Check the index for more organizing and time management articles.
Time for Some Schedule Cleaning?
Reviewing the Ways You Use Your Time
Just as some of us feel an almost instinctual urge to clean out the closets and scrub the kitchen when warmer spring weather comes around, this part of the year can be a good time to do some "spring cleaning" on your schedule, too. After all, just like our closets, our calendars can easily become clogged with activities and responsibilities that we do not need, or did not realize we had left there in the first place.
That might sound a bit improbable, at first. Of course you know what sort of things are on your schedule on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. But do you really? When was the last time you took a good, hard look at the ways you use your time and decided to eliminate few of the "extras?"
Now is the perfect time to take that look. Here are some good places to start:
Make the tough calls. A lot of us are holding onto old priorities that do not make sense in our lives anymore. Maybe you penciled in a conference you heard about in December that does not make sense to attend now, or signed up for a weekly networking event that is not turning out to be as productive as you had hoped. These are just a couple of quick examples, but the truth is that there could be literally thousands of similar examples in your life. Now that spring is here, it is time to clear out the time-wasters and move on.
Stop disappointing yourself. If you have a goal or activity that you consistently are not getting to or managing, then it is just taking up space on your schedule – it is probably dragging down your mood and self-esteem. A classic example might be a morning exercise class at your local gym. You are so exhausted from your workday that you can’t drag yourself out of bed at 5 a.m. to attend, but you keep it on your schedule because you think you should. Every day, you see it and feel disappointed. That is not good for anyone, so scratch it from your list, find something that is more realistic for you, and then move on.
Clean out the junk. We all have bad habits, and spring is a good time to cut some of them out. Often, these serve double-duty as both time-wasters and bad habits all in one. For instance, most smokers would like to quit because of the health benefits, but cutting back would also save them nearly an hour a day. Or, maybe you know you should be watching your reality shows at night and getting to bed a bit earlier. Whatever it is, this could be a great chance to cut out some of the bad habits in your life – the junk in your schedule – and replace it with something better.
Leave a bit for yourself. It is just as important to have some "me" time during the day, whether it is a few minutes or a few hours to do something you really enjoy. Even though you should be looking to cut out bad habits, to the degree that they are affecting your life, relationships, or productivity, there is not much point in working if you do not have things to look forward to. So, as you do some trimming and adjusting to your schedule, make sure to leave some time for the things you truly enjoy, even if they are not helping you advance your career or change the world. Sometimes, you just have to make the effort to give yourself a bit of a break, and trust that it will make you a healthier, more resilient person in the long run… because it will.
If you would like to jumpstart your office organizing efforts and
add to your time management skills, we can help!
On Your Own: books and CDs to work at your