In the introduction, author Marcia Ramsland says that we run out of time "Because life happens to us. Because we get fuzzy and unfocused. Because we get tired of the 'have-tos' and prefer the 'want-tos' but get trapped in the 'never-get-around-tos.'" I get that!
Here are some of the tips I took away from the first section of the book:
*Plan to arrive 5 minutes early for every meeting/app't. Give yourself ample "transition time" to get ready to leave. (Easier said than done with a baby and a toddler, but I'll keep working at it!)
*"Learn not to put things down but to put them away all day to simplify your life." (Yikes--any other pile people out there?!)
*Bring to-do items to closure quickly--if it takes two minutes or less, do it immediately instead of adding it to a task list. (Ironically, sometimes the jobs I put off the longest take the least amount of time!)
*Interesting e-mail tips the author suggests: don't check e-mail in the morning; improve sorting by dealing with e-mails systematically and trying to keep your in-box empty. (I could definitely use improvement in this area--I just checked and I have 99 messages in my inbox!)
*Prepare for tomorrow the night before. (This is something I really want to work on to make mornings go more smoothly. Specifically, I want to start setting out my clothes the night before, and also make sure all dishes are cleaned up in the kitchen before I go to bed.)
I needed the advice on planning ahead more than I realized: earlier this week, we hosted a few people for dessert. I'd decided in advance what I was going to make, but the morning of the event, I suddenly remembered that one of our guests is diabetic. Nothing I'd planned to serve would be suitable for him, and I had to figure something else out, which required extra time and energy and an additional trip to the grocery store. While this example is certainly not extreme, I'm learning that I need to prepare more things in advance to lessen stress and hurry!
This book is organized into chapters that can be read daily for a month--I'm only a week into it, and you can see I'm already learning a lot! Now I just have to stick with it. As the author writes in the book, "You will change when your desire to change is greater than your desire to stay the same."
Do any of the tips above "speak" to you? I'd love to know I'm not alone in all this!