Time's Up: Time Management & Efficiency | Darling Magazine

This is continued from Time’s Up: Busyness & Balance

Each new year invites us to establish what we can improve, what is not working, and we can modify. I will limit my calories. I will be more hospitable. I will spend more time with my family. By now we have chocker-block full schedules, so how can we possibly undertake new things that take up more time, or add to an already hectic day?

I for one have determined my new year’s resolution … not to be too busy! It’s sort of a new year’s resolution for 2013, but in reality, it’s a passage I began to cross this previous year. For me, making time required personal and purposeful reflection. I resolved that some of my busyness was self-inflicted and some was my own skewed perception. The rest merely required me to plan better. I learned the art of saying “no” to the negligible, and the art of saying yes to the things I wanted to do, that fit with my authentic personality.

With the new year freshly here, it’s a great time for each of us to reassess personal goals. To be efficient and highly productive with the time we have, it’s crucial to first decide what we hope to accomplish in the following areas: family, friendships and other relationships, spirituality, health and fitness, work/education, finances, charity, travel, leisure activity and socializing. Once you know what you want to do, it’s also important to know how to be effective in accomplishing it. Here are some tips for efficiency and time-management…

Organize, organize, and organize!
Disorganization is highway-robbery when it comes to time stealers. In the same way you need to keep an organized calendar with your agenda for personal and work commitments, keeping an orderly house and office saves you time. Use an organizer (whether it be online, written in your purse or on your phone) to schedule your daily tasks and ongoing responsibilities.

Manage communication.
Limit the time you spend checking your office emails, phone and social media correspondence. Yes, gone are the days of walking down the driveway to fetch letters from the mailbox. But this new ease of modern communication can create a black hole in your day, unless you do not learn to limit interruptions to your work, family or leisure time.

Be forward thinking.
Plan ahead and try not to leave everything to the last minute! Look at your year at a glance, then your month, week, and day. Plan backwards. This will make you more efficient, and help you not to overbook.

Stock up.
Thinking ahead can also be applied to what some of us love most – shopping! For goodness sakes ladies, your best friend’s birthday lands on the same day every year! Use those moments when you are in the shopping mood to buy in advance for people on your birthday or Christmas lists. If you don’t keep a list for this, create one and keep it handy when you’re out and about. Also be sure to stock up on all your necessities, so you don’t find yourself running to the store every time you run out of toothpaste or toilet paper. Buying in bulk when these items are on sale will not only save you time, but also money!

Press delete.
Reduce paper piles and get rid of clutter. Delete old emails once you are done with them. Purge old or unnecessary items in your closets and draws routinely. Eliminate unnecessary chores or tasks on your “to do” list.

Run for it!
It’s a fact. Regular exercise adds energy and hours to your day. It reduces stress and aids in thwarting disease and sickness.

Just say no.
Decline activities and commitments not lining up with, or of primary value to your goals this year.

Just do it!
Do you procrastinate? Write down 6 things to be done each day, and do them first! Don’t forget to carve out time for fun and relaxation as a matter of priority!

Learn to be flexible.
If something more important comes up, don’t let it rattle you! Avoid being rigid, and make every attempt to accommodate others. Darling ladies, if your neighbor needs to have a little cry one Saturday afternoon recognize the opportunity as the perfect time to set aside your itinerary of folding laundry and invite her for a cup of tea!

As we move forward into 2013, let’s make a point of doing some seasonal reflection. When you find yourself falling back into old habits, or saying “I’m too busy,” let it be a reminder that something is getting out of balance. Remember, the something…is usually you! Go back to the basics and try again.

Ladies, raise your glasses with me to this new year, and to the treasured gift of time. A jewel bestowed to all of us—to protect, use with wisdom, and invest in our communities and those we love the most….use your time where it will count!

Image via A Well Traveled Woman



  1. Great reminders now that we’re all approaching the end of January already … somehow there’s always the feeling of pressure to get things done every day since the beginning of the year, and I tend to forget taking a step back to look at the big picture.

    Thanks Kelly and let’s keep up with the efficiency throughout the year (and beyond) 🙂

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