Time Management Tip: Stop Wasting Time Overdoing The Little Things

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I will never forget the day when someone showed me with great enthusiasm how to fold a plastic bag so it doesn’t take up much space.

Stop wasting time over doing the little things.

I proceeded to shake my head in disbelief that this person would think that spending time folding plastic bags that were just going to be unfolded was good time management.

It takes a lot less time to shove a bag into my bag of bags under my kitchen sink than to fold them. Seriously, who cares if they look neat or not?

Sure I am only gaining a minute per bag by shoving instead of folding, but this is just one example of ‘wasting time by overdoing.’ If you add up little minutes spent overdoing simple tasks each day they can soon grow to significant chunks of time wasted.

I recently was convicted of my own ‘overdoing of the little.’ I was checking my blog stats daily. I claimed it wasn’t taking up that much time, but when I timed it I realized  it took between 5 to 7 minutes each and every day.  That is 2.5 to 3.5 hours a month.

I could do something much more productive in those small chunks of time. Something that could improve those blog stats or improve something that is a priority in my life, like taking time to have meaningful conversations with each member of my family daily.

Chances are that there are more of these 5 to 7 minute overdoing habits in my day, so now I am on the lookout for them.

A Time Management Challenge

This week I want you to note the little things you are doing. Don’t take note of the hour long tasks, instead take note of the 5 to 10 minute ones.

Could some of those tiny  tasks be done less frequently?

Do you need to check Facebook for 5 minutes 5 to 6 times a day, could you get it down to just 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes in the night?

Could you delegate them to another person?

If the little things really do need doing, do you need to be the one doing it? If not, then you are wasting time.

A lot of simple household chores fall into this category. Parents {myself included} often forget that children need to realize that they are a part of a family unit that works together to get things done.  A child can easily wipe down the kitchen counter after dinner, take the trash out, or walk the dirty laundry basket down to the laundry room.

Yes, these are all small chores, but when you add up the many small chores that need to be done daily and divide them between your children you can free up a significant chunk of time each day to actually spend more time with them instead of clean up after them.

Here are a few ways I have managed delegating simple household tasks to my children over the years…

Could you eliminate the task all together?

Like the plastic bag example, perhaps the chore your doing doesn’t even really need to be done at all.

If you are still struggling with letting go of the little tasks try this experiment.

Take the amount of time you take each day to do the task and multiply it by 30, that is how much time you could gain each month to work on something more significant, something more fulfilling.

Still not a dramatic enough number for you? Take that new number and times it by 12. That is how many minutes you are wasting in a year.

Never underestimate the power of the small

There is power in the time spent overdoing little tasks that can be yielded to complete bigger tasks in small chunks.

I once read of an author who wrote an award winning novel in 15 minute chunks. I might not write books {yet} but this is exactly how I read most of the 52 books I read each year…in 15 minute chunks here and there.

Stop your small, overdone, time wasters and use those small chunks of time to work on your life priorities, your passions.

Follow Victoria @Snail Pace Transformations’s board Goal Setting & Time Management Tips on Pinterest.

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Not sure where to even start the battle of reorganizing your day to make time to pursue your passions? Start with Crystal Paine’s Make Over Your Mornings Course. Crystal isn’t going to tell you how early to get up, but she is going to show you  how to organize your day with intention so you finally find time to pursue those goals and dreams.

 Grab your copy here!

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Comments

  1. I’ve been thinking of money this way lately (trickles into a stream), but hadn’t thought of time that way! Good point. I need to consider more intentional use of my minutes.

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