Browsing "Time Management"
Jul 27, 2012 - Time Management    No Comments

The Organized Monk

Raise your hand if your mornings are chaotic and you’re always in a rush to get out the door?  If you raised your hand then this post might be of use to you.

Every morning I get out of bed like clockwork at 8:15 and with the demeanor of a Monk who is in deep meditation (Those of you who are not morning people know what I’m talking about). I step into the shower at 8:15 and I get out of the shower at 8:25. Then I’m out the door by 8:35 and off to work. This is my morning routine and each step in my morning routine is exactly 10 minutes and I’ve perfected to be exactly that. But what if my alarm goes off a little late? Or I hit the snooze button one to many times? Want happens then?

Like most people my morning turns into a chaotic nightmare and I’m no longer an Organized Monk but a Psychotic Cheetah who’s only thought is “How in the world am I going to make it out the door in time?” and more often than not these are the mornings where I can’t find my keys, I forget to take my lunch, or I leave the house without my phone and wallet.

There are many things we all have to do each morning before we leave and this morning rush can be exhausting and frustrating. Those that have children understand this better than most. Because with children all of these tasks are magnified, you have to get them dressed, feed, pack their lunch, and make sure they have their homework. Not to mention the task of getting them to school and then yourself to work. And with children it seems like the same questions are always asked on your way out the door: Where are my keys? Do you have your homework? Where are your shoes?

One solution to this rat race and probably the easiest one to accomplish are to have things ready the night before. But due to busy schedules and getting home at late hours this won’t always be an effective solution. So what else can we do? Here are 3 suggestions that you can try:

1) Create a checklist that you can reference each morning before you leave the house. Hang it by the front door and give it a quick glance before you leave. Here are a few things that you could include on your checklist:

1. KEYS
2. WALLET/PURSE
3. PHONE
4. LUNCH
5. TURN OFF THE COFFEE POT
6. SUNGLASSES
7. ETC

Try also making a wallet size copy that you can tape to your sun visor in your car. That way you’re sure to see it before you leave.

2) Have an organizer by your front door. Whether it’s a box or a bowl try having some sort of container by your front door to put your keys, phone, sunglasses, or wallet in. This will help you keep track of those small things that always seem to get lost.

3) Buy a small beeper or alarm and attach it to your keys. This will help you find them in the morning and it will also remind you that its time to go. Set the alarm too go off at the time you must be out of the door.

I hope these suggestions are beneficial to you and hopefully they will help you keep the chaotic nightmare of the mornings at bay and help you be a more Organized Monk.

~John

May 11, 2012 - Time Management    1 Comment

Where Has All the Time Gone?

There are many ways that you can improve your time management. Here are a few ways that have helped me in the past:

First, start by keeping a notebook with you everywhere you go. This will help keep your mind clear. Record everything you can, so that it’s safely stored in one place and not in your head. You can decide what to do with these notes later. Write down things like: Ideas for writing assignments (This is a personal one for me), Appointment dates, To Do list items, People you need to talk to, Events you don’t want to miss, etc.

Then, for 1 week track how you spend your time. After you have done this you can use this information to create a time budget. Creating a “time budget” will help you set specific percentages of your time that you want to devote to a certain activity, some examples are: Transportation, Housework, Leisure Time, Income Activities like work, etc.

Make sure that you stick to your time budget for the next 90 days and do a weekly review each week and you will see a major improvement. Every time that you switch to a new activity throughout the day stop and ask yourself, “Is this the best use of my time at this moment?”

Try and identify one low-priority activity which you can stop doing and devote that time to a high priority task instead. Look for ways in which you regularly waste time, and limit the time that you spend on those activities. Some examples are: Watch no more than half-an-hour of television a day. Spend no more than half-an-hour a day on Facebook, and Twitter. Spend no more than twenty minutes a day playing video games, etc.

Stop trying to multitask and do one thing at a time, and without distractions. Plan your day the night before. Do the most important thing on your To-Do list first, before you do anything else.

During your weekly review, answer the following questions: What did you accomplish this week? What went wrong? What went right?

At the end of each day spend a few minutes before you go home or to bed organizing your area. Clean your room, pick up dirty clothes, organize your desk, filing papers, and make sure that your work area is orderly and that your bed room is clean, so that you can wake up to a clean room and walk in to a neat desk the next day.

Also, make a list of all of the commitments and social obligations that you have. Then, take out a red pen and cross out anything that does not truly bring you joy or help you move towards achieving your life goals.

These are just a few ideas. I hope its sparked some interest.

~John