Ask Chrissy/ 7 ways to manage your time better
Hi Chrissy. I’m young, ambitious and full of energy. However, I’m a little concerned about my time management as sometimes, I don’t get as much done as I’d like to. I look up to you and other successful women and wonder how you manage to have time to do all the things that you do. Could you let me into your time management secrets? Bianca
Great question and I wish I had a magic formula to share with you. I have to say that I wasn’t great at managing my time in the past but have learnt so many things over the years that have helped me. I do get it wrong from time to time, especially when unexpected things crop up but generally, I’ve gotten pretty good at maximising my time and learned through trial and error, so here are a few things you can try…
- Keep your house and office clean, tidy and organised
This might sound obvious but it really makes a world of difference. I can’t think straight when there is mess or clutter around me. When everything is clean and tidy, I think better, I feel calmer and work faster. Get rid of all clutter including old papers, magazines, empty containers, boxes, etc. in both your home and office. Streamline your wardrobe by throwing out or donating clothes you’re not wearing anymore and organise your wardrobe. E.g. I have my clothes on identical hangers and they are organised by type, so all my trousers are together, skirts and dresses together, jackets and cardigans together and so on, and each type of clothing is organised by colour, so picking outfits is fast and easy. I also use see-through boxes for my shoes and Perspex boxes and drawers for my jewellery. If you can see it, you can get to it faster and save time. I advise that you watch some videos on YouTube or organising and decluttering. There are some great tips out there. Also, something a good friend taught me – keep things in cupboards that you don’t use often. E.g. if you don’t use your blender every day, put it away. The more things you have out on surfaces, mantlepieces, shelves, etc. the more there is to keep clean.
- Invest in good cleaning products.
The saying goes that “you get what you pay for” and I’ve found that this is also the case with cleaning products. You can sometimes halve your cleaning time by investing in good products. Naturally, they are more expensive but you don’t need to use as much and you have a clean and sparkling house.
- Bulk cook
On top of my TV show, I’m also a speaker at events and do prison ministry work and this means that unexpected and last-minute things can crop up. I believe wholesome home cooked food is the best way to go so I often bulk cook. If for example I am making something like a stew, or Bolognese sauce, I cook double or even triple the amount I need and then fill up a few containers and put in the freezer for those days where I’m going to be super busy or when the unexpected happens. This method is also useful for when you know you have a busy week coming up so you already have a freezer full of homecooked meals that you can take out the night before you need them, and you can dedicate your week to your other tasks. You could even consider spending a few hours one day to cooking 5 different meals just for freezing. You not only save time with cooking but also with the cleaning that comes with it.
- Consider using a diary
I have a day to page diary that I take with me everywhere and under each day, I write what I need to get done both personally and at work. And if something comes up that I need to do in 2 weeks’ time for example, I put it straight into my diary so that it’s not forgotten about. If for any reason I don’t finish everything in that day, I simply cross it out and move it to another date. This helps me keep my tasks organised and accounted for and my mind stress-free. You can do this on a mobile device of course but I love writing things down and using a nice sparkly pen.
- Unsubscribe & unfollow
There was a time that I was getting way too many emails that were distracting me and not really helping me with anything. So I started unsubscribing from newsletters that I wasn’t really having the time to read anymore or that weren’t really helping me in any way. I was amazed at just how many things I was subscribed to. More recently, I’ve done the same on social media. Browsing through photos and peoples accounts can take up a huge amount of valuable time without you even realising. Just keep thing things that are helping you in some way.
- Cut out people from your life
Now this one might sound a bit radical but you could also consider keeping your distance from people that don’t add anything to your life, e.g. “friends” that are negative or that put you down, people that are selfish or who zap your energy or waste your time, businesses and suppliers who offer less than great service and so on. Don’t feel you have to keep certain people in your life because you’ve known them for a long time but no longer have anything in common with, have worked with them for a long time, because you feel sorry for them or guilty. You’re not doing yourself or them any favours. However, be balanced with this too. I do also believe in helping people and giving without expecting anything in return so help those who are willing to learn.
Every morning, I wake up in good time to get myself ready but also to have some quality time to myself where I sit at a table with my cup of tea, pray, meditate and think about the things that I would like to achieve that day. Being a busy person, pressure and stress is always around the corner so when I do this, I organise my time better, it clears my mind and gets me geared up and confident for the day ahead.
Bianca, I really hope these points help you, but the good thing is that you are eager to learn so that already tells me that you’ll soon be coming up with secrets of your own on how to manage your time better.