24/7 MOMS

Thursday, January 15, 2009

"Organize It" - Let' s Manage It - Time Savers vs. Time Wasters

Today at the “Organize It” Party we are going to focus on “Manage It” time savers verse time wasters.

When we think of managing our time we have to first determine how we are using our time and what might be our time wasters. Paula Constable shares with us three mistakes that could be stealing your time.

Busyness - Three Mistakes That Might Be Stealing Your Time
Paula Constable Stuff 2b Organized™

Do you feel like you are super-busy, but nothing seems to get done? Does it feel like your "to do" list is a life sentence? Is it just me or does it seem like sometimes we don't feel productive unless we are super-busy? But busyness is not the same as being productive! Consider these three common time-stealing busyness mistakes and what you can do to avoid them.
Failure to Plan

If you go through your day without a general sense of what you would like to accomplish and how you are going to do it, you will spend a lot time asking yourself, "Now, what do I have to do today?" or "What should I do now?" or my favorite, "It's time to pick up the kids already?" A plan gives you a map to your day. Taking time to plan (in the morning or the night before) allows you to group like tasks together, identify priority tasks and the time needed to complete them; it gives you direction for your day.

What time of day are your mental and physical energies high? If possible, use that time for completing your most important projects and tasks. If you have errands or calls to make, group them together and complete them in single blocks of time. Remember, the goal is not to fit in as much as you can. Be sure to schedule some "you time" as well.

Routines are my favorite way to make the most of my time. You might already have some routines in place that you just do because it's habit. For example, Monday used to be my cleaning day because there was no way I was going out of the house on a Monday unless I absolutely had to. As your life changes, so will your routines. Now that my children are a little older, my schedule has adjusted.


"What?!" you ask. "Doesn't multi-tasking give me more time and make me more productive?" Not necessarily. Besides adding more stress to your day, multi-tasking can actually make you less productive. Doing two things at once divides your attention and so each task is done with less focus and accuracy; it could take you more time to complete the tasks than if you did them separately.

I'm not saying to stop folding laundry while chatting on the phone. Tasks that are routine and require little thought are great to do while you are say, waiting in the car pool lane, sitting in the waiting room or, on hold with the cable company.


Throughout the day you are exposed to interruptions; it's called life. Phone calls, children needing help, email and unexpected visitors are just a few examples of requests of your time. These requests draw your attention away from the task at hand. Of course some of these interruptions are beyond your control, but there are ways to defend off distractions during a specific period of time which you want to focus.

• Don't answer the phone. If you need to answer, keep the time to a minimum. Just kindly ask the caller if it would be OK if you give them a call later because you are right in the middle of something that needs your attention.
• Let family members know that you will be unavailable during a specified time. OK, I know this is can be a tough one, but give it a try.
• Only check your e-mail during specific times of the day. (Oh this is hard one for me!) This is one interruption that you do have control over.

So, for your homework for the next two weeks: keep a detailed journal of all of your activities. Write down what you do and how long it takes you. That includes errands, phone calls, housework, dinner preparation, etc. By doing this, you will be able to see how you are spending your time. Maybe there are activities that are using up more of your time than you realize. You might discover that with a little rearranging and planning, you will be able to carve out more time for the things you value and enjoy.

Paula Constable
Stuff 2b Organized™, LLC
“I help families make their daily lives easier and less stressful through organization.”
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Paper Organizing for Busy Moms ~ A Virtual Workshop ~Time to open another GIFT ( giveaway)

Making Time for What’s Important Home Study Program: http://www.stuff2borganized.com/events/MakingTime/ ($29 value)

Are you feeling like your days are filled with busyness rather than purpose? Do you feel like you are super-busy, but nothing seems to get done? Does it feel like your “to do” list is a life sentence?

During this home study program, Paula Constable, Organizing Expert for Busy Moms, shares the tools and methods that she teaches her private clients and put into action in her own life and business.

You’ll learn:
• How to zero in on your true priorities
• The 3 most valuable tools to use when you feel overwhelmed and out of control
• What you must do before you set goals
• The top 3 secrets to help manage your time
• My 5 steps to get your time "organized"

Paul Constable and 24/7 MOMS are giving away one Making Time for What’s Important Home Study Program. To enter for your chance to win, enter your name and email address in the box below you will be signed up for today's Making Time for What’s Important Home Study Program giveaway as well as be added to the 24/7 MOMS E-list(if you are not already a 24/7 MOMS subscriber). Drawing to be held on February 1, 2009.

Time Wasters - Time Savers
By: Trisha Novotny trisha@247moms.com

My 24/7 MOM days can be crazy. I am sure they are similar to yours – laundry to fold, lunches to pack, beds to make, errands to run, floors to be mopped, meetings to attend, dinner to cook, children to be taxied, and the list goes on and on… never a dull moment. I realized early on in my mom journey that if I was going to survive I better find some Time Saving solutions to avoid my Time Wasters. Today I want to share 3 of them with you.

Time Saver #1 Save Those Receipts

Time Waster: Are you tired of digging and scrambling for that lost receipt to return the unwanted item? Possibly never finding your receipt and now being left with an item you don't want or need?

Only to become a Time Waster as we search and look for our lost receipt.

Today most of our local stores such as Target and Toys-r-Us make it difficult to return an item without the receipt.

Time Saver: So I have a GREAT way that I keep my zillions of receipts each year organized...with 5 kids it seems receipts can pile up quickly.

My Time Saver solution has been that each year I purchase a Cancelled check file from my local office store. I then file each receipt in alphabetical order.

Now when I have a return to make I can quickly retrieve my receipt and have a No Hassle return.

Time Saver #2 Family Files

Time Waster: Do you find yourself searching for your child's birth certificate, ID cards, passport, Social Security number, savings account register or other important info? How about those gift cards or tickets to an upcoming event or other important items that seem to disappear?

Time Saver: Create a file for each member of your family... Use these files to hold all those items you are constantly searching for. You can even keep up-to-date health records, emergency information, etc. in them. I then place them in a desktop file system so they are quickly accessible. Now with teenagers they, too, can find what they are in need of by going to their own family file.

Time Saver #3 On The Go

Time Waster
: Do you find yourself sitting at Dr. Appointments, dance lessons, swim lessons or other waiting situations with nothing to do but watch the clock tick away and your to do list growing?

Time Saver: Use a tote/book bag to take a long those projects, books to read , bills to pay, notes to write or other items on your to do list that you can accomplish while waiting. I also have a tote bag that I place items in that I’d like to read or projects to work on that are NOT time sensitive so that it is always ready to go for those times I have not gotten my to do while waiting bag packed.

Another Party Favor for You:
Ready to get your Family life simplified and save TIME? then get COZI. http://www.cozi.com/

COZI is a free web service that helps families manage crazy schedules, track shopping and to-do lists, organize household chores, stay in communication and share memories—all in one place.

I have now become addicted to COZI. why"? because I can organize my entire family on one web site with these great features

- Family Calendar : All my appointments can now be inone place, color-coded by family member. Plus, i can add the family calendar gadget right to my desktop computer

- Custmizable lists: COZI remembers my grocery list, shopping list, chores and more—so I don't have to. PLUS I can send then right to my cell phone via a text message or to my Husband who might be stopping at the store for me..Oh, Ya this is GREAT

- Reminders and Messages: I can now Send a reminder or quick message right from my Cozi family home page to anyone of my online family members . With teenagers this s a great feature.

- Mobile Phone Access: I can even get my day's schedule, my grocery list, or to-dos sent to any mobile phone.

And so much more....as one 24/7 MOM to another 24/7 MOM I think COZI is going to be my best TIME SAVER in 2009 and it is FREE.

One thing that might interest you IPHONE and windows mobile phone users is Cozi now has a mobile version especially for you. Families can now sign-in and access their Cozi account using their mobile web browsers. They can add and edit shopping lists and view and edit their family calendar using the mobile version of Cozi right from their iPhone. This is a new feature! You can learn more about it here: http://www.cozi.com/Promo-Cozi-Mobile.htm

One last cool thing, Sign up and try Cozi before February 4, 2009 and you could win an in-home organization makeover by Laura Leist of Eliminate Chaos. Bye-bye clutter, hello organized!

Do you have a Time Waster - Time Saver idea to share with the 24/7 MOMS email us at trisha@247moms.com and share your ideas.

See you TOMORROW for more of the "Organize It" Party

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