Life, Productivity, Work

Time Management 101: Pt. 1

It’s Monday morning, and yes, I hit “snooze” on my alarm yet again.  Instead of getting up at 5:30 when Adam’s alarm went off or at 6am when the harps on my phone started reminding me that it was time to rise, I smiled and cuddled up to the handsome man to my left.  Morning comes so fast, I never seem to get enough sleep, and the day is looking soooo long ‘til I’m in this same warm, comfortable, resting position as I am now.  All these thoughts and more are flowing through my head along with the recognition that the longer I lie there, the later I will be done with running and the more rushed (and therefore, unproductive) my morning will be.

The key that I have found with accomplishing much in the mornings involve time-management issues I thought I had dealt with, prioritization that I sometimes lose track of, and a strong sense of staying on schedule that I have learned over the last few years.

I have always struggled with time-management.  I’ll admit that.  In high school, I used to have to get up 2 hours before leaving home for anything.  It would take me about an hour at night to get ready for bed, and I was always, always late.

Now, as a married woman with an ever-growing list of tasks to accomplish and seemingly lessening number of hours in the day, I have had to learn that time-management is the key to success in so many ways.

According to, time-management is a:

Systematic, priority-based structuring of time allocation and distribution among competing demands. Since time cannot be stored, and its availability can neither be increased beyond nor decreased from the 24 hours, the term ‘time budgeting’ is said to be the more appropriate one.

I really like that definition, but in order to understand what it means, let’s talk priorities.  I’ve talked about this issue numerous times as it related to life, our schedules, and our hearts and motivations, however, when it comes to my daily life, I look at this way:

Priorities determine the order of necessity of completion of a variety of tasks, as determined by urgency, due date, length of project, eternal affect, and the needs of others.

Using this as a guideline, I can look at my list of things I need to accomplish and determine what needs to happen first.  Let’s take a look at my morning to-do list:

Dry/Straighten Hair
Prepare Lunch
Get Dressed/Makeup
Load/Unload Dishwasher
Clean one bathroom
Throw load of laundry in
Drive to Work

As I assess my morning plans, I must first assign a priority to all of these items, so that I know which items are mandatory and which can be accomplished in the evening:

3.Dry/Straighten Hair
5.Prepare Lunch
6.Get Dressed/Makeup
7.Load/Unload Dishwasher
8.Clean one bathroom
9.Throw load of laundry in
10.Drive to Work

This is a rather general list, but let’s start here.  After looking at the list, I can see that item 10 is most-important to me (as my job is a mandatory activity), then getting ready (#3 and #6), then #5 (preparing lunch–this ranks this high because saving money from buying out is a must), and #1 (running), because I have made a decision to stay fit.  So far, this is our order of priority:

1. Drive to Work
2. Dry/Straighten Hair
3. Get Dressed/Makeup
4. Prepare lunch
5. Run

The next few would follow after:

6. Breakfast
7. Shower

(Yes, this is no mistake.  My breakfast is more important to me than my shower.)

8. Throw in load of laundry
9.Load/Unload Dishwasher
10. Clean one bathroom
Regarding these last three house chores, I have chosen numbers 8 and 9 before the last task because these items take time to run a full cycle.  They are a task I start and have to leave until they are completed later, so starting them sooner allows them to finish sooner.  So, if I have to leave one task to be completed later, it will be the one that has to be done as a project and not started and allowed to accomplish its cycle while I am away and unable to work on it.

** This also applies to appliances that need to heat up.  If I’m planning on straightening my hair, the earlier I can turn it on and get it heated up, while I accomplish something else, the more time I’m saving.  Don’t waste your time waiting for something else.

Now that I have my complete list, I can move onto time-management.

Tune in tomorrow for part two of this discussion! 🙂

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