Why is there never enough of it?
We’ve all heard the phrase “there are just not enough hours in the day.” That seems to be the trend in my life right now. I have too many goals and not enough time to accomplish them. Too many things to attend, places to see, people to see, things I need to fix, people I need to call, work that needs to be done, laundry that needs to be folded….the list never ends. How does one make their life bare any semblance to organization, when we are surrounded by auditory and visual chaos.
I marvel at those who can work an 8 hour day, find time to workout, go to classes, get their grocery shopping done, drop off the dry-cleaning, make their nightly calls to friends & family, make dinner, do the dishes and STILL are in bed by 9pm every night. Seriously, where can I find this secret remote with the big PAUSE button on it. Maybe I am wrong – maybe people like that only exist in my head.Despite my skepticism, I am really trying hard to organize my life (and manage some sort of “sleep” pattern, if you could call it that). So, I started with a plan.
The plan of organizing TIME.
1. Utilize Google Calendar.
Seriously. Google calendar has saved my life. It allows me to “book” myself and lets me know the days that I have NOTHING planned (…and how cherished those days become). Without this calendar, I would be lost – and probably have a lot less friends. It has solved the issue of double-booking or pretending I have a clone that can be in one place, while I am in another. No more ‘oh shit‘ moments – you know, ‘oh shit, i forgot my dad’s birthday, my anniversary, the dogs vet appointment etc’. Having a calendar, whether it be GCal, iCalendar or if you are really old-school, the good ol’ fashion paper calendar, can help you organize your time immensely. Another fabulous feature of GCal is the ability to SHARE your calendar. Don’t get me wrong, I am not some huge social butterfly, but this option allows my friends and family to know when I have things planned, and when they are free to plan for me. Trying to organize events can easily be done, if all parties involved have a calendar that can be shared. Every time I commit to an event, it immediately goes on my GCal – which signifies ‘don’t even THINK about committing to anything else this day Reese.’ Now….the only frustrations I experience occurs when people DON’T use GCal — arrhg. I’m TELLING YOU – it’s the best idea you could ever have when it comes to organizing your life. Get a calendar.
2. Use a To-Do List
I need to get better at this. I think organizing your DAY and having a checklist always helps motivate you to get stuff done. Check those items off that list! I prefer to use a BIG marker or sharpie, but that is just me. Nothing feels better than checking tasks off your to-do list, and breathing in that sigh of relief …*yahhh, that is done. NEXT. * Two items off my list makes me feel like I have done wonders for the world that day, like I was SUPER productive….. even if the list has 20 items still waiting for my attention. The other nice thing about a To-Do list is, it helps you remember things. Surrounded by constant distractions such as Facebook, email, work, cellphones, etc it is easy to promise to complete a task, then forget about it 10 minutes later. I have a bad memory – and a bad memory with an 8-hour day surrounded in chaos, is a bad combination (….that is a lot of bad in once sentence). So, help yourself! Make a To-Do List and soon you’ll start to see that list get smaller, than longer, than smaller again.
3. Schedule in “ME” Time.
All day long I am being asked to do things. All day long I am being held accountable for carrying out various tasks. All day long my attention is directed towards other people. Then, when the day is done, what am I left with? …easy — I am left with a body that resembles “myself”. I look in the mirror and I see stress wrinkles that I did not see the day before, tired looking eyes (are those BAGS?) and I have a mind the consistency of jello. My case in point, schedule ME time. Consciously make it a point to chop out a few minutes, hours—(wouldn’t a week of ME time be grand)… for yourself. I think society breeds us to think we can “do it all,” and i am not saying it is impossible, but when you start feeling that “i hate everyone who breathes” feeling stirring up inside you…it is time for ME. Honestly, you should try to schedule your ME time before you want to strangle everyone you see (did that lady just elbow me trying to get down the escalator on the subway…….did that that cashier just GRAB that dollar bill from my hand…. WHO are they HONKING AT — yeah…. you need some ME time).
4. Be Honest with Yourself & Stay Accountable.
We all have expectations for what we want to accomplish in a day, week, months time. We all need to be aware of time management and really focus on where we are spending our time and what we are spending it on. You want to make it to the gym tonight? Well perhaps then you need to give up 1 hour of HGTV or re-runs of CHOPPED to make that happen. No one else is going to hold us accountable for reaching our own goals — probably because they have goals of their own. Review your lists and start with a plan. To me everything looks better on paper. Write it down, use an iPad, iPhone, App, Computer, whatever it is that you see EVERYDAY and refer back to it everyday. Remind yourself every morning – ‘here are the top 5 things I want to get done today’. Remind yourself at noon and at dinner. Do your best to get those 5 things done, but don’t over extend yourself. The last thing you want is to try to cram everything into one day, then feel bad when you don’t finish everything you wanted to — we are human. Know your limitations. Hold yourself accountable, but be honest with your ability to achieve these goals.
Organization comes easily to some of us (unfortunately for me, I was not born with this natural ability), and some of us have to work towards it. Once you take control of TIME you will start to see just how much you can do — and also be okay with the things you cannot. Remember, you are only one body, there are only 24 hours in a day, you can’t be everything to everyone. Less stress = more success!