3 Steps to a Lighter Calendar

Time Management Light CalendarDid you give your calendar a Spring Cleaning? It’s easy to get stuck in a time management rut when it comes to obligations that consume our day. Sometimes we end up doing things just because we’ve always done them, not because we get any enjoyment or useful result from our actions. This week, I challenge you to give your calendar a good purging. You only need three steps:

1. List Out Your Activities

Sometimes we don’t realize how much we do until we list it all out in one place. Compile a list of all the things on your calendar. Include things like work, family commitments, networking groups, organizations you belong to, classes you attend, etc… Next to each activity, list the realistic time commitment it requires. For example, if you attend an hour long yoga class once a week, your realistic time requirement might be 2 hours when you factor in travel and shower time.

2. Look for the Results

What do you get out of each activity? The answer might be anything from “a paycheck” to “enjoyment” or “fitness.” If the “What do I get out of this?” question is difficult to answer, consider whether that activity has overstayed its welcome on your calendar. Our priorities and needs shift over time. If an activity is no longer providing enough of a benefit for the time you put in, why does it still take up valuable space in your schedule?

3. Find the Least Important

We assume that we’re only supposed to cut unimportant events from our calendars, but sometimes we complete an activity inventory and everything still seems important. In this case, you have to find activities that are least important, or least important right now. Just because you want to do something doesn’t mean you have time to do it. Life requires choices and stretching yourself too thin diminishes your enjoyment of the other things on your schedule.

Make re-assessing your priorities a regular habit so activities don’t linger on your calendar longer than they remain useful and worth it!

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Photo Credit: Freedigitalphotos.net

3 Tips for Speedy Spring Cleaning

TIme Management Spring CleaningI hate spring cleaning, so when we begin that yearly chore, I want it done fast. Try these three tips to streamline your efforts and get rid of that dust and dirt as efficiently as possible.

1. Tackle Clutter First

It’s really hard to clean your counters and closets when there are piles of junk in the way. Your massive cleaning spree will go much faster if you get rid of the clutter first. Put two large bins in the middle of the room: one for trash and one for donations.

For me, it’s hard to motivate myself to take a trip down to the thrift store to donate one or two items, but if I have a whole car full of stuff, that’s a different story! Have a hard time parting with things? Rather than asking yourself, “Will I ever use this again?” ask yourself, “Is it worth taking up space in my house on the off chance I will need this in 5 years?

2. Pack Your “Toolbox”

Once you begin your cleaning adventure, it’s most efficient to methodically tackle one room at a time. Instead of cleaning all the mirrors in the house, then all the doors, then all the sinks, pack all of your cleaning materials in a cleaning caddy and carry it with you from room to room.  Once you finish a room, close the door and move on to the next. Seeing that one room is done is motivation to start the next one.

3. Start With the Most Noticeable Room

Results inspire us to keep working. Start with the room you use the most so you’ll see the most dramatic and immediate impact from your efforts. For us, that means tackling the kitchen. Once the kitchen is clean, the whole house feels more organized and I feel motivated to keep going. There is nothing worse than spending the whole afternoon cleaning, and then looking around to see  that it didn’t seem to make much difference!

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Photo credit: Freedigitalphotos.net