Welcome to Mission #42 of our 52 Get Organized Missions.
If your life is overstretched and you feel out of control, then use this organizing mission to cull your commitments.
If you’ve completed the previous mission Get Organized Mission #41: Simplify Your Life Possessions, congratulations! This mission will help you simplify your time wasting activities.
Remember: you only need 30 minutes for the basic mission. Extended Options are below.
If you’re new, you might like to start here -> 52 Organizing Missions.
Get Organized Mission #42:
Simplify Your Life – Time
Step 1: Identify Your Time Ninjas (15 minutes)
To make the most of our 30 minutes, let’s concentrate on commitments that steal your time – activities you haven’t consciously chosen.
Review your schedule and look out for insidious, sneaky time killers. They might include the following.
‘I’m Popular’ Time Ninjas
If you make social dates or hang out at the local coffee shop/karaoke bar/rifle range just to feel like you’re part of a group, then ask yourself if this is time well spent.
If you enjoy it and feel refreshed by the activity, then keep it. If not, your life may be happier – and simpler – without it.
‘Please Like Me’ Time Ninjas
You know you’re a victim of the ‘Please Like Me’ ninjas if you say yes to commitments only because you can’t stand the thought that someone won’t like you if you say no.
If you want a simpler life, you absolutely cannot avoid the word no. Say it with grace, courtesy and kindness – but say it!
‘Overcompensating Parent’ Time Ninjas
Parents can fall into the trap of doing a task for kids – like cleaning their room or washing their clothes – long after the kids are old enough to do it themselves. Or signing up for school rosters – like daily canteen duty – just to look like a good parent.
If you focus on the activities and time that have real meaning for you and your kids, you can probably let yourself off the hook for spurious ‘family time’ and excessive school duties.
‘It Has To Be Perfect Or I’ll Die’ Time Ninjas
If you lose serious time each day cooking gourmet meals from scratch, keeping your Lladro collection polished to a high sheen, or hand-washing your doilies, then it’s no wonder you feel there’s too much to do each day.
You only have so much life and time – does perfectionism justify such a sizeable chunk?
Step 2: Assassinate Your Time Ninjas (15 minutes)
Now that you’ve identified your chief time killers, it’s time to turn the tables and wipe them out – and simplify your life in the process.
Take a another look at your schedule and each of your time ninjas. Following are some ideas for killing them.
If you’ve already made a commitment to others:
- Resolve to decline future invitations. Picture yourself saying no when you get the renewal call/letter/email. Rehearse if you need to.
- If you’re worried you’ll cave when the time comes, give your notice now. Send a brief note or make a friendly call saying that, owing to your other responsibilities, you won’t be continuing when your current commitment concludes. Don’t over-explain.
If you haven’t made a commitment, but others need to know:
- Call or email now and explain that, owing to your other responsibilities, you’ve decided to withdraw from this activity.
- Sit down with your partner/family/friend and talk about what matters to each of you. Explain that these are the things you want to focus on, so you’ll be letting other pseudo-activities go.
- Be prepared to suggest alternatives – like other karaoke lovers or simpler recipes – if you know of them.
If no-one else is involved:
- A ritual can help you release habits like perfectionism that don’t serve you anymore. For instance: say goodbye to the activity, thank it for being part of your life, and tell it that you don’t need it anymore.
As with simplifying your life of possessions, you may be surprised to find that you gain energy and motivation from this mission. Enjoy it!
Dos & Don’ts
- Don’t lose sight of the fact that time is life. Let how you spend your time reflect what you value.
- Do focus on the benefits – a simpler life and happier relationships – that will come from eliminating these time ninjas.
Extended Organizing Mission Options
Want to go beyond this 30-minute organizing mission?
- Complete this mission as a family. Share the experience of identifying and releasing your individual and family time ninjas.
- Complete this mission with a trusted friend. You can help each other to own up to your time ninjas, and support each other in letting them go.
Ready, Set, Go!
Remember – move quickly, act fast, don’t overthink.
Before You Go: Check In!
Please add a comment below to say you’ve completed this week’s Get Organized Mission and you’re keeping your commitment.
And see you back here next week!
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