic, and then post the answers a week later. You can check out past Seeking Advice posts here: Bad Language, Stranger Danger, Money, Kids and Tragedy
As parents, there are so many questions we may have and for the most part, for each question, there are a million different answers. So where do you start? How do you determine what is the “right” answer? For me, the answer is research and ask around – which is what this series for.
Once a month, I ask a question to all of you about an aspect of parenting that is all shades of gray. I’ll ask the question(s), give my own opinion on the matter, and then leave it to all of you lovely people. My hope is that the comments section of this post will fill up with helpful, supportive comments that reflect a number of different points of view. After a week has passed, I will then compile the most helpful comments into one post called, “Advice Found: Time Management”. If you are a blogger, I will include a link back to your blog so that if someone really identifies with your view on something, they can hop over and learn more about you. If you have written a post on the topic in the past, feel free to leave it with your comment – I may link it up! This post will go up on a Sunday, so the Advice Found for this post will go live on September 3. I hope for this series to become a resource for myself and others trying to navigate parenting and life, and a place where we can all be honest, open, and accepting.
That being said, any negative, rude, or hurtful comments will be deleted without notice. I want everyone to feel comfortable expressing views and opinions without feeling judged or criticized. So let’s get to it!
Seeking Advice: Time Management
I’ve never been good at managing my time. Like, really, really bad. I’m a day dreamer, and it often leads me to random places, spending obscene amounts of time doing God knows what. And let’s just say that the internet is my worst enemy, to put it lightly.
Lately, I’ve been feeling like I just cannot catch up. Things are falling behind, doing everything last minute, and I’m stressed about it, which obviously no one wants. I find myself wasting so much time on I do not even know what which is so frustrating. I will end the day thinking about how busy I was, but then look back and realized I accomplished very little.
So for this month’s Seeking Advice, I thought I would step back from parenting topics and ask a more practical question: how do you manage your time? Obviously, it’s still relevant to parents, though, because show me a parent who wouldn’t love an extra hour in the day and I’ll show you a big fat liar.
This month I want you to share with me your struggles and what works for you – how do you find that extra hour in your day?
What works for me (sometimes)
I love to do lists – I even wrote a post (with free printable to-do list organizers!) about how I manage mine. I like to do a brain dump and write down allllll of the things I need to do – that way they aren’t taking up a ton of space in my brain, leaving me with room to get stuff done. Once it’s all out, I can see everything better, which leads me to..
Sometimes y to-do list has things I could seriously put off for 2 years and not have it bother me. Prioritizing your tasks is important in getting more things done, as you’re not wasting time on tasks that don’t need to be done. (though, to be honest, if you have something you can do 2 years from now, take it off your to-do list.)
Putting my phone in another room.
THIS is probably one of my most important ones. Does anyone else pick up their phone to check a notification and end up sucked into a vortex of Instagram and emails and responding to things and Candy Crush? Every. Single. Time. And then next thing I know, nap times are through and I got not a single thing done. What had really helped as been putting my phone on priority (meaning only calls and texts from people I mark as priority make an alert) and putting it in another room. I’ve learned that for one – not as many people call and text me as I thought, and two – Instagram can wait. My checking my emails for the same junk can wait. Candy Crush can ALWAYS wait. (JK I actually just deleted all games off my phone because I do not have the willpower.) Not having this distraction has been SUCH a big help in managing my time.
Cutting off my internet.
I mostly do this when I really, really, really need to get some writing done. It’s genius. Either disconnect your internet connection from your computer or unplug it from your router. YOU WILL BE AMAZED by how much you can get done in a short amount of time without the distractions.
A little less intense than turning off your internet, I love StayFocusd. It’s an extension for Google Chrome that lets you set time limits for websites. Add all of the sites that you tend to get lost in and set your daily time limits. Every time you’re on that page, your clock counts down and you will literally be locked out until the next day if you hit your limit. It’s awesome and has really made me aware of how much time I waste on social media. I also love that there is a ‘nuclear’ option, which will block all of your ‘bad’ sites for the day if you hit it, regardless of where you stand with your time limit.
Setting ‘kill it’ times.
From 7:30-8 I do nothing but clean my house. I fly through it because I have little to no distractions – it’s right after I put the boys to bed. From 9-10 I force myself to write, even if the next day’s post is done. Setting kill it times is great for helping you knock out those to-do list items and it helps you stay motivated – if I know I only have to clean for those 30 minutes, I’m much more likely to go for it (and often exceed it once I’m in a groove). Read this post on The Only Rule You Need to Maintain a Tidy Home for more info on how I use that method.
But here’s the thing – even with all of these methods and tricks up my sleeve, I’m struggling. I’m still wasting time, my day is still eaten by nonsense – time I can spend hanging out with my kiddos or building my business. And it’s driving me crazy. So here’s my question this week:
How do you manage your time? How do you make sure that you’re spending it wisely and getting as much out of your day as possible? How do you cut out the wasted time so you can focus on things that need to get done and things that make you happy? I’m dying to know – help a momma out, will ya?