If you’ve ever been to New York, specifically walked the streets of Manhattan, you will immediately notice everyone is rushing around, seemingly clueless as to where they are going. Typical of major cities, visitors always ask, “Where is everyone running to?”
Actually, the question should be, “Why is everyone in such a hurry?” It’s all about time. She’s late for lunch; he’s going to miss the train or bus home; we’ll be late for dinner. No one ever stops to think about the amount of time wasted worrying about it.
The realization that proper planning is the key to saving time has somehow eluded us. . Especially as we women over 40 seem to have more and more to do. So here are some tips to get positive results:
Make a daily list of things to do, appointments to keep, and so on.
Don’t Be Late
If you have an appointment, leave an hour earlier. Together with traffic delays and phone call interruptions, you’ll have plenty of time to arrive at your destination.
Throw Perfectionism out the Window
If you have an important engagement, wedding or other function to attend; don’t waste so much time over the minor things which will cause you to be late. You know the old saying, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” It happens to be true. Conversely, if you expect company for the holidays, don’t freak out because your kitchen floor isn’t spotless. No one cares but you. Friends are coming to your home to see you, not the floor.
If you’ve started a home project, but you have to pick up a friend at a certain time; drop what you are doing and go. If that doesn’t work, have your friend call you every 15 minutes until you’ve left the house.
Don’t Be Afraid to Say, “Sorry, I Can’t.”
Perhaps you are working on a project at work, and you must leave on time to pick up your children this particular day. Your boss asks if you can stay an extra hour. You feel torn about saying no for fear you may upset your boss. Stop! You are a hard worker; you’re very efficient, and you’ve always been there when your boss needed you.
It’s time to think of you. Simply say, “Sorry, I can’t today.”
First on the List
When making a list of things to do, begin with the most important item first. Then prioritize the rest as you complete your list. Speaking of To-Do Lists – here are some tips on how to do them for effectively:
So lets say that you’re on the way to the supermarket. As you approach the first aisle, you reach in your coat pocket to find the shopping list. It’s not there. Scouring through your purse yields no results. Most of us typically make little notes or lists, and seem to misplace them.
There is so much going on in our lives, the tendency to forget becomes a frequent occurrence. To avoid this annoyance in the future, here are some tips on how writing effective to-do lists can save you time and stress.
- Gather all of the scraps of paper from wherever you’ve placed them, and set them down on the kitchen table. By using either a yellow legal pad; date book; notebook; or anything large enough which cannot be misplaced, transfer everything you’ve written on the scraps of paper to any one of these notebooks or pads. If you prefer, you can attach sticky notes inside items as well.
- Separate the to-do list by category; shopping; appointments, and things to do today. As each item is completed, cross it off. This will allow you to keep everything you need in one place; and save valuable time later on.
- Place two large magnetic clipboards on your refrigerator; one for your grocery list and one for your daily tasks. As you run out of items, write it down. Transfer the list to your book the night before you go to the supermarket. On the daily task board, begin a to-do list for those projects which need to be done around the house. Assign tasks to family members as well by writing the task with their name next to it.
- Use your daily calendar, which can be purchased as a monthly or weekly guide, for appointments and to-do lists. There is a telephone and address section at the back which can be used for doctors, dentists, and important information which you can access immediately.
- Try to get out of the habit of writing things down on bits of paper. Once lost, you’ll be hard pressed to remember what you wrote down. In addition, write clearly. Sometimes we are in such a hurry we tend to use anagrams or codes. Ensure what you record is readable, in case someone else has to check an item for you.
Writing effective to-do lists are vital tools which, when used properly, can allow you to accomplish tasks you have schedule for the day, remove the stress, and keep everything on track. Just as you have an address book, you can utilize several books to be used for family medical information, pet records, home projects, and anything else you require to keep your daily life sufficiently organized.
Time is important to everyone. It is a basic and important component in how we conduct our business; our lives, and even our free time. It should not be wasted nor squandered; but used for preparing our daily routines; our work habits; and our family responsibilities.