Time management is something that has always come naturally for me. If you had to slap the nature vs. nurture question down on my time management skills, all signs would point to “nature” on this one. I even tricked my mom into thinking she was in labor 5 times before I knew it was the exact magical time to come out. I was probably in there meticulously planning my first day in the world (which of course had to include a grand entrance).
This week’s blog post includes my all-time favorite trick for managing my time and how you can apply this to your own life!
Meet "Double Dipping"
In my first job out of college, I heard our CEO talk about how he manages his time. He shared with us this concept of “double dipping”. Essentially, it is when you get to check 2 or more important check boxes off the list at once. In other words, it’s going for a run with your significant other so that you can cross fitness and quality time off the list at the same time. This is also known to us overachievers as “life” because we all know we wouldn’t feel right doing only one thing at a time! Kidding...kind of. Ok, onto how you can apply this in real life...
Here are some of my favorite ways to double dip:
Commute + Podcast = Personal Growth Time. Almost every single one of my morning commutes is dedicated to listening to a podcast (except for Monday’s which is like my Sunday because I listen to church). I have about a 45 minute commute so instead of wasting the time completely, I double dip with a little podcast action. HINT: While I am a big fan for learning for the sake of learning, I do take the first 5 minutes of my day once I am at the office to write down no more than 3 key takeaways from the podcast I just listened to with notes around how to start applying what I’ve learned. Not everything gets to move forward or remain actionable in my life, but it is a good way to capture the awesome knowledge I just consumed. PS. As long as you can go hands free, commutes are also a good time to make phone calls. Catch up with friends, call and make an dentist appointment, whatever. Keep crossing stuff on the list as long as you’re trapped in your vehicle!
Date Night + No Cell Phone = Dedicated Quality Time. When was the last time you interacted with a friend or significant other and both of you stayed off your phone the entire time? When Dane and I head out on dates there’s usually a hard no cell phone rule. We will even ask each other if it is ok to take out our phone if we do need to use it during the date night. It gives a chance not only to disconnect from the world, but to reconnect with one another.
TV Shows with Commercials + Chores = Speed Chores. For me to make time in my schedule to complete household chores is like a dog walking on its hind legs - ya rarely see it and it’s kind of funny to watch. Whenever I sit down to watch a show that actually has commercials (Sorry Netflix) I use the time during commercials to get something done. Changing a load of laundry. Washing as many dishes as I can in that period of time. Making the bed. Hanging up clothes that I left on the edge of my bed all week. Honestly, it’s kind of sad, but the fact that I’m racing against the clock makes me more motivated to get this kind of stuff done.
Walking the Dog + Nature + Mindfulness = Daily Meditation. This one of my absolute favorite because it is three birds with one stone, it honors some of my most important values (dogs and nature) and keeps me feeling centered. One of my more precious moments every day is taking my dog for a walk (usually it is not very long) and I use the time to visually appreciate the outdoors and being mindful while doing so. I am either reflecting on what I am seeing visually or chewing one specific topic over in my mind while we walk. If for some reason I am feeling super flustered and can’t get my mind to settle down, I add time and distance to the walk until I can get centered again. Which, now that I think of this, this is really 4 birds with one stone - forgot about the physical element of this! Hell yeah - go me!
Do you have any of these double dip moments currently in your schedule? What could be some creative ways to actually get more done by doing less? Please share in the comments section!