Spring cleaning’s almost done if you’ve followed this three part series: Today, the last two tips are “Wear Your Hats Well,” and “Keep Track of Time.”
Wear Your Hats Well
Draw an organizational chart of your work life. And then of your home life.
At work, if you’re the business owner, you’ll have hats such as: finance, sales, marketing, operations, etc.
Draw the org chart. Now ask:
Which roles are you BEST at? Keep these. This is the greatest value you can provide to your company.
Which department head hats do you wear … but you don’t like as much, or procrastinate about, or it’s just not a strength.
Candidates for decluttering, right off your schedule. You could share the responsibility – split it up with a virtual assistant, office mate, co owner or other consultant.
Or you could delegate the responsibility entirely. Be clear about your objectives and goals for this role. Delegate, but don’t abdicate.
At home, same idea. Roles are: cleaning, cooking, child care, parent caregiving, household management, bill paying, investments/savings expert, etc.
What are you great at? Which are you not so fond of – learn it, love it or leave it. Delegate or share.
Children may not be able to handle the entire laundry process, but they can get their clothes to the right spot, or pick them up to fold them, or put them away. It’s age/stage-dependent, but they can help in small ways, and you’re teaching them organizational and life skills.
Keep Track of Time
One reason we get clutter on our calendars is because meeting or task ABC takes SO much longer than we’d anticipated.
Then we rearrange what we’d planned to work on at that time.
And we were already pretty well booked up, so we squeeze it all in, somehow.
Time your tasks. Keep a list, notepad, excel spreadsheet or just mark it in your calendar.
Keep track of anything you worked on for 1/2 hour or more.
- How long did you THINK it would take?
- And how long did it, really.
- How good are your time estimating skills?
How long do you think it takes to get you and your kids or parents out of the house in the morning? Time it tomorrow.
You may think it’s an hour, but when you add in all those last minute things that happen — it’s two hours, typically. Losing one hour to time estimation is tough on a packed schedule. So work on improving your time estimating skills by practicing – getting a sense of what one hour’s time passing feels like.
If that’s just not going to work for you, use a timer – auditory or visual, a timer will keep you on track and you won’t need to stop and think about time at all.
Pad your time. If you consistently run late, for example, and you can’t figure out why, make it easy on yourself.
Pad your time. So if you think you should arrive on time if you leave at 11 a.m., change that to 10:45 or 10:30.
Use an `I can`t leave` list. This is the list of things you absolutely positively must get done today, or else you can’t stop working for the day.
This works for pre vacation planning, too. “We can’t leave on vacation unless xyz is done.”
This method gives you permission to let go of all the rest (in addition to getting the important items done, for sure).
Last, try my mantra — “Do one less thing.”
I used to be the one running into meetings right on time (sometimes late), or getting to a friend’s house late for dinner.
Why? Because I was doing “just one more thing” before I’d leave the house or office.
Now, I do one less thing — and guess what – it’s still here when I return!
This is another way to focus on the important and let go of what can wait.
To your organized time and life —