This week’s post is short and to the point because frankly I am a little short on time right now probably just like you. So if you are looking for some useful quick tips to help you better manage your time here are 5 suggestions I use ALL the time.
Set Up an Inbox
Do you have an inbox set up to collect mail, papers, and requests from the family? If not, then get one set up STAT. All you need is a simple empty no lid box set up CENTRALLY in your home where everyone can find it and add things to it easily. Teach your family to add their papers from school, mail, and notes to the inbox and then make it a habit of processing everything in the inbox every day.
Keep an On-Going Grocery List
If you keep an on-going grocery list throughout the week and get into habit of adding things to it as soon as you realize you need them, this will save you from making multiple runs to the grocery store each week. For this to work effectively, the list has to be posted somewhere centrally in the kitchen where everyone can see it and where everyone can add things easily. Teach your family to get into the habit of adding things they need and when they forget, don’t bail them out.
Learn the 2 Minute Rule
The 2 minute rule is if something can be done in 2 minutes or less, do it rather than add it to your task list. Made popular by David Allen in his book Getting Things Done, this rule can help tremendously. The key with making this time hack work is to make sure tasks can actually be done in 2 minutes or less. Some tasks appear to be short little tasks when in reality they actually end up taking much longer. Here are a few examples where I find the 2 minute rule to be an actual 2 minutes:
- Responding to emails that only require SHORT responses and in which I already know how I want to respond
- Signing MOST papers, permission slips, and notes that come home in my kids’ backpacks.
- Changing the empty toilet paper roll (because frankly if I don’t do it no one else will….)
- Sorting through the mail
Identify Your Top 3 Priorities Each Week
When you take time to identify your top 3 priorities each week, you will find yourself much more focused and less scattered. This will help alleviate the feeling of being overwhelmed and will help you get more things done. And if you really want to make this work, try blocking off time on your calendar for your top 3 and then honoring that time!
Create a Planning Calendar
Not sure what your top 3 priorities should be? Then create a Planning Calendar to help you stay focused and stay ahead. I use a simple Word document. Nothing fancy, just very functional. Here is a shot of a piece of mine, so that you can get the idea.
And there you have it. These 5 things I have incorporated into my systems and use them regularly to help keep us organized and focused.