Catholic Husband

Love / Lead / Serve

Maximizing Your Time

How you spend your day is important. Each day there are gaps of time that could be put to better use. You already have a daily routine and it might be very loose or it might be very structured. Regardless, you have a series of activities that you complete each day in a given order. What happens when you want to add something new to that routine?

Alison and I recently bought a bread maker. As a part of that purchase, we decided it was time to rearrange the cabinets in our kitchen. Knowing that we had new demands on our cabinet space, combined with our desire to keep the counters as clear as possible, forced us into new ways of thinking. Having a new reality or a changed set of parameters can allow you to think in ways that you previously couldn’t. The same is true with your time.

From time to time, you’ll want to take up a new hobby or passion. It might be a construction project, daily reading, you might subscribe to a newspaper, or it may even be daily prayer. When this new time demand comes into your life, you’ll need to rethink your daily routine so that you can continue to accomplish everything else you’re already doing, assuming this new activity isn’t filling unclaimed time.

Changing your routine is hard to do. It requires lots of trial and error. You’ll be attempting to balance the demands of the new activity with your own preferences. For example, if you get a newspaper subscription, and you can’t read it in the morning because you’re not awake enough, then you’ll need to find time in the evening to read it. Any new activity should be put in a time slot that works for you. Put it in a place where you can maximize it.

Make small shifts to change the game. Big changes at any time are a bad idea and really just set you up for failure. So if you need more time in the morning, move your wakeup time by 15 minutes, not 2 hours. After 2 weeks, move it 15 minutes again. Gradual changes will produce the greatest result.

Another strategy is to consider shifting activities based on their demands. Ask yourself two questions; 1) What do I need to do alone? 2) What can I do with others? By dividing your activities in this way, you can understand how your schedule relates to those around you.

Your routine should be constantly evaluated to move with your schedule and to find better efficiencies. The more efficient you can be with your own schedule, the more time you can spend with your wife, family, and in relaxation mode.