One of my goals for this year is to keep my work schedule to no more than 25 hours per week.
With two little ones, it's not practical for me to devote more time. I'd rather spend time with my girls and do fantastic work for a few projects than try to squeeze everything in.
The reality is I still have an income to earn so I have to choose my projects wisely.
If you're the same boat, let me show how I freed up some time in my tight schedule.
Finding Time for What Matters
Going on a new schedule is not going to be easy for me, but it'll be well worth it.
To create a realistic one (gotta pay those bills!) I needed to see my current schedule.
You can go the pen and paper route and keep a journal to track your schedule.
Are you more of a tech person? Use apps like RescueTime to do the work for you.
Once you log in, you simply tell them what activities are productive and which ones are for fun.
Reviewing and Reflecting
At the end of the week, sit down and review the results.
Just like a budget, I was shocked at how I was spending. It wasn't what I thought. It wasn't a huge chunk, but rather it was a ton of small distractions – surfing the web, checking out Netflix, and trying to tame the inbox.
Knowing how I was spending my time help me cut out the unnecessary and made me think about what I really wanted to keep.
It was time to start brainstorming ideas on how to fix things and that meant answering questions.
The goal not to super optimize and make every moment about being productive. We're looking for ways to make the most of our time in terms of impact with your quality of life.
Some questions that may help you sort things include:
- Is there a way to be more efficient with my time? I found that blocking out time to catch up on reading allowed me to batch my social media shares. I also turned off notifications for certain tasks. It's made things less stressful.
- Can I drop some things from my schedule? It is incredibly easy to fill up your day with a ton of tasks. Being busy can give us a false sense of productivity. Test things out by skipping out on stuff.
- Can I delegate or hire someone to handle stuff? I totally understand wanting to keep tabs on everything, but sometimes you can do so much more by letting someone else handle it.
After some trail and error, I got my work schedule ready to go. It's not perfect, but I'm so happy to try it out.
Thoughts on Finding Time That Matters
Have you ever struggled with finding time to not only take care of your essentials, but to enjoy life?