Friday, 16 October 2015


In my two previous posts (linked at the bottom) I spoke about how I want to refocus my time so that I can do other things. So yesterday I was more purposeful. Even so, I spent more time than I wanted doing some things, leaving less time for others. So this morning I decided to do things different! And here I will tell you how to do what you need and still have time for fun!  

A couple of years ago I found a technique to manage my time more effectively and it worked well. I haven't used it for a while but I decided it would be useful for the changes I am trying to make and if you like making lists this might work for you too.
This is how it works: 
  • Set a timer for 2 minutes. Go!
  • Write down everything that you want/need to do.
Now a word of advice here: I'm not talking bucket list, dream holidays (unless you plan to book or pack!) but things that you NEED or you want to do that day. Things like paying bills, meeting a deadline, making appointments or plans, household chores.... the list might not all look fun (though I hope yours is!) but sometimes things need to be done whether we want to or not! And a note of caution. If you are like me you will try and delay or avoid some of these but they don't go away (unless you pay someone else to do the ironing, sort out your accounts, or manage other parts of your life for you that is)!  Of course there may be some ways you can save time, like online shopping and paying bills, but even if you do have someone do your ironing, you may still have to drop your pile off. Write it all down! And remember, you only have 2 minutes! Don't think to much. It's not meant to be neat. Just write! Then:

  • Set the timer for another 2 minutes. Go!
  • Prioritise things on your list. Number them. 

What is most important/urgent?  These go first! Optional things go last. Is anything a distraction from things that need doing?  Can you cross this off or put it at the bottom?  Then:
  • Set the timer for another 2 minutes. Go!
  • Allocate time for each of these. It will form a plan for your day. I work in 15 minute blocks but obviously some tasks will need an hour or even more.  Then make any changes as needed.
For example, let's say you have a tooth ache and put off making an appointment because you have a fear of the dentist. But you know you need to go!  How could you get the help you need to arrange this?  Ask a friend to go with you? Seek a dentist who is understanding?
If you need to do something in order to make the appointment add this to your list. 
Of course this is just an example. And remember, what we sometimes  find difficult might be easy for someone else. They might be able to give the support we need or help find a solution. So ask for help or advice if you need to, from a friend, family member or someone else who might know. Even a professional if necessary. 
Be realistic with time. Giving yourself one hour to check emails and social media might be ample/not enough. But do not over estimate. For me, having allocated time for each task helps me to remain focused. I know if I can work through the necessities there will be time for other things I want to do. 
If you are pressed for time, can something be crossed off your list or rescheduled til tomorrow/next week? 
Or if you have time to spare can you include something that you would like to do? Something that you enjoy - or perhaps more of something else?  Then once you have allocated time and got a plan:


  • Set your timer for the allocated time. Do not get distracted. Just focus on the task you set yourself.
  • When the time is up move on to the next thing on the list. If this is not possible (let's face it, unexpected difficulties might crop up!)set the timer again but remain focused. If possible, take off something at the bottom of the list and carry it over to next time, depending on how urgent it is. And if you finish before the allocated time have a cup of tea OR move on to the next thing on the list.
Once more synchronicity showed itself yesterday, when I received an email from The Business Bakery. I directed me to a post about 'why it is fabulous to realise that you will never have enough time to do everything'! Go here to read for yourself! Don't you just love when someone acknowledges what you already know?!  And look at No. 9 on the list of ways Julia Bickerstaff said she planned to make change:

'I’m going to stop wasting time scrolling through
Facebook and instead I’m going to do things that matter'.

Yay!!  Someone else who has wasted time on Facebook! Julia writes from a business perspective but making a list of ways you what to make change will work for all of us.  Whether you want more time to spend with family or friends, or blogging, gardening, organising your life, de-cluttering, or doing the things you love, making lists can be helpful and provide focus. So, I hope my technique for prioritizing and allocating time is helpful. It works for me because knowing I have a set amount of time keeps me motivated and focused. But I am not a slave to the plan. If I need to make small adjustments or cross something off the list I don't get stressed or upset. I accept I can only do what I can and providing I have remained focused I feel a sense of achievement. I always include something on my list to look forward to. 

And I might start another list following Julia's idea: 20 ways how I am going to change the way I work.  I've made a start. And it's feeling good! 

At the start I mentioned my previous two posts. Here's the links if you missed these and want to find out more:


I've talked about how to do what you need and still have time for fun, and now it is time to press 'publish' because next on my list is getting messy with paper and glue. I have a sample book to make for a workshop, so thanks for popping by and I will be back tomorrow with another post as part of my 30 days Blogging Challenge.
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