Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Maximize the Minutes

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Here is the Meeting Summary from Saturday 24th, 2011.

In the meeting room last week we talked about different ways that we can maximize our minutes. We started by looking at what we are already doing to make it easier for us to stay on plan. We are not able to create more time, but we are able to plan and prioritize so that we can stick to the plan.

Gayle Reading, a time management consultant from Miami, who runs private and corporate workshops and for the last ten years has specialized in streamlining work schedules for women juggling careers and family. "Unfortunately, being chronically busy is a fast track to burn-out. That's why people come to me - to have someone give them permission to make simple lifestyle changes to get more time to themselves."

Sound appealing? Here are some of Reading's tips that will help you add an hour to every day:

In the morning:
- Get up earlier and go for a walk, so your evening is free to relax after work.
Buy groceries for tonight's dinner on your way to work, rather than on the way home - the store will be less crowded.
- Put in a load of wash and get your partner to help you hang it out. When you get home, it will be done.
- Clean one room before you go to work - by the weekend the housework will be done.
- Spend fifteen minutes soaking in an aromatherapy bath before the kids are awake. "You won't oversleep any more because you'll look forward to getting out of bed," says Reading.

In transit (on the bus or train):
- Write birthday cards or letters.
- Read the newspaper (and skim the headlines) or listen to a talking book.
- Work out your day's schedule.

At work:
- Take breaks - go for a walk or head to the park for lunch - you'll work far more effectively all afternoon.
- Ring ahead to check whether your doctor is running on time.
- Make a "to do" list: "Then number each task in order of importance," says Reading. "Tackle the biggest most taxing job first and you'll feel more energized all day."
- Stop being a perfectionist. "Learn where to cut corners and set times within which to complete tasks," Reading advises.

At night:
- Grab your cordless phone and pay bills by credit card while you stir the minestrone.
- Use your answering machine to screen calls and avoid unnecessary interruptions that eat into your night.
- Get a friend or relative to pick up the kids from baseball practice. Then do the same for them next week.
- While cooking, clean as you go.
- Let it go. "Remember, nobody has ever died from an untidy house," says Reading. "Whereas overwork has been proven to lead to chronic fatigue, cancer, ulcers and heart attacks."

On weekends:
- Delegate jobs like unloading the dishwasher to your partner and kids.
- Food shop outside peak-hours so you don't waste time in lines. Reading suggests you: "Organize a buddy system with a friend, where you buy her groceries one week and she gets yours the next."
- Cook in bulk and freeze the leftovers.
- Say no to social engagements every Friday night. "Then make a date with your partner, even if you just dress up and enjoy a candlelit dinner at home - you'll feel like you've pampered yourself," says Reading.

In summary....
Analyze your day. (Look for pockets of time)
Set priorities. (What would help you be successful today?)
Enlist help from others (Ask for help!).
Have a plan for the entire day.
Use the Plan-Friendly Shopping List on e Tools
Make an “appointment” for exercise or look for opportunities to move more.
Prepare additional food while cooking for future meals or freezing.

6 comments:

-J.Darling said...

Randy Pausch said something like that in his book - The Last Lecture (amazing book btw!).
Something like, "Time, like money, must be managed down to the minute".
It's so true! By making more down time doing little things, you just might find that you save money AND sanity! I started taking the bus to and from work, even though I had a car. I found that it took away the drive-through or "snack on the way home" temptation (since you can't eat or drink on the bus) AND it made time for me to crack a book, or catch up with friends on the phone, while letting someone else worry about the driving. :) felt great to do something good for the environment, AND my wallet!

gotjoy3 said...

Great tips. I like the idea of cleaning one room a day. Thanks for sharing.

Sarah With Love said...

This has come at the most perfect timing for me so thank you.
Im struggling terribly at the moment with timing and doing things, even though i seem to have all time in the world on my hands at the moment.
But making me time for everything is whats important and I love the idea of planning day in the morning in transit!

Cindy said...

Love the cleaning idea! If I just didn't have a three year old who will wake up :(

Melissa said...

Great ideas!
I like the tip of planning each day, it is so helpful to make a "to do" list!

Melissa said...

Thanks for all of the great ideas!
I like the idea of planning each day,
and working on a "to do" list.

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