How I Organized My Life In Search Of More Weekend.

The bad news is time flies. The good news is you are the pilot.

Most weeks I devote up to ten hours a day to my career, so my weekends are very precious to me. I try to utilize weekday time for errands and chores as much as possible; I don’t want to lose those valuable weekends to cleaning and shopping. In order to accomplish this, I have learned I must stay organized, I must be willing to delegate tasks, and I must let go of the way I might do things, and accept that they can be done just as well, by someone else. That means absolutely no micro-managing!

♦ Stay Organized  ♦Delegate Tasks ♦ No Micro-Managing

I love telling people our towel story since it very clearly illustrates this struggle. We have all had those arguments, the ones that over time, have become endearing stories of undying love. Well ours is the towels. I like the towels folded in a certain way, so they fit nicely on the linen closet shelf, with the folded edge clearly in view. I can’t stand them to be left in the washing machine more than a few hours, or to have the dried towels left in the laundry basket unfolded. Hubby on the other hand could care less if he pulls the towel from the linen closet, the laundry basket, or even the floor. Therein lies the problem. We would fight over that laundry basket of towels, or because they didn’t get folded right! Over time, we realized, that basket of towels was not worth losing our marriage, so we compromised. The towels get folded, if I fold them, they are folded with the edge in view, and if hubby folds them, you see all the layers. But they get folded and put away! Task complete! Delegating tasks to someone else can sometimes be hard, but do you really want to spend all of your valuable time folding towels?

Time is a valuable asset that must be spent wisely.

We will be married thirty years this December and I am thankful that we didn’t let a piece of laundry come between us. Since we both work full time, we both pitch in around the house. Hubby will even take a list to the grocery store, although I seem to still decide what needs to be on the list. He says I am the queen of list making. The fact is, sometimes I can’t seem to get my thoughts together unless I write them down. I have transitioned many things to digital, but I still use a paper planner, and when all else fails, a sticky note affixed to my car’s GPS! I recently set up Alexa in the kitchen, so now we can both tell her to add things to the list. We also share a paper calendar on the front of our refrigerator so we don’t overlap our work trips. In fact, this past weekend, we were trying to find a Saturday to ride out to a barbeque joint I have been wanting to try for two years. Since it is only open on Saturdays, we just haven’t made it a priority, something always seems to override that trip. It hit me how valuable our time together is; we couldn’t find an open Saturday until June 29th! The funny thing is, now that it is officially on the calendar, we will actually go.

I love the jingle, “turn your to do, into to done” who’s jingle is that anyway? In order to keep up with my work tasks and not fall behind, I have embraced my Outlook calendar. I have a work calendar and a personal calendar. They both sync to my IPhone. I do still carry my paper planner with me, it helps me look at the big picture. I am able to better block out my time as needed, for work or play. I spent some time last year reviewing all the projects and tasks I am responsible for, and wherever I found a pattern, I entered that as a block of time in Outlook. I still utilize those blocks to this day. Since  I am better at analyzing data in the morning, I always block off that time before 2PM. 8-9AM is always reserved for email, voicemails and prioritizing my day. Where possible, I set meetings between 10-12 and 2-3 and I always block out my lunch hour. I like to feel like I have accomplished something at the end of each day, but some days I run out of time, before I complete the tasks at hand. Those carry over tasks still drive me crazy, but I have learned to prioritize. I use a simple A, B, C thought process. A items are due today, B items due this week and C items need to be finished by the end of the month. Of course there is always the fire drill that becomes a  ‘must do now’ task, usually when your boss needs something right away; it’s to be expected, and why they still sign my paycheck every week. I do love my outbox and I love when I can check something off the list as done!

A = TODAY B = THIS WEEK C = MONTH END

All of my efforts uncluttering my life have really paid off. I actually feel like I have more free time. I will continue to improve when and where I can. A work in progress always!

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