Now you are probably wondering how I am going to do that. Perhaps I watched the movie “In Time” too frequently and I actually think I can add time to your countdown clock. Oh wait! That was a science fiction movie. I guess I can’t really do that and you don’t have a count-down clock.
But I can still give you some extra hours this week. I guarantee that if you follow the five steps below that you will find yourself with at least two extra hours this week. So now all you have to do is decide – what will I do with those two extra hours (or more)?
#1 The Secret to Simplifying in One Week
First I’m going to show you how to simplify your life in a few easy steps and share a secret I use in therapy with my clients. “Simplify” is an overused word in today’s society and is often made more complicated than it needs to be (i.e.: there is a magazine about it) but the true meaning of the word still holds a lot of power. It may seem like what you volunteered for or planned “only takes a half hour” but all that time adds up just like pennies add up in a bank. Take a look at your schedule from the past month and see what things you could “cut”. You will be surprised how much extra time cutting a half hour item will give you! We often don’t calculate the ease-in, ease-out, prep time, transition time, possible stress, daily physical and emotional limitations we have when we plan small activities. We just think we can “fit them in”. One practice I suggest to my clients to really understand the impact of simplifying is for them to keep a jar labeled “time” on the shelf and a bunch of dimes in a second jar. Every time they do something that “only takes a few minutes” (even if it is picking up someone else’s mess) you must add a dime to the “time” jar. At the end of one week you can visually add up all the time you spent. If you want to make this practice more complex you can also add dimes for every time you spend cleaning or maintaining an item you purchased or time you wasted by not purchasing an item (like the time I spent the entire day trying to figure out my new Macbook instead of taking the half hour class for what now seems a bargain – $45.00). One must consider purchases made as well as time when figuring out their “time” value each week.
“I spent many, many hours putting together materials and finding my way through the questions and techniques. Earthschooling has made homeschooling my 9-year old daughter sinfully simple.” – Lynn T.
“From all the comparison I have done on ND distance programs (and I looked at them all) yours teaches the same things they do, yet your program is much more affordable. I am excited and I feel I am learning so much more than most traditional ND programs would teach…” – Jennifer in Canada
#2 I Have a Plan
I used to think going on a “tour” was such a poor way to enjoy time in another town or city. I wanted to explore on my own and really “get to know the people”. My point of view changed when I took an amazing tour with a teacher one year. I got to know the people and saw much more of the country than I would have on my own! He knew so many local people and took our group to see them all. And they knew all the “secret local places” to go. In the same way I used to think purchasing a curriculum was something I would never need to do because there were so many free online resources I could use instead. Since creating the Earthschooling curriculum my point of view on that has changed as well. Once I had created the curriculum for one child it saved me about 15-20 hours a week having the curriculum already done for my second and third child (yes, I love using my own curriculum). And as one of our happy customers said:
“…I spent many nights staying up to prepare for the next days lesson. One night I discovered Earthschooling.com and the very next morning I was prepared to begin a well thought out day. It has been very comforting and helpful to discover Kristie’s holistic website. I have been extremely satisfied with the content of her site and her program fits into our lifestyle. The monthly lesson plans have given me everything I needed to get started and more!…” – Linda Johnson
“The information I’ve learned so far (in the Naturopathic Series) has already begun to benefit the lives of my patient’s and my family…” – Justin Penyor
#3 – What and How to Delegate
Even delegating a small task can be helpful. It may seem like it would not save much time to have your children feed the pets every morning, sweep the kitchen floor and empty the garbage. However, when my children were little and they went to visit grandma for a week wow did I miss them doing those three “little” chores (see #1 above)! There are also other ways to delegate tasks. When making dinner ask for help with certain tasks, if a child asks you to do something for them and it is appropriate it might be better to teach them how to do it instead. This always works best if you delegate to people who love doing what you ask them to do. For example, I needed help with creating pretty photos with words last month so I asked my teen daughter who already does this on a daily basis when she Instagrams with her friends.
#4: The Magic Pajamas
Sleep is a surprising way to save time. When I first mention this idea to my clients they say “but how is sleeping an extra hour going to give me two hours of work? Won’t it take away one hour of my time?” Mathematically, this would be correct. However, people are not algebra problems. Making sure you receive the proper amount of sleep has been scientifically proven to increase your focus and productivity. I have had many years of personal experience with this as well. And I can guarantee you that if you don’t get a good night’s sleep you may blunder through the day and get two hours of work done. But fueled by a good night’s sleep you will work for a productive 8-10 hour day! Spending a half hour in focused meditation can sometimes bring the same results for people.
#5: Call 912
Calling 912 won’t really help. I don’t think that is a real number. But asking for help or time off before you get to the “911 point” is perhaps one of the best skills you can learn. This is different than delegating. Taking time off before you are sick is a strange idea for most people but it can save a lot of future time lost and health issues. Just last week I took “sick leave” from my volunteer job. I did it before I got too ill because I could feel what was coming and I knew once it arrived it would take weeks to leave if I didn’t slow down the pace. And those weeks would have added up to hours of time lost for them and for me. If employers understood the true impact of this concept they would stop insisting that people show up for work “as long as they can stand”. They are hurting their own company and productivity rates by asking this.
Asking for help means that you don’t want to “reinvent the wheel” every-time you do something new. This can save you so much time! If you are starting a business, starting to homeschool, or even just starting a new grade in homeschooling, be sure to connect with others. There is a lot of information out there on FAQs pages and with a Google Search, but sometimes it is just much easier and more efficient to ask someone “How do you…?” or “Where do you find…?” This is why we have a 24-hour live forum for our Earthschooling curriculum and for our students at The Avicenna Institute. Members can post questions 24-hours a day and receive answers quickly instead of spending hours looking for the answer online or trying to “figure it out”. As one of our members said last week:
“Wow! Thank you for your incredible fast response – on a weekend!! You guys are awesome! Thank you.” – Francesca
“You have really shown that you are truly interested in educating your students. You make yourself available beyond what is necessary.” – Tonya K.