Saturday, August 25, 2012

Life & Style: time budgeting equates to freedom and success, part 2

Last week, I shared that you need to truly examine your list and get rid of a list of items you don't truly want to do. This week, we're going to talk about how to cross items off your list.

The best way you can ever achieve anything is to have a plan. Your plan may end up being different than my plan. Each person is different, and so different things will work for you. Be patient with your plan process. You may go through several different plans before you find the one that really works for you.

Over the years, I have found the one plan that works perfectly for me. Each day, I have a time budget. My day typically starts around 6 AM or 7 AM, and I like to end my day around 7:30 PM, when I then have free time until 9 PM, which is my bedtime.

During those 14 or so hours, I have a lot to fit in. Clearly, I get more done on the weekend than I would during the week, in general. Here's what a time budget for a Monday might look like for me:

6 - 7:30 AM
-Morning wake-ups {this consists of reading my Bibles and devotional, morning SwagBucks' time, posting that day's blog post, and reading}

7:30 - 8 AM

8 AM - 4 PM
-Work {I work from home on every day but Thursdays, so I save time here by not having to drive. I eat breakfast and lunch while working.}

4 - 4:15 PM
-Declutter {I can declutter the entire house, minus kitchen, office and dining room which are typically Jason's jurisdiction for decluttering, in ten minutes. It's crucial to do this every single day, but the entire house is picked up after Jason and I both do this, and it's well worth the ten minutes.}

4:15 - 4:30 PM
-I will either start a load of laundry in the washing machine, assist Jason with hand washing clothes, or fold a load of laundry from the previous day. Each day, I am either folding or washing. There is never a need to do both in the same day {unless we traveled for a vacation or something like that, but those times are uncommon}.

4:30 - 5 PM
-Write a blog post

5 - 6 PM
-Watch a TV show online and craft {I like to multi-task when I can, so when I craft, I either watch something online, listen to music, or listen to a podcast}

6 - 6:30 PM
-Clean an area of the house {This might be that I'm unloading and loading the dishwasher, organizing the office, sweeping/mopping, dusting, etc. Whatever needs help the most.}

6:30 - 7 PM

7 - 7:30 PM
-Evening SwagBucks' time {This typically doesn't take a half hour. It depends on if I qualify for a survey or two or not. Sometimes, this only takes five minutes, sometimes, it takes 45 minutes.}

7:30 - 9 PM
-Read/relax/etc. {I typically spend the majority of the time reading, but I will occasionally spend part of this time on Pinterest, searching for new books to read, playing games on my iPod, etc.}

Planning out each hour of my day works perfectly for me. But maybe you have small children, or maybe you have a lot of other distractions during the day, and you can't plan what exactly you will be doing at 8:11 AM. No worries - there are 24 hours in the day. Just plan out how you're going to spend that time. You might write something like this:
8 hours - sleep
.5 hour - shower
.5 hour - changing diapers
1 hour - extra time for distractions/etc.
.5 hour - laundry

And so on. That way, you still have a plan for your day.

During the weekend, I do not always plan out each day hour-by-hour. I may just have a written list of things I want to get done that day. And since I work for my day job as minimally as possible on Saturdays and not at all on Sundays, I can get a lot accomplished on the weekends.

Likewise, I would encourage you to use some of your vacation time if you have that available to you through your day job or time away from your kids and husband to get items crossed off your list. As I write this post, I am on a five-day weekend from my day job. I will absolutely use some of this time to visit friends and family and do fun activities with my husband, but I also made plans to get some special items crossed off my list, like writing this blog post. In October, I will be taking a 9-day vacation from my day job, and I will be staying home and getting things done around the house. And I use some of my vacation time for actual vacationing, too.

The idea you need to embrace is that you need to work hard and play hard. I make it a point not to waste my time. I know of someone who regularly wants things done around her house, but she watches a lot of TV. I'm talking about a serious amount... an amount so high that it's hindering her ability to get things done in the timely manner she would like them to get done in. I would encourage all of you to have fun time each and every day, but to treasure that time and make it a treat.

Life isn't necessarily supposed to be all fun and games, but if you work hard, trust me when I say you will enjoy your leisure time so much more. You can rest at the end of the day, knowing you did what you felt was real, true and genuine in your heart during the day. You can rest, knowing you put in a good day of work and knowing that there's always more you can accomplish the next day.

The secret to getting things done in life isn't waiting for retirement or a rainy day or a time when you have more time. The secret is getting things done, slowly but surely, during each day and over the course of a week, month or year.

I pray you all feel encouraged and wake up each day, ready to get working and cross some items off your to-do list.

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