The Grow System
For awhile now I have been very interested in time management and I was wondering if any of you had any tried and true tips to share?
Don't get distracted by Facebook?
Seriously, I have such trouble staying on track these days. I used to be really good at making a list of must do tasks down to fun if I have time stuff. I don't know what happened.
I'll be following this thread.
A few that I do think are effective:
--->Make an appointment with yourself to get work done. Literally block out chunks of time to accomplish what you need to get done, and don't schedule anything else during those times.
--->Get into routines, regardless of what it is for. I have certain assignments for work that I have to get done every single week, so I assign certain days of the week to complete each assignment. I do the same for chores around the house: I clean the bathroom and take out the trash on Tuesday, dust on Thursday, etc. I find that those routines really help me, because I don't start the day out wondering what has to be done that day.
--->Wait to check your e-mail until after you've gotten an hour or two of work done. E-mails tend to equal rabbit trails half the time!
Those are just a few ideas. Actually, @Marjory Wildcraft uses a fantastic system for this. I'm hoping she'll chime in!
Awww thanks @Merin Porter
There is incredible power in setting up rhythms.
For example, TGN has an annual meeting to set the years main objectives. We pick 10 to 12 of the big things we want to accomplish in the year, assign one person to be the champion, and set an approximate quarter in which it will get done.
Every quareter, as a company we decide on what that quarters objectives will be - taking our cues from the annual plan. Each individual team member also sets their personal objectives.
Every week there are two meetings: one is a personal meeting with the Managing Director (Ruth), and a team meeting to discuss company wide objectives. At both of these meetings we check in to make sure the objectives are being met, what stumbling blocks need help, etc.
Each individual works on their projects throughout the week. And basically, they only attend those two meetings weekly to stay on track. It's super efficient.
I am super proud that even in 2020, TGN is completely on track with all the objectives we set out last November for this year. Yup, we've had to pivto and adjust, but we are accomplishing everything we set out to do. Stable rhythms are such a relief in a year like this.
@Merin Porter great tips. I try to stay focused but do get very easily sidetracked. I like the do “this” on this day, do “that” on this day. Every day I “try” to get something productive accomplished, no matter how small, or how bad I feel (maybe I can sort through a pile of mail). Some days it happens and some days it doesn’t lol.
Keep track of how long it takes to do something. Then if you have 5 or 10 or 15 minutes before you have to do something else, you know what you can get done in a short time. For example. It only takes a few minutes to sweep the floor. It takes 5 minutes to throw a load of clothes in the wash. It takes less than 10 minutes to straighten a room or even wash a few dishes. Writing a list of things you want to accomplish at night before you go to bed is helpful to start the next day on track. Make a list of chores to do on a daily, weekly and monthly basis helps as well. You can even make seasonal lists or things that need to be taken care of once a year. But start out slow and build up to it. They will slowly become habits that you do almost without thinking about them. Hope that helps. Quite a while ago I happened upon a website by FLYlady. The F L Y stands for Finally Loving Yourself! I hope it's ok if I post her website: http://flylady.net
Ace your space is on fb, pretty fine, I am trying fly lady-I firmly believe in 'loving yourself' and 'finally' I will get onto it! I need this thread more than u can imagine, these days u c, ALL I can do is stay ahead one step at a time... one day at a time!
Create a routine/schedule for the items that must be completed. Remember the unexpected is always expected, so keep moving. In the end, things important become completed. Allow yourself to simply enjoy your life. My kids get annoyed with me, for saying, "Things always work out!" They say I am too chillaxed about matters. Thing is, everything does work out, maybe just as I hoped, maybe sort of as I hoped, maybe not at all as I hoped, but things work out! :)
@Mary Linda Bittle I find that Facebook is a huge time suck to put it bluntly. My best defense against it is to delete it off my phone. I have never put it on my laptop. So this leaves me to look at it only on an old PC that runs extremely slow, ha-ha. This works well until I need to sell something on Facebook marketplace and reinstall it on my phone! I love the idea of certain days of the week to get things done @Merin Porter.
I spend too much time dealing with many e-mails. Then I check out the TGN forum.
I am backlogged on all the classes I want to take.
Pets and plants need time.
Food and cooking need time.
Unfortunately, comprehensive housework always falls to the bottom of the list. I never seem to finish enough to be "company ready."
I absolutely love the FLY Lady -- her system was the inspiration for my own house-cleaning routines. I'll admit that I don't follow her completely, and I've adapted her process to fit my family's needs. And, no, our house is not always company-ready, but we do a heck of a lot better at maintaining a "steady clean" nowadays, where we used to need to do more "panic cleaning" when guests came over. I used to feel completely overwhelmed and beaten down by my house, and now I'm actually really proud of myself, and so grateful for the FLY Lady. She's right -- you don't need to be perfect. Just jump in wherever you are and start making progress!
I love charts. My kids don't seem to understand my love for them in the same way, though. Not everyone gets those.
Another thumbs up for Fly Lady. I did this years ago (like,19) & had it working well until an outside influence decided to interfere with my Mondays, of all the days to pick...they insisted on Mondays. Ever since, nothing has run as smoothly. Mind you, I had 4 more kids, was sick, had other things happen that were pretty major that called for my attention and would have messed things up too...animals, homeschool, sports, health...& much more.
I have often dabbled with the idea to go back to it. I HAVE to out something in place this year. I just feel that life is chaos (not the fun type like Get Smart), and it is just time. I had so much more time when I followed her suggestions (with a few adaptations of course). I am selfish. I want more time. Lol
With all that we have been dealing with personally lately, along with Covid & an ever changing (everything?), I think we need to get down to basics. Maybe it can be a fun challenge for my family to do together.
I want to site them down & say this year is different. Let's make it the best one ever. What are your suggestions? And then go from there.
I try to do little cleaning tasks as I see them. Of course, that sometimes reinforces the "ohh, shiny" aspects of a senior moment.
Oh thanks everyone so much, let's keep this going!
Even FLY lady is too much overwhelm for me!
here is my routine. I could not get the actual chart to load so this is an even more simple version!!
Jill at prairie homestead is offering a course on just this. I’m in awe of anyone who can hold a job, homeschool her kids, run several companies and homestead too!
I will definitely be watching for suggestions too. I don’t do fb for the reasons here. I have to rest pretty often during the day but I still never seem to get my list finished...
Yes I love her stuff! I am definetly like her and love to have a lot going on.
OOOOOOO Thank you herbantherapy that is so creative!
Reflecting on how I spend my time, a big revelation I had was that I over-commit and have a hard time saying "No." I love to help people but there is a difference between being a good friend, neighbor, etc... and just enabling others and being taken advantage of. Instead of saying "yes" right away, I have learned to say "I'll get back to you." This way, I have time to really think about it and prioritize and it's easier to say no. Also, there is a book called "Eat that Frog." It talks about starting your day with the most dreaded task so it will be out of the way, not hanging over your head and the rest of the day can only go up from there! For some, this may work, but for me, I need to start my day with something that gives me life and inspiration/motivation, like music and prayer, or a peaceful garden walk. My husband suggested that I also make the following 4 categories on my To-do list: Urgent/Important, Urgent/Not Important, Not Urgent/Important, Not Urgent/Not Important. I think this is a tip from a leadership book he may have read. Making my list in these categories was very helpful even though I was skeptical at first.
happy-trails Thank you so much for your comment! It was very helpful!
I constantly struggle with this, too. Knowing my priorities helps; making monthly goals does, and I've been aspiring to doing what @Marjory Wildcraft does with The Grow Network in terms of yearly goal setting.
But the two biggest things that make a difference for me is to list only 3-5 main goals/tasks for the day (at least some of them related to bigger goals) and having a defined morning routine with a checklist that lists things in order so I am less likely to 'forget' things.
One of the ways I get things done is to block out 30 minutes or 45 minutes to get a project done. Then I get up and move around and put things away if I am sorting through boxes like I did a few days this week. I also add post it notes to my calendar as a reminder of things to talk to the dr about or things I need from the store or a list of what needs to be done that day or even a list of errands to run. It works for me and I try to keep it going. Everyone is correct when they talk about time left over I sweep the floor or do something that takes just a few minutes.
I don't have FB because I'd never get off.
I have a list: priorities that have to be done that day as well as things I need to do. It helps to get straight out of bed and start on the day. The more I lay around, the more things I find to enable me to stay.
I try and treat myself as a CEO as well as an employee at times during the day to accomplish all that needs to be done - different skills for different tasks. Setting time limits, prohibiting certain indulgences (playing solitaire), and rewarding jobs well done help to provide motivation and set ups for success. Learn what brings you to the table (so to speak) and use it to your advantage when trying to get things done.
@frogvalley Yes, it's a lot about learning what works for you as a person, I find. And wearing different hats. And using your own strengths and weaknesses. That's exactly the way I try to do things, too.
After some other discussions on these forums this morning, I realize that I want to fit in the TGN courses as well. I had completely forgotten about them. Time management and focus are so important to getting things done, but I also make checklists and have extensive to do lists. Sometimes they are so extensive that things get lost in the shuffle like the TGN courses did, but Dave Allen talks about that in Getting Things Done; I just keep forgetting to do things his way.
In other words, time management, for me, involves self-knowledge, organization, and learning and I keep cycling through them. It's a bit of a journey.
previous comment only slightly a joke; all the people that I 'knew' on Facebook I 'know' in real life and have alternate connections. Decided Real Life is much better than whatever the Facebook community is. I can waste time without it just fine; there are very good resources out there that are actually Good Information (back to school: primary source. Anything else is hearsay).
I have a journal calendar. I make lists. my lists will never be done when I want, but I've discovered that things tend to get done when they should. None of us makes enough time for self-care and self-cure; most of what we think we 'need' to get done, we don't. None of us is promised tomorrow. This is a hard lesson. Simplify.
just a couple pennies worth of opinion. also hearsay (_:
Yes! I agree Annie Kate!
I used to be a big fan of lists and establishing time blocks for projects, and while I still utilize those strategies, I have found that as I get older, the more that I have been drawn to system analysis thinking.
How might I make a task easier, faster, using less muscle/time/effort, combining some aspects of one project with another. Doing similar tasks in tandem, running multiple errands in the same time block. Utilizing the resources around me, the people around me, while rethinking what is possible and working toward accomplishing tasks in a way that is enjoyable for me.
Doing things mindfully, with intention. Centering myself before I plan so that I am less reactive and more in the moment. Deciding what is useful and what is not, and then trying to maximize the useful and minimize what is not.
Oh, @Grounded , that sounds perfect. I do some of that, but never thought of it clearly as you do.
It sounds like the time and motion studies and efficiency work that Mr and Mrs Gilbreth of Cheaper by the Dozen used to do in real life. They even wrote a book and one of my kids read it once and has been super-efficient ever since.
@Annie Kate I had totally forgotten about reading the Gilbreth stories. I wanted to be an efficiency expert after reading them. To this day when I'm in the shower, I think about his method of washing.