Have you heard this before: We all have the same 24 hours in a day?
I have and it drives me nuts. BUT, why?? Because I manage to fit in tons of stuff in my 24 hours and some can't do even half of what I do.
WELL, there is another side to this story that I always have to be mindful of. Some people have three children or more, they have to take them from one place to the next and sometimes at the exact same time and they might not necessarily have a support person or spouse to help them. They also may work two jobs and are spread thin.
In my case, I have two jobs, I have one child with special needs and I have to juggle his time with me around my custody arrangements with his dad. What I used to do before, I don't necessarily do now when I have my son because I want to spend as much quality time with him before he decides that he needs to be dropped off all over town for this or that. ;)
Even with this, I still manage to fit in tons of things into my days, weeks, months. I have the same 24 hours that everyone else has – HOWEVER, I manage my time. I organize it and I prioritize the things I need to get done daily.
Do you know how to manage your time? Do you not know where you need to be and find yourself late for just about everything and that you might be spinning your wheels trying to remember where you need to be next? If so, it's time to get organized. By being organized and using what you have to help remind you where you need to be and when, you will find that some things will be a little bit easier. You'll free up some of your other time you spent trying to figure out whether you were coming or going and you'll be able to maybe enjoy a good book, or a bath, or dinner sitting down and not on the run.
Reducing your stress level, you'll ensure that you will be healthier. Stress is a major factor in health issues among many. When you are stressed because you have to be here, there or everywhere, you are giving yourself unnecessary health problems. Organizing your days into a planner or using your smart phone might take some extra time in the beginning but in the end will reduce guessing games and you losing extra brain cells from trying to figure it all out!
How do you get organized? You need to know what works best for you! Are you a writer or an electronic geek? Do you prefer to have everything on your computer/phone or do you need a real live planner to open and touch and look at?
Once you figure that out you can take it from there. I've attached a picture of a week in my ONLINE calendar! I use Gmail! I LOVE IT! I can access this calendar right on my phone and also from my computer, or for that matter, ANY computer. You'll notice that I have everything color coded. I only did my evening schedule because my day time schedule is just basically me working. Boring!!!
Before I went electronic, I used a planner. I color coded that planner to death! Everything had a color. Anything related to my child was in orange. Anything related to my personal life was in pink (now in teal on my online calendar). And so on and so on. You get the picture right?
Anyway, I also type in reminders to come to me via email since I can get them on my phone. I will get a reminder that I have to be somewhere in plenty of time. If you want a reminder sent to you the day before, you can do that, too. For the school's late start days, I have it set to remind me around 6 p.m. the night before so I can plan accordingly. If you need to know what you are doing tomorrow, you can set it up to get reminders the night before with no problem.
Now, if you are on a hand written planner, all you have to do is LOOK at it each night before bed or when you wake up in the morning depending on how your brain works. I need to know the night before. I know people that need to know the morning of because they can't function that well at night. Find what works best for you and plan accordingly.
Once you are all set up in your system, whether you are on paper or electronically, the key is to always keep it up. When you are at the dentist office and they make your next appointment in six months, put it in your planner immediately or in your phone. Set up the reminders right there and in literally two minutes you are done. If not less.
Spending time on trying to figure out what you need at the grocery store is a waste of time. Going to the grocery store with a list saves tons of time, doesn't it? This is the same thing... spend time to write your "list" or schedule now, because when it comes down to it in the end, you'll be managing your time much more efficiently and you won't be stressed out as much as you were before.
Do you have the same 24 hours as I do? Yes, you do! Do you use it wisely or are you spinning your wheels trying to get it all done and not know where you are, when you are going there or how to get there? Time management is the KEY!!!
I just wanted to add what I do on a regular basis as I am involved in many things. I am self employed, work a part time job during the day, have a child in middle school that is no longer bused, therefore I need to take him to school and pick him up (that's new to me this year as he was bused every year before now), am on the Relay For Life of Dearborn Planning Committee (fourth year on committee, fifth year involved with Relay), an appointed member of the Wayne County Parent Advisory Committee (special ed), a parent advocate for children with special needs, a member of the Dearborn Rotary Club and serving on the Board of Directors, serving on the Board of Directors for the American Red Cross Southeast Michigan Blood Services, Michigan PTA Field Service for Dearborn and a Board of Director, Dearborn PTA Council President, Dearborn Special ED PTA President, currently serving my second year on the City Beautiful Commission, I actively help with political campaigns in the city and I assist in many other community activities throughout the year such as the Dearborn Goodfellows paper drive, boxing night and delivering presents to children on Christmas Eve among many other things.
The ONLY way I can get it all done is by prioritizing and planning and using my color coded calendar! ;) It has made my life a lot easier!
I hope this helps you get organized and less stressed!