Four of the biggest time wasters are lack of priorities, failure to plan, procrastination, and interruptions. Without direction and focus, our productivity takes a dive. Procrastination I learned, is really another name for laziness in the Bible. The biggest distraction that interrupts our day is probably social media. How do we manage these aspects of our lives? Good question.
Do you plan ahead each day to maximize your fruitfulness or do you just let life happen? I confess I’ve been guilty of just letting life happen, but this week’s chapter, “Shopping for Time” in Shopping for Time by Carolyn Mahaney, gave me the motivation to re-start putting “first things” first on two levels.
One, I need to remember that people, mainly my little people, are more important than tasks. A couple of times this week my 5 year-old son has graciously reminded me, “Mom, is that more important than me right now? No!” That question cracks me up because usually, when he is trying to enlist my help with some peacemaking opportunity with his siblings, “that” is me on the computer trying to jot down a thought for my blog, or checking up on social media, while chaos is blowing up in the other room. Their little souls are more important than something posted on Facebook, clean dishes, clean floors, and folding laundry. There will always be social media, more dishes, dirty floors and unfolded laundry, but my little people won’t always be here. They won’t always be as open and malleable or want my instruction. Now is the time to invest in them in the daily littles of life.
Two, I need to pick one or two tasks to prioritize for the day and record them on my daily planner. (See my fabulous daily household planner here.)You are 90% more successful at accomplishing your goals if you write them down. Planning when you are going to accomplish certain tasks helps you to complete them more efficiently. For example, when I schedule specific time for email and social media, it keeps me from squandering random bits of time here and there on the internet.
I am a professional procrastinator. I even wrote my master’s thesis on it. It took me 10 years to complete what should have taken one. (That debacle is another story for another time). For example, my priority for today is to go down to the County Recorder’s Office because I didn’t order my second and third child’s birth certificate in a timely manner. Each year the price has gone up. Lesson learned….again.
Next Monday: Putting the First One first.
Please Comment: What area were you challenged to change this week?