I tend to be rather a free spirit. Maybe it’s my creative nature. Maybe it’s the fact that I am a writer and like to live moment by moment. Either way, despite the fact that I am a “go with the flow” kind of girl, I still want to be really intentional with my time.
I’ve said this before, but I don’t want to look back on my life when I’m 80 years old with regret. I want to know that I lived the very best life I could live. I also want to know that as a wife and mom that I am not living so carefree that my family’s needs are not met on a daily basis. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with having a carefree spirit, but if you float through the day – and your life – you may find that you haven’t accomplished very much – things that might be really important – in the end.
How to Be More Intentional With Your Time
Proverbs 31 shows us that as women we can aim for purpose, not perfection. Being intentional with our time doesn’t mean that every second of every day needs to be productive or that we need to stress over always using our time wisely. I certainly don’t! However, being intentional with our time allows us to enjoy life more. Being intentional means we have time to focus on the best parts of our lives – namely the people we love, experiences rather than things, and time to relax and just have fun.
If you want to be more intentional with your time, you need to have a good plan. Whether that means starting a routine or prioritizing the items on your to-do list, you can make the most of your time. I use my planner to help keep me on track each day.
Begin with a Morning Routine
Chances are you already have a routine. You may get up and take a shower each morning, have breakfast, and then brush your teeth. Building a routine is like creating daily habits that you do in order so that you don’t have to give those tasks much thought. The more items you do on a daily basis, the easier it is to make the most of your time. For example, you might do a load of laundry each morning or unload the dishwasher. Soon, things will become second nature and find yourself staying on top of chores easier.
Create a To-Do List
A to-do list is one of the most important things you can do to make sure you’re making the most of your time. Write down everything you want to accomplish for the next day. You may not have time to get it all done, but that’s irrelevant at this point. The important thing is that you’re making the list.
I suggest that you write down no more than one thing an hour or 6 – 10 items on your to do list for the day. Otherwise, you are likely to be rushing through the day and feel stressed. These items would be in addition to your daily morning routine that we talked about above.
Once you’ve gotten your to-do list written, go back and prioritize the list. Decide which three things must be done. For example, paying your bills on time is more important than dusting. Each list is different and some things can be put off until the next day if needed. Once you’ve prioritized your list, you can move on to scheduling.
My planner is my go to place to keep my brain organized. I write down my daily schedule as well as my daily to do list inside my planner to help me stay on track. Then, I can look at my planner throughout the day and see what needs to be done next. When you write your list down in your planner, be sure to leave buffers of time around certain tasks that you’re unsure of how long they’ll take. This will prevent your entire day from being thrown off track. Also, if you have items that you can’t fit into your day, roll them over to the next day.
Take Advantage of Waiting Time
Waiting time is simply those pockets of time when you’re waiting for something to happen. For example you might be waiting for your meal to finish cooking. Instead of watching dinner simmer on the stove, you could be loading your dishwasher or folding a load of clothes. The same thing goes for when you’re waiting at the doctor’s office. You could be making a menu for the upcoming week and writing your grocery list. Always take your planner with you!