Four months goes quickly when you are doing something every week. Oh who am I kidding, time has absolutely flown since I had Nicklas almost four years ago, and I bet every parent feels the same way. The older we get, the older they get, the quicker time seems to go. Nevertheless, here we are, at week 16 of Deb’s 52 Weeks To Simplify Your Life challenge, and I am glad to say that this is a part of the challenge that I feel quite comfortable, and quietly confident, about. Managing my time has never been something I have really struggled with. I make time for things I have to do, the things I want to do, and if I don’t have time for the things I (or others) think I should do, I try not to sweat it.
This week’s challenge: Identify only 2 or 3 important things that you must do each day. Build in breathing room every day. Focus.
The only things I feel I must do every day is go to work, feed my family, love on my family, and every couple of days, do some exercise.
Household chores aren’t things I have to do, they’re things I want to do. I’m quite house-proud and I like to keep a tidy place. Our place is very small, and very open, there is nowhere to hide the mess, so it just seems easier, and nicer, and less stressful for me, if it is kept tidy to start with. I know I’m mostly able to do this because I have “only” one child. We are also out most of the day, almost every day, so it makes it harder to get a huge mess. I try to do laundry every couple of days and I fold it as I take it off the clothes horses, killing 2 birds with one stone. Dishes are done/put away after every meal (99% of the time). I don’t iron (that saves a LOT of time!).
This week I have worked 34 hours, spent a day at Seaworld with my son, run 13kms (over 3 runs), started reading a new book and managed to keep all the housework up to date (though as stated in this post, I have a lot of help from my husband). I feel pretty good about how I spend my time. The days I do work I almost always have at least an hour to myself, sometimes up to 3 or so hours. The only thing I’d change is to spend more time as a family unit. I work every Sunday and fill in Saturdays when people are away, and that really monopolizes all our family time. I am working on changing this, but it’s a slow process. Once I can get the work hours sorted out, I think I’ll have achieved what has been my goal all along – a work/life/family balance that really works.
I wish I had some good advice for people struggling with time management, struggling to get jobs done. I have ranted enough about people who are always “so busy” and look, to be honest, having a family, running a household, working a “real” job, finding time for yourself also…yes, life does get very busy. But I think that’s where setting your priorities comes in handy. To people who are always too busy to get things done I’d ask 4 questions:
1. How much time do you spend on FB/social media?
2. How much time do you spend watching TV?
3. What are your priorities?
4. How much help do you get? (I know women who are swamped with house duties and looking after several kids and get very little help from their Mr. This is probably a whole other blog post, really.)
I know personally I am ok with managing my time but even still could find an extra 20 hours in the week (at LEAST) if I cut back on TV and social media.
Someone once told me that if you really want something, you will find/make time for it. Perhaps people who never have enough time for things need to figure out what they really want, and get rid of what they don’t. The 3 weeks I spent off Facebook made me really realize that if I don’t check it every 10 minutes, it will still be there. If I miss a day on twitter, so what? If I only blog 2 times a week, so be it.
I think, at least I know for me, the key has been in figuring out my priorities, what is important to me. Health, family and happiness. And that’s what I spend my time on.