A MilSpouse Entrepreneur’s Ultimate Guide to Organization
PART I: Save Time by Doing Things the Hard Way
Disclaimer: Though this isn’t some kind of money back guarantee I have found that these strategies work well for me.
As the sole-proprietor of a freelance business and COO of MilitaryOneClick I tend to be pretty busy. Some days are busier than others, but I’ve found a few simple tricks that have help me carve out time. Most of them are based on organization, which is so valuable to time management. People are constantly seeking out my “organizational skills” so here’s a little guide I put together. There are several parts to the series, so stay tuned for more organizational tips! Please share your time-saving tricks in the comments!
1. Don’t Watch TV
This may be less negotiable for some people, but for me I find that I am so much more productive (and happier!) when I don’t have the TV on. I actually didn’t own a TV for years before I met my husband, but we do have one now. While he was deployed I learned to play guitar and I don’t think I ever could have done it if I chose to watch TV at night rather than practice.
TV exists solely to grab your attention, so if it’s not on then you’re not distracted by it! Instead of watching a mindless show do something that is relaxing, something you think you don’t have time for… take a bubble bath, read, play a board game… or do something more productive if you like. Either way, you’ll have more time and/or be happier 😉
2. Make Time
Sounds silly to say that you would have more time if you made it, but it’s true! Scheduling a 30-minute block of time to dedicate to something specific can really help you make sure you actually do it. I have a dog and every morning I take her for a 20 min walk. I just get up out of bed, get dressed, and take her out. Dogs love routine so it helps that I know she is waiting for me every day, but people actually like routine too!
Even if you don’t have a dog schedule time to take a walk or go to the gym and stick to it. I know Jennifer does this with tennis once a week and she can vouch for the sanity it provides in the midst of craziness. (Actually, a team sport like tennis is a really good one because someone else is counting on you to show up, so you’re more likely to go!)
Making time for something that involves exercise, fresh air, or helping others, often brings more happiness and renewed energy.
3. Make Easy Things Harder
One of the things I noticed was taking up a lot of my time (and wasn’t very productive) was perusing social networks to see what other people were up to. Sure it’s fun and you may discover something new, but becoming a Facebook zombie happens faster than you know! My solution to break the habit was to make it more difficult to access. I had all of my social networks saved in my browser favorites and all of my passwords saved. Plus I had the apps installed on my phone. When I realized what a time suck it was I decided to make it not so easy to just click on. I noticed right away how often I had been clicking on the Facebook icon without even really thinking. Now that it’s not there at the top of my browser I have to type in the url every time and login every time. Adding those few extra steps gives me a few seconds to decide if I really need to go through the process, or if I can survive for a little while longer without checking in!