November 29, 2013

Juggling Your Schedule

We're all busy and now with the holidays it's about to get busier. My system for getting things done has got to be simple and convenient or I won't stick to it.

Here are four easy tips to help manage your time.

Write it Down:
The older I get and the busier I get, the more I forget. I keep a small spiral notebook with me and I keep it simple. Having scraps of paper here and there gets lost, so this keep everything in one spot. Because if I don't write it down when I think of it...I'll forget. Plus it feels good to cross off those to-do's. I keep sections: "HBG" (HollyByGollie), "Grocery Shopping", "Notes", "Ideas", "Everything Else". It travels with me in my purse, to my day job and sits on my beading table so I can jot down what supplies I need to reorder.  If it can wait, put it at the bottom of the list.

The Crock-Pot is my best friend. It is probably one of the best investments I've made in my kitchen. I'm up at 4:30 during the week and before I leave for my day job, that night's dinner goes into the crock-pot. There are thousands of recipes on the internet. When it comes to my lunch, I eat the same thing each day... pretty much. On Monday I take my lunch for the entire week in a lunch sack. I bring a bag or two of salad, tomatoes, avocados, dressing and a bag of frozen precooked chicken I keep in the office fridge/freezer. I assemble my salad each day and I don't have to scramble each morning to figure out what I'm going take for lunch. I also keep a few cans of soup and crackers at the office.

I hate cleaning, who doesn't? My house is not spotless or well organized. We have busy lives and I do the best I can. But I like the house to look at least half way decent. I've discovered it's easier to clean as I go rather than doing it all on Saturday. I keep a small refillable spray bottle full of Windex Multipurpose cleaner. Each morning when I'm done in the bathroom I spray down the counter and sink and wipe it down with the washcloth I used earlier then throw it in the hamper. I also keep a bottle in the kitchen. Speaking of the kitchen, if there are dishes in the sink I will wash whatever I have time to do before I leave for work and finish up later. Every little bit helps.

Some experts say only check email twice a day, morning and afternoon. That doesn't work for me. Email is my primary communication. However, things that can wait but do need to be addressed I mark with a red star (depending on your email program) or mark as "unread".  Stop saving those emails that you won't use within the next two weeks: Offers, updates, etc. Experts will also tell you to save emails you want to read for a later date. I find if I haven't read it within two weeks, I'm probably not going to.

These are just four areas of our lives, there are many many more, but this is a good start.