Recently I had a coffee-catch-up with some girlfriends about goals. Okay, admittedly, we had this conversation over a few glasses of wine – Much needed wine! It was just after “suicide hour” – ask your friends what this means if you have no kids – and discussed how our lives were sometimes overrun by other people’s ambitions and not our own. And here, I’m not necessarily referring to the distractions our children bring into our days. I’m talking about being waylaid by someone else’s favour they asked of you (which takes at least 3 times as long as they said it would) or an idea someone had and wanted to discuss with you (though they hadn’t quite done the research and you ended up doing it for them). I have become so much more protective of my time these days. Especially since I’d rather be enjoying some quality time with my little people instead of skindering or complaining endlessly. I like the quote from Eleanor Roosevelt: “Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events and small minds discuss other people.”
I have realised time and time again that time is more valuable than money – you can always get more money and you cannot get more time – it is a finite resource and we need to use it well and productively and create moments which we treasure and carry with us happily. I suppose that’s why I appreciate the fact that you visit this blog and take time to read my musings.
Some people have asked me how I manage to balance my life and make time for everything. I don’t think that I’ve quite managed yet to be as balanced as I’d like to be, but every day I’m taking a conscious step in that direction. I like the quote (which has been ascribed to Gary Player, but I’m not 100% sure he first said it) – “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” I am a very lucky person and I enjoy working smarter – not necessarily harder.
I follow a few rules to make the best of my time and have found various versions of the perfect formula online, but I like the five below:
- Wake up before everyone else. As a parent of a toddler and a newborn, this is not a big ask. But, I do use the quiet time to make a short “To Do” list of my most important non-negotiable goals for the day. Make a list that you can accomplish in the hours available or you’ll constantly set yourself up for disappointment by setting unrealistic goals.
- Tackle tasks you dislike first. That way you can treat/reward yourself with tasks on your list that you enjoy. So do your tax returns and then go to get that dress you’ve had your eye on for the work function 😉
- Keep meetings to a minimum. Many things can be sorted out over e-mail or even via Skype meetings.
- Break up your day with breaks. You need to recharge your batteries even if it just means walking away from your desk and stretching for 2 minutes and grabbing a glass of water.
- Say NO. This is my favourite, most liberating word. I must be honest, my toddler uses it often and I’m following his lead 😉 I’ve started to declutter my life on a few levels and must be honest, it is liberating to NOT try to please everyone. Deep breath – this is hard at times as we feel it’s quite a negative word, but when used right, it’s actually quite positive.
Have a wonderfully productive week. And since it’s the last day of May – how about a little R500 giveaway 🙂 Post some time-saving/ decluttering advice below and stand a chance of having a little happiness deposited in your bank account. Remember, the Pylones giveaway as well as the weekend in Hermanus giveaways are still open so comment on the appropriate posts to win!
Lots of love and light!
x Modern Mommy AKA Jo-Ann