Is busyness taking control of your life? Here are 10 Time Saving Tips for Even the Busiest of People:
Don’t Wear Your Busyness Like A Badge of Honor.
How often do you hear colleagues or friends talk about how busy they are? Do you find yourself comparing your level of busyness with theirs? Sometimes it seems like a competition for the “busiest badge,” a dubious honor. The actual winner is the person who can best manage her schedule and activities and who can find time for fun, relaxation, and self-care.
Avoid Stress Carriers.
We all have “stress carriers” in our lives. They are easy to recognize. You tense up when they appear, and are relieved when they move on. Or you may find yourself puzzled by how you ended up with one of their tasks or assignments. They are experts in manipulating others into doing their bidding. Try to avoid these people whenever you can, and steel yourself against their manipulation.
Learn to Say “No” Quickly and Without an Explanation.
Women particularly have trouble saying “no” without trying to justify or apologize for their decision. This approach gives others an opening to convince you or to make you feel guilty enough to say “yes.” Simply saying, “Sorry, but I can’t,” or “No, not this time,” closes off further discussion.
Step Back from Activities that No Longer Hold Meaning for You.
Periodically, do an assessment of your volunteer activities. Are you on community or school boards that take up big chunks of time, but are no longer particularly satisfying? Are you bored with a yoga group or some other social activity? If so, plan your exit. Hold firm when other members try to convince you to stay engaged.
Avoid the Rug Syndrome.
You may be a kind and helpful person, but that doesn’t mean you should let people walk all over you or take advantage of you. If you spend time on the tasks of others, you have less time for your own chores. The next time someone asks for your assistance, stop and consider the request more carefully. (You may want to review number three above.)
Recognize that Competency Has its Punishments.
There is an old saying, “If you want something done, ask a busy woman to do it.” Everyone knows how competent you are, and they take advantage of that knowledge. Be certain that you don’t buy into such sentiments. Yes, you may be able to do a task faster and better than someone else in the group but that does not mean you should take it on. Every task, no matter how small, requires an outlay of time.
Try to Keep Things off your To-Do List.
Many of us live by our lists, and they can encourage us or overwhelm us. If at all possible, try to keep things that require only a few minutes from ever getting on your to-do list. Make that appointment or pay that bill or answer that email quickly. Don’t let small tasks expand your list unnecessarily.
Avoid the “We’ve Always Done it This Way,” Syndrome.
We often get caught up in family traditions or activities that have lost some of their lusters. Yes, your mother always prepared home-made mashed potatoes for holiday dinners. That doesn’t mean you have to do the same. Substituting from the deli section of the grocery store will be just fine. Think about traditions that no longer serve your purpose, and restructure or eliminate them.
Include Yourself in Your Circle of Caring.
We all have a circle of family members, friends, and others we care about. These individuals require thought, time and energy, and you feel responsible, at least partially, for their well-being. The question is, do you have a place in that circle? Self-care isn’t just a slogan. It’s a necessity. Don’t be so busy that you neglect yourself. In fact, there may be times when you need to put yourself right in the center of your circle of care.
Recognize that Time is A Commodity.
You only have so many hours each week, 168 to be exact. Let’s assume your job and commuting take up 50 of them. Sleep should require another 56. Personal hygiene adds 10 or so. That leaves about 50 hours for other tasks and activities – the equivalent of a workweek. Guard this time.
Do you have any time saving tips of your own that were not mentioned above? Please share them with us in the comments section below!