Saturday, 3 December 2011

Intro and Right to the Point

I have been thinking about this blog for years. I think at least four. As usual, time was my struggle. It still is, but somehow I am overflowing with things I want to write about. Without further a due, I want to talk about time management.

In reality, we all have the same amount of time. Yep, 24 hours in a day, 365 days per year. The thing is, I decided to be fab and young, and maybe do some crazy things now. Yes, even with small children, a husband (we are common law, but what's the difference?), a full-time job, two personal businesses, hobbies, etc. And did I mention a house full of chores screaming at me every day to get completed? The point is to do it all now or soon. Because something is telling me that I will regret it if I don't. When else? When I will have to babysit my grandchildren and feel too old to show up at a salsa club? When I would actually have money to do luxury things like travelling around the world?

I have read and heard many ideas on time management. For me, a fab mama and wife, it boils down to simple actions. Yes, actions, and not thinking about how you don't have enough time. Here they are, in no particular order:

1. I plan my whole week on Sunday. This includes actually writing down in my handy purse sized Poppy weekly planner from Chapters WHEN I will go to gym (on this in later posts), activities with our daughter D, meal ideas for at least three days, our weekly date night (even at home), hobby time, etc.

2. I cook five out of seven days. For dinner, I always make sure to make double to have enough leftovers left for lunch. One day is almost always dinner at family or friends' place, one day is lazy day. This day includes pre-made  pelmeni, vareniki, home-made pizza (not real cooking for me), sushi, or maybe even going out. I always make breakfast on Sunday morning. We usually have time and it brings family together.

3. I pack D's snack for school and work lunches in the evening and put everything in lunch bags in the fridge. That way, I just grab and go in the morning.

4. I get up 1 hour before we have to leave house in AM. Everything is planned. Yes, even outfits. My morning face cleaning/brushing and prepping routine is 10-15 minutes max. Sorry, can't go to work without makeup. Concealer (only spots where needed), powder, bronzer/blush, and alternate either eyeliner or mascara, lipgloss or cherry Chapstick to protect lips (winter only). Ta-da, that's it. Hair - sorry, only 1 minute. If it takes longer, I am doing something wrong.

5. I have inspiration board where I write my goals and "how to's"of our family for 1, 3, 5, and 8 years. The scariest goals are 8 year ones - because oh my, my daughter D will be 13! I also track our progress against our goals. We are committed to make them happen. But writing this all down is so crucial. Studies show that those who have written goals with actions and progress tracking achieve significantly better results.

6. I do all of our banking on-line. All statements are electronic, what a time and environment saver. I also buy more items on-line with free delivery to my home.

7. My spill-proof Via Starbucks mug (thanks to Christmas gift from my honey) is a time saver when life is so on-the-go. I just pour tea or hot chocolate.

8. My automatic car starter (so worth it) saves my valuable morning time and our daughter's nose in the cold days. Plus less ice/snow scraping = more time.

9. We purposely do not sign up for cable TV. No TV (rather flipping channels) = more time doing something useful. And the elimination of hefty $50+ a month service saves bucks too. Our solutions are on-line channels, YouTube, movies on-demand (when really craving).

10. I periodically read books on how to improve and be more efficient. One of my recent favourites is "Life's Too Short to Fold Fitted Sheets" by Lisa Quinn. The book is a wickedly funny guide that helps women create the life they want without all the hard labour and without compromising style. 

Do you have your own time savers?

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