If you are caring for someone, anyone in addition to yourself, the one thing you can use more of is time. Sometimes we use our time inefficiently or sometimes we don’t act because we don’t think we have enough time to complete anything of real substance.
I created the three minutes series as a way to motivate myself to just do it, even though I don’t have a lot of spare time. Chipping away at things a little bit at a time will eventually get things off our plates.
Today, I’m focusing on quick time management strategies to give us more free time to focus on self-care.
- Make a List: You may not have time to sit down and make an extensive to do list, but if you take three minutes, you can do a quick brain dump of the tasks that are priorities. If you do this at the end of each day, you can really plow through your to dos. A challenge I have when I finish a task is not remembering the important things I need to do and instead doing less important tasks. Making a quick brain dump list can keep me on track.
- Take Action: This one takes a little bit of prep work, but once you set yourself up, actually accomplishing the task will go quickly. Set up a dumping zone for paperwork that requires action – either adding something to your calendar, RSVPing or making follow up calls – so that you can get through your action items quickly. Set the timer for three minutes before or after lunch and charge through your stack, starting at the bottom. If you really prep ahead, you can keep it next to your calendar, stamps, pen and checkbook so you can get more done quickly. You can also do this for online bill paying – stack your bills together and log in to your bank site and set up all of the payments at once. You can select the date for them to go out, so it doesn’t matter when you set it up. If you do this every day, or even every other day, you’ll be able to get through mountains of paper.
- Unsubscribe: Do you have an overflowing email in box? In all likelihood, not all of the emails coming in are things you need to read or see. For example, I used to work in marketing and received email newsletters from various industry publications. They were clogging my inbox. It doesn’t take long to unsubscribe, we just put it off because it isn’t fun and seems like a daunting task. For the next week or so, when you log into your email in the morning, group your emails in alphabetical order by sender. Set the timer for three minutes and click through to unsubscribe to as many emails you can get through in that timeframe. You’ll probably cut your junk email by half in less than a week.
Are you taking the three minute challenge? What has been your favorite tip so far?