My Gift to You – More Time
If you read these articles, you are one of my favorite people and I owe you a nice gift. This year I will give you time:
1. Say no. Say yes to fun, to learning, to joy, to anything that makes your life better. Say no to everything else. Definitely say no to guilt. Saying no is one of your most powerful time savers. And the more you do it, the better you will get at it!
2. Let go of perfection. There is no perfectly decorated house, no perfectly made meal, no perfectly wrapped gift. Know when something is good enough and move on.
3. Know your real priorities. Is it more important to get the house decorated or spend time with your loved ones? Or practice your faith? Or advance your career? I don’t care what anyone says, you can’t have it all. You have to choose.
4. Delegate. Pay someone to clean your house or do the yard work. Get your baked goods from the store. Or swap chores with a friend – be creative. Kids need holiday money – hire the kid down the street to do something you don’t have time for. There’s no prize at the end because you did everything yourself. Remember even Martha Stewart went to jail.
5. Eat the frog. Do the task you’ve been putting off first thing. Mark Twain said, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” You’ll be surprised how much momentum eating the frog gives you. Could also call this eating the monkey because now it’s off your back.
6. Your kids will not die if they don’t participate in every activity known to man. Give it a rest.
7. Stop procrastinating. There is no mythical future ahead of you in which you are going to have loads of free time. Do it now or admit you will never do it.
8. Consider stress. When evaluating whether to do something or not, ask not “Is it possible to cram this in?” but “How much stress will it cause me to cram this in?” Sometimes it is simply not worth it. Remember the whole enjoy the journey thing? Smelling the roses and all? Again, there’s no prize because you managed to pick up the dry cleaning on your way home from the emergency room.
9. Am I doing the important things or am I just busy? We all have activities we like to do and activities that generate results. Know the difference and do the latter.
10. Sleep. Seems crazy I know, but if you’re exhausted, you make more mistakes, have less energy and are generally a crabapple. You’ll get more done if you are well rested. And people will like you more.
11. Remember that no one can waste your time without your permission. Even if you aren’t running a meeting you can keep it on track. You have the power to end a phone call or conversation.
12. Stop lying. Next time you find yourself saying, “I don’t have time…,” be honest. Say, “I choose not to….” You have time to do whatever you want. You are simply choosing to do other things.
13. (Gotta love the baker’s dozen!) Stay away from the black holes (hours on Facebook) and head toward the stars (real face time with those you love). Xoxoxo Denise