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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences

February 27, 2018 - 8:00am -- Anonymous

It’s about this time of year that I get spring fever.  The few warm days have tempted me to look at cleaning out the flower beds, sorting out items inside and challenged me to begin a list of additional tasks that need to be addressed after a long winter.  Time management is a topic that will forever be discussed in different medias and while each of us have our own work styles, there might be some motivation that we can gain from reading how others accomplish tasks.

What’s a good way to get things done?  Well I’m certainly not the expert, but here are some tips that help me get focused so that I can cross some things off of my “to do” list.  See if any of these might be helpful to you?

*Make a list of projects or series of projects that you would like to accomplish.  I know the drawers in the kitchen and the bathroom need a good cleaning, so doing one drawer a week is a manageable task on my list.  The painting project will need to wait till I have two or three days at home in a row to clean things out, get ready for, paint and clean up.  A calendar works well for me to space out these projects with both time and money.  Identifying the budget to go along with the task helps to space it out by paychecks and keeps the project moving over a several month span.

*Write down projects that can be accomplished in short time spans and put them on a list or on paper and in a basket or bowl.  Every week, pull one out and put it into action.  Work with your family to make it an activity that you can all work on together and enjoy the time and energy accomplishing it.

*Things that need done on a regular basis, laundry, dishes, cleaning, etc. can also be done with a calendar.  Sometimes laundry and dishes are a daily task while cleaning can wait till the weekends.  Ideally, letting children help with these tasks is a great teaching tool and delegation can help you get more accomplished in the time you have available.  Remember, not to redo what the children have done, or they will quickly get the idea that “why should I do it, because you will only redo it.”  A job chart or jar (with chores on slips of paper) in it, are helpful to remind children that they are part of a family and we need to work to get things done together.  When you get a routine down, tasks are done quickly and then there’s time for other fun things or outside obligations.

*Can the larger tasks be broken down into smaller, more manageable tasks that can be motivators?  Remember that we get 80% of our productivity done in 20% of our time.  Keep things moving and feel accomplished by checking things off of your list.

*Don’t procrastinate.  Get the things you like to do the least, done first.  Don’t expect perfectionism and become organized so that everyone knows where to put things so that they can be found when they are needed. 

Life is full of “to do’s” and sometimes I just need a little help to get started.  Think about what you need to be motivated and implement a practice to get started.  Time management is a life skill that only improves with practice.  Think spring, and start your list.  You’ll be glad to have many items crossed off by the time warmer weather gets here!