I’m not quite sure how to say this without sounding full of myself, so I’m just going to say it: people often ask me how I manage to do the things I do in my life. I’m not the CEO of Facebook or anything, but I do manage to keep six small people alive, work part time, hold a church calling, volunteer at my kids’ school, exercise, read, write, and (with lots of help) keep Segullah moving forward from day to day. Most days I even go to bed before 10pm, with the laundry folded and no dirty dishes in the kitchen sink.
I prioritize efficiency over perfection.
Here are a few tricks I’ve learned over the years that have helped me learn how to squeeze as much as possible out of the twenty-four hours in the day:
1) Set a timer
When I first started teaching writing, the grading nearly did me in. I’d get a huge stack of papers, and feel an incredible amount of stress about giving them all the appropriate amount of attention. When a colleague told me that she set a timer, and gave a certain amount of time to each paper, it felt so freeing! Suddenly I could spend my time focusing on the one or two things I really wanted my students to get out of an assignment, and I could let go of all of the comma splices along the way. These days, I apply the timer to lots of things– writing blog posts on my personal blog, folding a load of laundry (an episode of Modern Family is the perfect amount of time to fold two loads), or monitoring my kids’ piano practice so I don’t have to.