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Hey :) Normally I don't have such a tough time getting everything done, but lately there has been a lot of things going on. Does anyone have some time management tips? I feel like I'm always rushing to get things done last minute and I hate it.

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If you find any could you pass them on to me.


The only time management thing I can get right is to sort out my son's clothes and books for school the night before so it's not quite so much of a hectic race in the morning. However there is almost always something we're rushing to find last minute.

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First, don't put things off. Especially those things you don't especially want to do. Do them at your first opportunity, before they become crises.


Second, multi-tasking is a myth. You can only do one thing at a time, so take the time to prioritize. Plan your day, and follow your plan. Don't oscillate between tasks, unless you're filling in gaps, like waiting for a washing machine or computer printer to finish.


If you discipline yourself, you'll free up time down the road. Oh, and recreation? That's a priority, too, so plan in time for it.

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sheesh time management is not a myth... I buy hamburger in 10+ lb chunks and fry it up to "pink' drain it, and seperate it up into serving sizes... then freeze it. When we need a quick meal, I pull it out and it takes half the time to cook (no fry time) and it's still 'pink' enough to properly season for something like hamburger gravy or "one pan meals" (not always out of the box Cia) I do whole chickens the same way.... why bake one when you can bake 2-4 at the same time? they freeze and then can be reheated in 15 minutes and eaten. lazagna, speghetti sauce... lots of things... we are always eating out of the freezer or the crock pot.


As for the boys... we do lots of sport. My boys have thos draw string bags.. one in a different color for each activity. Blue is soccer, green is dance, red is swimming, black martial arts (that one is bigger actually). They sit in a bin by the door, everything is kept inside. After the sport, if something needs washed/dried or cleaned that happens then it goes inside -- that day. When we leave the boys are responsble for grabbing their own bag and getting to their activity and back to the bin. It is not my responsiblity. I do check after Bump, but he's pretty good about it now, and will even check his before leaving to make sure he has everythign.


Another good thing for time management is to have a schedule. If you know what you are doing you can prepare in advance. Like if you know you have late classes on Wednesday, then you know you need to prepare dinner early in the crock or in the oven on a timer if you want to eat at a reasonable time. Or if you will need to leave earlier than normal on Monday that you need to put something quick to grab for breakfast in the fridge so you can grab and go.


As for exercise, join a 24 hour gym or one that has really good hours. Mine is open from 5 am until 11 pm with child care from 6 to 10. It works for me. Find one that works for you. There are lots of them.


At the very least, make a list of all the things you have to do tomorrow on a sheet of paper and group the things together that you can do together. For example: pick up groceries for dinner, return redbox movie <-- these can be done at the same place usually... so you don't need to do one at 11 am and one a 4 pm. As you do things cross them off, if you need to add things to the list USE A DIFFERENT COLOR INK. At the end of the day look at all the stuff you accomplished and all the EXTRA stuff you managed to get in too.

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I didn't say time management is a myth, Lugh, only multi-tasking, but you've given some excellent examples of what I was talking about, like doing the wash the same day it gets dirty. And planning in advance to coordinate trips. That saves time, energy, and gas in the tank if you drive.


Any time you can cook something that can be reheated later, it'll help. A grilled burger is good for one meal, but lasagna can last for several meals.


You're not just managing time; you're managing your life. I also like the idea of writing out your list and adding to it as you cross off those things you've gotten done. Life's a moving target with changing priorities and new things coming up all the time.

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I find myself often doing the suggestions others have made. I think you can multi-task, to some extent. Often when I'm in chat or msn, my 'free time' I am also reading for beta work, doing GA site work, or fiddling with my pictures. No, I'm not exactly doing 2 things at once but I am not just sitting on the computer visiting and not doing anything else. Getting that book you really want to read but don't have time for on cd and listening while you do chores or commuting, doing the dishes as you cook (a huge time saver for me if I clean as I make the mess so I'm not just standing in the kitchen staring and stirring every few minutes)... those are all things you can all do to shave minutes off.


For family activities I have a dry erase board on the fridge. I have school events and times, deadlines, holidays and birthdays... that I see every morning first thing at 5 am. I have a lot of free time but if I don't plan what I will do with it, I find it gets away from me. Once I had kids I learned the schedule rules everything. On an average day I take care of my family, clean, cook, write, beta read, fun time read, chat and do online site work (volunteer stuff). I get up at 4:30 to 5 am and don't usually go to sleep til midnight. When I'm really tired I crash at 11. The activities in my day all have timetables and I plan plan plan.


It may be boring but it's the best way to get things done.

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Planning is the ideal, but planning is not only about making lists and setting targets, although those are not invauable aids.


I'd use a metaphor to explain this. I do most of the food buying for the house as I do the cooking. I go to the supermarket once every one or two months and do the big shop. If I have to go at other times, I do that too. However, I don't buy only what I need. I buy lots of bogofs of things I will need in the future. My husband doesn't get this. He thinks it is bad budgeting because it is buying stuff when it's not required, or to put it another way, spending money needlessly. But it's not. It's just bulk buying to get more for less money.


As I am a cook from scratch person I can then vary what I produce, and I have loads and loads of options.


So, what is the point here? Well, it's kinda like investment, buying extra time now, for use later. If you can do two things on the one trip, like Lugh suggested, it will give you time later. Yes, it's a fiddly wee addition, but the long term gain is damned good. Lugh's system of bags must seem bizarre and ridiculous to some people. I mean, look at the time it must have taken to dream that up, and go and find a set of bags with all the necessary requirements, eh? Well, no, actually. The level of time to institute the system is hugely positively disroportionate to the level of aid. And remember that not only does that solution mean he doesn't have to go looking for stuff etc, it also means that he doesn't have to use brain power in the process. And brain power is another word for fatigue-inducing-fannying-around. Furthermore, he is teaching his kids to be organised and independent. Otherwise he'll still be doing their laundry when they're fifteen or twenty. So, the couple of hours spent getting those bags reaps massive benefits over twenty years. Now that's good time management.


Also, never do one thing when you can do ten. The lasagne paradigm from Rustle (I think) is one I use. I also use it for chickens, meatballs, steak pie. When I vacuum, I do the whole house. I have an ipad which I can use for business and pleasure and research and communication and loads of stuff. Damned wee package for a whole loada shit. Saves immense amounts of time. If I'm waiting for his lordship, I can write or edit wherever I am with a wee device I have in my bag.


If you go into university for a lecture, go to the library at the same time, and arrange a meet with friends. One journey three tasks / activities.


The fundamental thing is to do what needs to be done, but to do it when it needs done, or if at all possible, to do it ahead of time. When I did my undergrad (Bachelors degree) I reasearched and wrote my dissertation in the holidays at the end of the penultimate year, when it wasn't due for another eight months. I can tell you, that saved me untold amounts of time for the other projects, as well as for trimming the dissertation up from good to spectacular. My head of school said it was a pass when I showed him the draft in our first week, but that I now had time to make it excellent.


The point here is not actually about planning. It is a little more fundamental than that. Time management books tell you to let the phone have three rings, then ring off if there is no answer. Fair enough, but it's going to save you seconds. What is more important is to arrange your ways of living so that you invest time and effort to save loads of it later, and give yourself options.


Options is the point. When you have no options you are negatively stressed. When you are negatively stressed you slow down and make mistakes and waste time. Vicious circle. Doing something ahead of time means you encounter the pitfalls early, and have time available to sort them, rather than the whole project falling on its arse at the last minute because your mother dropped the iron on her foot and couldn't speak to your grandma to arrange that photo you were needing for that project (or whatever). Ask for the photo early, you'll have it ahead of time, you won't have to wait on the exigencies of someone else's disasters.


Take a look at your life and activities and see how you can start making the negatives work for you, by doing more of them at once. That way you'll gain time, mental energy, and a greater amount of freedom for positive stresses. Like beer. And shaggin! :P

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