Make More Time by Dropping Tasksposted by Andrea | 07/29/2013
Last year, I wrote a post about 5 choices when you’re short on time. The 5 choices I mentioned were:
- Get stressed out, worry, and lose sleep.
- Streamline the activities so they take less time.
- Steal time from another activity.
- Find someone else to do the tasks for you.
- Drop the tasks completely.
Out of all of those options, the least popular (and often the most difficult to do) is #5.
However, in my experience, dropping a task that I don’t have the time or energy for can be SO freeing — and exactly what I need to simplify.
It might be something as small as deciding not to vacuum or clean the bathrooms because it’s not really necessary and I know there are plenty of other more important things I could be doing with my time. Or it might be something as big as changing a business or life goal because of circumstances out our control.
Over the years, Dave and I have dropped several activities in order to make more time for things that are important to us at that point in our lives — work, family, home renovations, etc.
In fact, just a couple weeks ago, I shared a few things I’ve purposely dropped and don’t make time for at this point in my life. I’m not implying that no one should make time for those specific activities, or that they’re not important; I’m just saying that right now, it doesn’t make sense for ME to spend MY time on those activities when there are so many other things that need more of my time and attention.
Obviously, there are some things we can’t just drop — like our jobs and our families — but if we really stop and think about it, there are most likely MANY things we do on a daily and weekly basis mainly because we feel pressured or guilted into doing them… or maybe it’s just me!
We feel like we HAVE to say yes to housework because company is coming over.
We feel like we HAVE to say yes to another committee or volunteer opportunity.
We feel like we HAVE to say yes to more hours or another project at work.
We feel like we HAVE to say yes to making fancy treats for our kids’ school because the other moms do to.
I could go on and on.
The point is that if we just stop and think about all the things we do each day, I’m guessing that there are at least a few things we can drop to open up a little more breathing room in our schedules.
I know from experience that the Fall months are some of the busiest months — with back-to-school, all the committees and programs starting up for the year, and then the holidays are here. Sometimes I feel like the last few months of the year leave me breathless.
And while some of the busyness in our lives is caused by activities we really DO have to do, there are plenty of other things we don’t have to do. So although there’s still another whole month of Summer left (believe me, I’m not trying to rush anything!) I figure it might not be a bad idea for us all to start thinking about a few ways we might be able to make more time by dropping some tasks that don’t have to be done.
I know that whenever I’ve dropped a task, I’ve always felt a sense of relief afterward — which is almost as nice as the extra time in my schedule!