5 things you can do to simplify…your schedule

Say no to things. Once you say no to one person’s wedding/graduation/bat mitzvah, you have carte blanche to say no to them all. Congratulations, you have your weekends back.

Create an urgent/important grid. Some things are urgent and important. Some are one but not the other. Many are neither. Create a grid and assign everything on your to-do list to a box. If it falls under ‘not urgent and not important,’ scratch it off. Forever. If the distribution of things in your other three boxes isn’t manageable, you need to reevaluate. What’s making you happy and fulfilled right now? What are you doing to be successful later? If there are things on your list for which you can’t answer these questions, get serious about assessing their place in your life.

Commit. Whatever it is you’ve been meaning to do but haven’t found the time, schedule it. If you use Outlook, make it an appointment. If others have access to your calendar, call it “Doctor’s Appointment” or something equally mundane but important. When the time comes, just do it.

Implement the one-touch system. This is so easy, and it will blow your mind. Try it for a week. Try it for a day. Here’s how it works: you open an email, you manage it. If it needs a response, you respond. If it needs to be forwarded, you forward it. If it needs to be deleted, you just delete it. You pick something up from the living room, you put it away. If it’s a dirty glass, you put it straight in the dishwasher. Not on the counter, not on the dining table. In the dishwasher. Get it? Touch everything just once. You’ll be amazed at the free time you’ll find.

Run your errands. Really. RUN your errands (or walk or cycle). This might seem to multitasky for some of you, but it's actually really fun, and if you ever feel guilty about taking an hour to work out, this is a way to mitigate that guilt. You need to buy razors and go to the post office and return that Redbox. Map a route and take care of these things on the way. I once finished a long run with a trip to Treasure Island to get milk -- though it seems nuts, I really do recommend just buying the gallon. It's heavy, but the handle makes it easier to carry!

5 simple ways to make your days longer and your productive hours more efficient...so you have more time to play hopscotch or eat brownie batter from the spoon.

Filed under: Simple Living


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  • Saying no... that is such a great way to start this post. You won't be doing anyone any favors if you agree to something and then either back out or are later resentful of the commitment. I still have to remind myself to say yes only to the things I really want to include in my day.
    Love the one-touch system idea... will have to give that a whirl!

  • In reply to Carly:

    Thanks Carly! You'll have to report back how one-touch goes -- it's so easy to do and it's made such a difference for me!

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