What comes to your mind when you think of time management hacks?
Probably habits like
- getting up early
- making lists
- using a planner or scheduling apps
I like to think of time as currency.
We are all given the same budget: 24 hours in a day, and 168 hours in a week.
Obviously, everyone doesn’t produce the same return on their investment!
It’s possible to be very busy living, but not necessarily living productively.
Imagine that someone gave you one hundred dollars to spend on your wardrobe.
- You could shop the new arrivals at a department store and buy an item or two.
- Or, you could hit the clearance racks, or even visit a consignment or thrift store, and go home with a few bags of clothes instead of a few items.
That would be getting the most bang out of your budget.
Time is like that.
We have a limited resource to spend every day, and then it’s gone.
The challenge is to make our time budget cover all the responsibilities, goals, and dreams in our life.
I guess you could say, we have to get frugal and creative with how we spend our time.
Today, I’m going to share my favorite ways to get the most out of the 24 hours a day, 168 hours a week.
Most time management hacks (getting up early, making lists, etc) haven’t worked for me in every season of life.
Sometimes, they just aren’t practical.
Other times, they cause more frustration than they’re worth! (Like trying to get up and crush goals when your kids are sick, or when you’re pregnant.)
The hacks I’m going to share with you in this post have worked for me in just about every season and role of my life:
- as a young mom with babies
- during pregnancies, moves, and other “survival” seasons
- as a busy homeschooling mom with five school-aged kids
- as a pastor’s wife
- as a mompreneur
These are not your usual time management hacks, but they work for this out-of-the-box woman! 🙂
Here are my top hacks for getting the best return out of your time budget:
We can spend one hundred dollars on a dress, or we can buy five dresses for one hundred dollars.
It’s all in how we approach it.
I’ve found that most tasks in life have a short cut. 🙂
Not a “cheap” short cut, but an efficient short cut.
When you cut the unnecessary from your life, you end up with more resources… like time.
Think about each of your responsibilities as a woman.
How can you simplify one thing in each of these areas?
Tip: If you can’t think of ways to simplify, ask a friend to help you.
Also, pay attention to the productive women in your life and watch how they manage their time.
Chances are, you can glean a lot simply by learning from other women.
A little confession: I love to delegate!
I guess it’s just part of the way my brain ticks, but I enjoy dreaming up ideas, making goals, then letting others come along beside me and run with part of the leg work.
The truth is, if you delegate wisely and surround yourself with people who share your vision, this simple habit will compound your efforts big time.
Please note: I’m not talking about pushing your work off on someone else.
That isn’t delegation, that’s laziness.
I believe that a wise woman will develop the skill of knowing how to identify people in her life who make up the slack in areas she’s not good at.
Delegation is simply allowing other people to take a piece of your project or responsibility, and use their skills to do it more quickly and efficiently than you could.
Think about a few areas that you really struggle in.
How could you wisely delegate part of this responsibility to someone else?
Tip: Wisely delegating will free up your time and talents to be put to better use!
Cultivate Rhythms and Habits
Habits chart our lives.
The sad thing is that so many times, we don’t even think about our habits.
We just react according to patterns and impulses.
Growing up, my family was pretty strict about money habits.
One habit that we never had was buying food and drink every time we went somewhere.
On road trips, you had better bring a snack and a drink, because Dad wasn’t about to spend a dime when we stopped to buy gasoline!
Now, I’m not saying that buying drinks and snacks on a road trip is a bad habit. But it’s something I thought about when I got married and began working with a small budget.
When you’re trying to get the most efficient result from a limited commodity, the little stuff adds up.
This same concept applies to the way we spend our time.
Efficient habits and intentional rhythms in our day will make our life so much more productive.
Take a few minutes to think about how you spent the last twenty-four to forty-eight hours.
What patterns do you see?
Tip: Think of at least one habit you can work on to start cultivating time-saving rhythms and routines.
Turn Off Distractions
We are bombarded with distractions and demands for our time and attention, perhaps more intensely than any other generation or culture.
Since we live in a high-tech and highly informed world, it’s up to us to learn how to manage it well.
For me, that means I have to be intentional about turning off distractions.
This is one of the reasons I’m super choosy about the kinds of apps I download on my smart phone.
As much as I enjoy social media, I find that’s it’s a huge distraction and time-killer unless I manage it carefully.
Obviously, social media isn’t the only thing that can pull away our focus.
What feels like a distraction will differ from person to person, so this has to be a very personal grid.
Honestly identify the things that distract you most from your responsibilities and goals on a daily basis.
Now, decide on a few practical ways you can “turn off” the distractions for at least part of your day.
Tip: You’ll enjoy more down time in your week if you don’t squander your energy on stuff that doesn’t matter.
Time Management for Every Season
I mentioned earlier in this post that some great time management tips just don’t work in every season of life.
Or maybe not for every personality.
Regardless if you love lists or hate early mornings, I’m pretty sure that the concepts in this post will help you budget your time and live productively.
Whether you’re single, a working mom, a stay-at-home mom, a ministry wife, or something else, your efforts can feel effective when you
- wisely delegate
- cultivate rhythms and habits
- turn off distractions
What’s your best time management hack?
What would you add to this list?
P.S. Want more inspiration for living well?
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