Recently someone posted a question on a Facebook group wondering how people managed their time effectively, which got me thinking about how I would answer that. I live on my iPhone and iPad, running two businesses and my life from their keyboards, so my solution is definitely App driven!
During the past few months, I have felt completely overwhelmed and under motivated: a very bad combination. After much consideration, I seem to have turned the corner and emerged with new energy, probably more because of spring finally arriving than any great effort on my part, but for whatever reason, things are looking up.
I have implemented four strategies which are helping me get my life under control, or at least something that resembles control!
The first App that I use is Priority Matrix. This is a master To Do list that comprises tasks from all areas of your life, work, home, personal, volunteering, whatever applies to you. Tasks are divided into 4 categories: Critical & Immediate, Critical but not Immediate, Not Critical but Immediate, and Uncategorized. Taking examples from my current list, “Order shaving brushes” is Critical & Immediate because I need them for Father’s Day promotions, and if I don’t order them soon, I will miss out on revenue. “Do daily Facebook updates” is on my Critical but not Immediate” list, because while it is critical for the success of my overall marketing plan, the world will not stop turning if it gets done next week instead of today. Moving on to “Not Critical but Immediate”, this would include doing laundry or cleaning the kitchen. Neither one will advance my business, but let’s face it….clean clothes are a necessity! The remaining category is for all those other things that you need to get around to some day, like organizing the linen closet, or sorting through those boxes in the basement.
Priority Matrix is a wonderful tool, but on its’ own does not keep me organized and productive. The next App I downloaded was To Do List…there are many options available, some quite complex, but I chose one by Pro Sellers World LLC. All I need is the ability to list two or three daily priorities and check them off as I complete them, and this does the job.
Next up, Lift, an App that allows me to set up habits that I wish to form, then charts my progress in performing the various activities. For example, my list includes simple tasks such as “Make the bed” and “Do one complete load of laundry daily”, as well as “Write a blog post”, “Update Soapmaker”, and “Set daily priorities”. This last habit is the one that makes the whole time management plan work. If I choose 2 or 3 items from my Priority Matrix each day, set them as my Daily Priorities and actually complete them, before long I am whipping through what used to feel like a never ending and overwhelming pile of “stuff” that needed to be done.
The last cog in my wheel is an App called “Un#$!& Your Habitat. There are 3 ways to use this App: you can ask it to give you a random 5, 10, or 20 minute challenge, which could be : 5 min – dust the TV and electronic equipment in the living room; 10 min – pick any room, pick up the stuff that has accumulated that doesn’t belong, put it back where it belongs, and throw out any trash; 20 min – do your bleepety bleep dishes! You can also have it time you, give you motivational “speeches” etc. Fair warning, as you can tell from the name of the App, this one is not PG rated, but I find it quite useful for motivating me…it reminds me of how much I can actually accomplish in a very short period of time, which means my housekeeping consists of a series of brief tasks during the week, rather than a 3 hour marathon on the weekend. In theory anyway….this one is definitely a work in progress 🙂
If you need any more inspiration/motivation, check out Flylady.net for help in figuring out what daily, weekly, monthly habits can make your housekeeping a breeze!
So there you have it…my time management secrets! I’m using iPhone and iPad apps for this, but you could very easily do the same thing writing everything down in a special notebook….just don’t use Post-it notes or other scraps of paper…you know you’re going to lose them!
Tomorrow it’s back to business with a post on palm oil…use it or lose it?