What we do the night before prepares us for the day ahead. Sounds like common sense, right, but some of us get frazzled because we're not morning people. Or, we've got people other than ourselves to get ready.
Here are a few time management tips. Thanks to my mom, some of these are childhood habits. Others, I've learned the hard way.
Plan your meals. Make your lunch. Pack it. Get it ready. Do the same for your evening meal. Know what it's going to be. Everyone has a diet. Plan yours like budget. I try to plan our meals for the week.
When I first married, I never did that. I'd come home and then wonder what was for supper. I made a calendar and prepared menus like lesson plans. I knew on busier days that I might not want to come home and cook. Or sometimes, depending on what type of busy, cooking with the cutting and stirring, helped me slow down, relax, and be mindful of what I was doing. It was almost therapeutic.
Once you get a calendar going, you'll know what foods to cook after each other because you'll finish off the fresh ingredients you spent the money to buy. You won't be running to the store every night either and probably spend less.
Prepare your clothing. Mom would set out my clothes the night before, and even thought I don't actually do that, I do have an idea of what I'm wearing each day.
Make it appropriate for the weather and the day's tasks. If getting a haircut, don't wear a black turtleneck. Spending time in unfamiliar territory? Then wear layers to avoid problems with the temperature. If you still iron clothes like I do (I don't use the dryer for dress clothes. I have a thing about shrinkage), then iron everything at once. Put on your favorite TV show or music and get it done.
Why is this so important? Because everything in the closet is ready to go. Wear things more than once if they're not soiled. Saves time and money.
Go to bed. This is the most important thing of all. Why? So you can get up in the morning. I've learned this from my husband. It's never too early to go to bed if you're tired.
Get up early enough so you have built-in margin. But be careful not to piddle and use up all the extra time. That's my current problem—I'm using it and getting out the door later than I want to.
I wrote a draft of this post during a 15-minute free-write time on January 11 in the morning before work. I really liked moving my writing time to the morning, but last week it didn't work because I had duties at school in the morning and needed to get a move on.
Keep in mind that what works one week, might not work the next, but that doesn't mean you can't go back to it when the schedule changes. I'm no expert on time management, but I try to be efficient so I can relax and actually waste time and not feel guilty about it.
What tips do you have to manage time? Do you find you've gotten better the older you get or have you gotten worse?