Stop the Time Suckers

Who doesn’t want to make better use of their time? We all have those silent time suckers that we don’t really think about, but all of us waste time every day. How can you can get a handle on it?  Here are some tips for you to make better use of your time and stop the time suckers.

It may sound boring, but you really have to set some goals for yourself first. Even if you start at a high level (more time with family, more exercise, etc.), just writing down some goals will give you a good start. Pick one and then break it down until you get to a daily goal. Start with one at a time for best results.

Most of us have a general idea of how much time we spend every day on regular tasks. Would you be surprised to find out that we are usually way off? We tend to think smaller tasks take longer, and generally underestimate how long it really takes for larger tasks. It really helps if you can get some accurate data around the actual time you spend doing things. Jot down how long your regular tasks are taking you to accomplish. Do this daily for about a week. You may be surprised that washing dishes doesn’t take as long as you thought, but making your shopping list takes much longer. Once you have a better idea of how time is being spent, you can budget your time and plan accordingly.

 

You can start making a plan for daily, weekly or monthly tasks. Use a paper or electronic calendar- whatever will work for you. You don’t have to stick to a strict schedule, but you want to have a general and realistic plan of what you can get done in set amount of time. If you think of something when you are running around, jot it down or put it in your phone so you can remember later and schedule time for it. You want to be flexible, but try to set a realistic start time that you can stick to- that way the rest of your day won’t be so pinched.

 

Even though it can be hard, you can learn how to prioritize. We tend to think every task is important and must be done right away. This is not possible. We can’t do everything at once.

Start with eliminating things you really don’t have to do. There are some things, such as paying bills or buying groceries, that we absolutely have to do. Set your priorities and work on the big things that MUST get done. The next layer would be important items that you have some time to work on. Do a little at a time and enjoy the moments when you accomplish something!

 

Don’t get stuck doing everything that anyone asks of you. Ask yourself if doing something is a good use of your time. Spend time with your family and friends instead of organizing the pantry. Don’t feel pressured to do everything! Also, ask for help if you need it and lessen the burden that is on your shoulders.

 

If you find yourself with a spare 10 minutes, think about 1 item you can knock off your list. It may be tempting to check your email again, but just do 1 thing and then allow yourself more time to relax at the end of the day. Also, if you find that you allotted 30 minutes for an item and it takes longer, just stop for the day and reschedule another time to finish the work. The next time you have to tackle the same task, just allow the more realistic time.

 

Make sure you allow time for breaks during the day, especially lunch or dinner. Whether you are at home, or in an office, you must have time to step away for a little bit. We are all tempted to just keep on working sometimes, but that does more harm than good. Recharging your mind will do a world of good for you and help your productivity when you resume working.

 

Reward yourself (reasonably, of course!) for a job well done. Schedule your free time for the weekend or even a mini-vacation. It is really important to have something to look forward to that you really will enjoy. A lunch with friends or movies with the family are both some fun things you can fit in.

 

To recap, be realistic and keep track of things you have to do. You can still have some flexibility, since over structuring is not really good, either. Once you have your goals and schedules you will find that you are using your time more wisely and put an end to all those time suckers!

 

6 Easy Tips to Organize Your Garage

Does your garage feel like a vast wasteland? Do you trip over things and still can’t find what you are looking for? The garage often becomes a catchall for things that we just don’t know what to do with. You can get organized without breaking your back or your bank account. Here are some tips to help you get your garage in shape.

Start Out Right

Pick a nice day to work on the garage since your best best is to empty out your garage, or at least a piece of it to start with. Anything you remove from the garage look at with a critical eye. What do you absolutely need to keep in the garage? How much room do you need for your cars? You will first have to empty the garage or at least a portion of it at a time. You will need to figure out what items you need to store in the garage, and whether or not you are keeping vehicles there, too. Get rid of what you don’t need, and then figure out how to store the rest.

Tooling Around

If you have hand tools, think about using a magnetic tool board. You can use any kind of board to start with, so it is an economic fix, too. Use a thick magnetic tape put across the length of the board. Any metal tools or supplies will attach to the magnet. This will really help organize your tools and is a space saver as well.

Look Up

One space that is often not used in the garage is right above the door. You can put a shelf up high which is great for seasonal items, including sports equipment you don’t use all the time. Anything you don’t need access to on a regular basis can go up high.

Garden Space

Are you a gardener? If you don’t have a garden shed then think about some kind of table space in the garage to organize your gardening tools and supplies. A dedicated space makes it easier to access what you need and to keep garden stuff in one area of the garage.

The Pegs Have It

Pegboard is very useful to add adjustable shelving or just hang up miscellaneous tools. Any outdoor, garden or even sports items can be stored on these shelves. If you need to change things around, shelves on pegboard are the easiest to move around and have the most flexibility of use.

Another cost saving storage solution is using metal garbage cans with lids. These garbage cans are great for storing things like rock salt, potting soil or sand. These containers seal tightly and can even store pet food. You don’t have to buy special containers at all.

These ideas are a good starting point to organizing your garage space. Once you get going you will probably think or more ways to make your garage more useful.