I recently told you guys in a previous post that one my primary goals for the new year is to become a time management ninja. It’s an area I’ve wanted to improve in for a long time now, but honestly I’ve never put much effort into it. I was just kind of hoping I’d figure it out one day. You know, maybe one day I’d finally get it together. That strategy basically left me floundering my way through each day, jumping from one task to the other without much of a plan or agenda. Well I finally got my booty in gear and I’ve been taking an amazing e-course on time management over the past few weeks. And holy cow, I am learning so much. The course is not just about time management, it’s about truly getting the most out of life all while living with less stress, fewer days packed to the brim with activities, and more peace. I’ve shared little bits of this with you all here and on social media, and I’ve been amazed to see how many of you are interested to hear what I’m doing. So today I’m here to spill the beans!
The e-course I’m doing is from a fellow blogger, Sarah of She Holds Dearly, and it’s called Finding Time to Hold Dearly. Sarah is basically an expert on living a meaningful, intentional life. Her course is all about learning practical ways to slow down and find time to enjoy the things we love in life, all while being insanely productive and strategic with our time. I mean, how awesome does that sound? If there ever was a true time management ninja, Sarah would be it. Her class touches on so many important topics: creating a daily schedule, discovering what your real priorities are in life, and methods to eliminate the “clutter” that so easily distracts us. She even offers great ideas to organize your home and teach your children work ethic and responsibility. It’s so, so good. I’ve really learned so much, more than I can cover in one single post, but I do want to share a few of my biggest takeaways.
1. I need to set my priorities & stick to them.
Figuring out what your top priorities are in life is an important step in time management because it really sets the foundation for everything else. I’m learning that we should be able to narrow it down to 3 or 4 things that are the most important. That’s it. Figure that out and let everything else sit on the back burner. I absolutely love this because I often feel like I’m spread way too thin, jumping from one thing to the next and trying to “do it all”, which is not how I want to live. In this section of the course I really had to dig deep and figure out what things I want to focus in this current season of life, and what I need to let go.
2. Set myself up for success
This course helped me to recognize what I need in order to be my absolute best self. For me personally, this includes quiet time to start my day, exercise, and creativity. These basic things are required on a regular, if not daily, basis for me to feel my best. I need to wake up early and have quiet time. I need to exercise and stay active for my mind and body. And I need time to be creative and work with my hands. These basic things have a big impact on my overall well-being. It’s not always easy, especially if you’re a mama like me and you’re usually all about taking care of everyone else. But let me the tell you, if you’re not taking care of yourself, you can’t possibly be running on all cylinders.
3. Saying no. And meaning it.
Raise your hand if you’re a sucker for saying yes to all the things? You’re a people pleaser, often taking on way too many tasks in your daily life. You get distracted with random commitments, coffee dates you really don’t want to go on, and extra “clutter” that derails your schedule and just absorbs your energy. And I mean both mental and physical energy. If you’re nodding along right now, this class is for you buttercup. There’s so much Sarah touches on in this area, I really think it was my favorite part of the entire course. She gives real and practical ways to say no and protect your priorities, without the annoying guilt that comes along with it. It was SO empowering and eye-opening.
4. My Daily Schedule
Now to the fun part. This course offers incredibly practical ways to plan out your daily and weekly schedule. I found myself taking notes like a mad woman during these sections. I learned that planning a daily schedule isn’t just about being productive, it’s about really being intentional with how you’re spending every minute. I think we often confuse being busy with being successful, but that’s definitely not the case.
After taking this course, I really wanted to get myself on a new schedule when I’m home with the kids during the week. (Weekends are more relaxed.) So on weekdays I wake up at 5AM for my alone time, which includes exercise, prayer, and blogging/email. Yeah, it’s not necessarily easy getting up at that early, especially when it’s pitch black out and freezing cold, but it’s so worth for me. I feel so much better when I have this time. I’m more productive throughout the day, happier, more patient with the kids, and more focused on what I need to get done. Plus I really do love having the house all to myself for that chunk of time. I snapped this photo from our upper balcony early one morning. It sure is calm as the sun comes up.
Starting around 7AM my day is scheduled into blocks. I break it down to include the following activities: chores, story time, 2-3 morning activities for the kids, meal time, designated cartoon times, quiet time in the afternoon, which is when I work on the blog, take photos & do projects, and outside time/free play. This all varies a bit depending on whether or not my oldest is in school that day, but this is the basic gist of what we do. I’ve implemented so many of the techniques Sarah covers in her class and I can honestly say things are running so much smoother and it’s much more peaceful around here. And what’s interesting is that the kids are even doing better with our new routine.
I really cannot recommend this course highly enough. No matter what stage of life you’re in, this class has so many amazing strategies and practical methods to help you live a more intentional and peaceful life. And really, it’s about adopting an essentialist mindset so you can get more time out of each day, all while focusing on what matters most. I haven’t even scratched the surface of what I’ve learned in this class, there’s just too much to cover here. For example, Sarah even teaches you how to eliminate weekly meal planning. Yeah, you read that right. No more meal planning. It’s amazing stuff folks.
(And just a disclaimer here, I’m not getting paid to write this post and I’m not receiving any affiliate sales from this course. As always these are my honest and genuine opinions.)
This is a self-paced course taught in a series of videos. You can click here to more information about the e-course. It’s currently being offered at an introductory reduced price, but that will go up February 1st. So definitely jump on it now if you’re interested!
I hope you enjoyed today’s post and feel inspired to take charge of your own life and schedule. If you’ve been struggling in this area like I did, and feel like you need a reset for the new year, don’t just wait and hope to magically figure it out one day. If you want to get better with time management, organization, and intentional living, you have to make time for it and invest energy into learning new ways. This class had a HUGE impact on me and I’m just happy I can share it with all of you.
I’d love to hear what you think of this post and your thoughts on schedules, time management, priorities, etc. Let’s chat in the comments below!