For years, I taught time management skills to college students. Did they listen, probably not, but it is one of those skills that I thoroughly enjoy. I mean I REALLY enjoy it. Planning is my favorite "P" word. I love planners and I love making them pretty and functional. I've used all kinds but my personal favorite is the Happy Planner because the possibilities are endless as to what you can do with it.
As I became a parent, my time management skill and style began to change. I use to only keep up with events, appointments and special occasions. However, add 3 kids to the mix, some who are foster kids, you get a ridiculous amount of extra crap you have to keep up with. Between DSS visits, Guardian ad Litem visits, therapy, parent visits, doctors appointments and dentist appointments, you're entire calendar becomes a color coded, because of COURSE I color code, mess of things that really have nothing to do with yourself.
I found that those events that I enjoyed, those appointments, like massages and mani/pedis, kept getting pushed back or canceled altogether. I no longer had time for myself and that was SO not okay.
Even I, the planning queen, didn't have time for myself.
How did I change it?
I had to rethink the way I planned things. I could no longer do the things that I normally could do without writing them down. I now had to schedule anything that I wanted to do special for myself. I'm not talking about scheduling when to pee or shower, although some days that feels like a need, but scheduling at home spa nights, or time to read, time to exercise. Just stuff that I use to could do without a second thought anytime I wanted to.
Guess what...I schedule me first now. If you haven't noticed, I've finally learned that putting myself first isn't being selfish. Putting myself first also doesn't mean shirking my responsibilities. It means taking care of myself so that I can better take care of those who depend on me. It means filling my cup so I can fill others. THIS. HAS. BEEN. A. GAME. CHANGER!
So now, the first thing I put on my calendar are things that help me reach my current goals. Walking, blogging, social media and the bar. I schedule a little bit, or a lot, everyday depending on the needs of those areas. Are these times set in stone? Hell no, I have 3 kids. Nothing is set in stone but what happens is now instead of deleting it all together, I move it. Deleting is no longer an option for me. That is why I keep a paper planner versus a virtual. Virtual calendars make it entirely too easy to just delete tasks. I want to be able to stare my failure in the face. It makes it less likely to just skip it.
Once those on down, I add the "must dos," like appointments and meetings. Then I add a to do list for each day. I've gotten into a system where I do about 20-30 minutes of house work every day so that I wont have hours of housework to do on Saturdays. Once the bar opens, I won't have that much time on Saturdays to do it and nobody wants to spend their time off of work working at home.
Time management is what you make it. It is different for everybody. You think about your priorities and you schedule those first. Whatever they are, it doesn't matter but if they're that important to you, they should go first. Once those are down, add the other things that need to get done. If you have time, add the things you want to get done. It sounds simple but it can be hard to do. Sometimes, you're not even aware what your priorities are until you have to pick and choose what you put on a calendar.