Packing It All In | Time Management

Author: Lauren Coleman

September flew by in a bit of a blur. Admittedly I went on holiday for a week and spent a quarter of the month on a sun lounger. However I spent the rest of the time working 15 hour days on numerous projects. No rest for the wicked.

I used to get my knickers in a real twist when daily life became a bit more high pressured. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I breezed my way through last month but five things helped me through.

Getting Up An Hour Earlier

The idea was to set my alarm for 5.45 rather than 6.45 to give myself an extra hour. I’m a morning person so I’m far more productive first thing.
It’s very peaceful at this time in my house and I found I was able to bash out email responses far quicker than if I was going at it later in the day. What I didn’t anticipate was my body clock would adjust so quickly and suddenly decide 4.30am was a smashing time to wake up. Even 4.30 is a bit too early for me to creep downstairs so it was a bit frustrating trying to get back to some shut eye.

Don’t Bounce Around

The lovely Becky and I are doing this to combat our rather varied working and home lives. One day in particular I was feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of organising James’ birthday, writing a post, pulling together a presentation and briefing for an event I was working on. I’m a big fan of the to-do list but this time found myself grouping tasks together and scheduling a designated spot to complete things in. If an email came in at 10.30 relating to something I’d allocated a 2pm slot to then it just had to wait! Straight away I felt less pressured and it really helped with procrastination too. Becky sets an alarm to remind her to move on to the next task.

Online Shopping

We’re actually relatively new to the whole online food shopping thing and was put off by the delivery charges for delivering at ’normal’ times. Who wants their cornflakes delivered at 11pm at night?! Then Sainsbury’s did a promotion to schedule delivery at any time so we snapped up the offer. One thing making the whole experience even easier is the spreadsheet we’ve put together with twenty of our favourite meals with all the ingredients required. We just go through the options at the end of the week to decide on next week’s meals and then have everything delivered the next day. I’ve found it saves time not having to go out to do the shopping and in the evening we don’t have to think about what to cook.

What To Wear

I’ll hold my hands up on this one. I’m still perfecting it because it works so well for me when I remember to do it (and if I’ve found the time to keep on top of my ever increasing laundry). Laying out clothes the night before (or indeed for the week) is a great way to save time rummaging in your wardrobe in the morning. I figure this is even easier to do in winter when you know it’s going to be cold. In summer it can be tricky planning a week ahead with our temperamental weather.

Reminder Triggers

I’ve been making bigger portions of evening meals so can feast on the leftovers for lunch the next day. With back-to-back meetings it’s nice to know I’ve got a healthy meal waiting in the work fridge. However I seem to have a nasty habit of driving half way to the office and realising I’ve left my tupperware at home. I’ve started putting my car keys on a hook next to the fridge so as I unhook them it triggers a reminder to open the door. No more trips to the vending machine.

This post is an update on my time management feature earlier in the year. It seems I need more and more tips to keep on top of everything. Any helpful tricks you use?

{Contributors}

Photography by Anna Clarke | Image taken from Charlotte’s Bedroom Tour.

Author
Lauren likes Paris, Prosecco and Paint Charts
Follow Lauren on instagram @mrslaurencoleman
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18 thoughts on “Packing It All In | Time Management

  1. Online food shopping is a godsend – the late night deliveries even more so! I might be alone in that, but we get ours delivered between 9-10pm or 10-11pm every Friday – my husband works every other Saturday and I’m usually out & about all Saturday too so Friday night is the perfect time to get stocked up for both the weekend & the week ahead. We always plan what we’re going to have each night too – though it does mean that if our plans change, we end up having to do an emergency dash to the supermarket on the way home as we may not have originally planned a meal for that night. Note to self: get better at having food in place for cases such as this!

    Getting up early though… Never going to happen!

    1. Ha ha Jo, it’s much harder to get up earlier now the mornings are dark.
      Glad you’ve found the timing works for you on the online shopping. x

  2. Love this post Lauren!! These have come just at the right time when I feel like I am struggling to juggle everything at once. I do lay out my clothes the night before and I am an online shopper (we do click and collect as the boy passes Tesco on a daily basis) and I have to say both really help, but I am definitely going to take note on your not ‘bouncing around’. When I am writing for different blogs and trying to do social media scheduling / event planning / a bit of everything at the same time, I often finish an evening feeling like I haven’t got anywhere with anything, so this will hopefully help! xx

    1. Glad you found it useful Emma. I know you’re a busy lady too. Becky and I both swear by this method and I really think you get more done x

  3. Some really great pointers Lauren, something I really need right now.

    I have a tendency to drift a little and in all honesty, bury my head and not get jobs done that I need to, when one area of life/work is getting a little overwhelming. Which in the end makes me feel worse for not achieving the things I want to do.

    I guess a lot of this all comes down to looking after your own well being too. As well as making time to get stuff done, you do need to create time to step back a little and do things you want to do, rather than have to do (or what other people want you to do!). I’m making a real effort to make that space at the moment – and it’s working! x

    1. Hi Karen, such a good point to look after your own wellbeing. James is making sure I switch off at least half an hour before I go to bed to unwind a bit.
      Glad you’re making space for yourself lovely x

      1. Glad to hear it – 15 hour days aren’t good for you!

        One thing I’ve started to do lately is say no to people – places to go, parties, gigs, visits. We’ve made a conscious effort to take more time for ourselves lately rather than running round all weekend, every weekend. You know you’re getting out when staying home and getting all the washing done leaves you with a real sense of contentment! xx

        1. I know what you mean. 15 hours aren’t sustainable and it’s easing now. I consider myself lucky through – two jobs I love and my own business. I just need someone to do my washing 😉 x

  4. This is very reassuring to see that I am not the only person who plans ahead! I know a lot of disorganised people and they find it amusing that I am so organised – you can tell I am a PA! I am just not a morning person and I do all that I can to allow myself a few extra minutes in bed. Whereas my hubby is happy to iron his clothes every morning when he gets us (a man across the road from us can regularly be seen ironing in his pants at the same time ha ha), but every Sunday my clothes are ironed and put into the ‘work’ end of my wardrobe.

    I’m not a fan of online shopping. I tried it quite a few times but got so many replacement items that I usually ended up having to go to a supermarket anyway. I always plan the shop out and try to shop for two weeks dinners (we do have to pick up bread and milk etc in between but we can do that local shops on the way home from work). I am also a bargain hunter and head straight to the reduced aisle at the supermarket. Last week I excelled myself with 21 dinners for less than £80. I did a lot of cooking and freezing that afternoon but my food bill will be massively reduced this month.

      1. I plan out my dinners and include plenty of dishes that can be split into two dinners such as a bolognese, and I have a big cook off afternoon – usually while watching Netflix. A 4 pack of chicken which is one of the most pricey ingredients goes further than you think – I use one breast in a soup with loads of veg, one with a veggies for a pie filling and two for the main part of a meal. Think stirfrys or omelettes for using up last bits of veg.

        For lunches I fill up a salad box from the salad bar with tomatoes, peppers, cucumber etc to save having to buy whole packs of each item separately and then buy a cheap bag of salad.

        I shop at Aldi to pick up as much stuff as possible – then go to Asda for the rest.

        My soup maker has been my best every kitchen purchase – four big bowls of soups in less than 20 mins and you can chuck anything you fancy in. Great for the winter months.

        It is amazing how people are scared of food on the reduced aisle. Most of it can be frozen – and I find many items are fine in just a fridge for a day or two after the sell by date anyway.

  5. Woah! That is an early start (and I have early waking kids!!). One thing I always do is write a list of the next days jobs before I go to bed. It helps clear my mind and stop me thinking about everything I have to do. It means I wake up all organised, hopefully at least. I try to do lists for all the different things I have to do so work and personal so that I don’t forget to post that letter or buy the milk. Really need to get in to online food shopping though x

    1. The alternative was working for an hour later in the evening and I am utterly rubbish after 10pm!
      I love a to-do list Lottie. 🙂 x

  6. we have been doing online food shopping for the last few months and I love it!! i really disliked having to spend one of my evenings down at the supermarket so this is perfect. we’ve found that we only have to pay £1.00 for Tesco to deliver our shopping at 9pm on a weekday which is no great spend really. xx

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