Monday, October 22, 2012

{Day 22: Lovely Little Time Management}


Some of the time management principles that executives use can be applied to your home to create better organization and more happiness. David Allen's Getting Things Done is the modern-day bible for doing just that. (And fans of The Office may have seen former warehouse manager Darryl reading this book in a recent episode). 

Some of my favorite principles, applied to the home:

1. Touch it once.
This principle is as it sounds. You try to deal with something only one time. For me, it is also much harder than it sounds. Some days it feels like I have the attention span of a butterfly. "What's that?" and I'm off to the next thing. Staying focused on the project at hand is the goal with "touch it once". So the laundry that I pull from the dryer gets folded and put away in the drawers or closet (not just set on somebody's bed to get put away later, or left on top of the dryer...). Can you think of others way to challenge yourself with this rule? I think it's fun enough to try!

2. One minute rule.
In this principle, if it takes a minute or less, you do it. If it is going to take longer, you make a plan or put it on your schedule to deal with at another time. An example from around the house is to take something back to where it belongs in another room. It takes less than a minute and prevents things from piling up. Plug in your electronics so your cell phone is charged. Empty the lunchboxes when you get home from school so you can easily pack them for the next day later. These tasks don't take more than a minute and save you time in the long run. Even unloading the dishwasher takes much less time than it seems.


3. Brain dump.
Maybe it's because I'm the mom of grade schoolers but I have a hard time with the name for this one ("poop" jokes: guaranteed laugh getter in our house). Instead, I prefer this image of Professor Dumbledore removing memories to his penseive to illustrate the idea. By making a list of all those things that are on your mind, you free yourself up for more higher brain thinking. It's as important around the house as it is in any office. Make a list of all the things that you need to shop for at the grocery store, appointments you need to make, even things that have gone missing and you are looking for (surely I'm not the only one with this kind of list??). 

{The Power of Moms, a gathering place for deliberate mothers, has developed a program for moms based on David Allen's Getting Things Done. Called Mind Organization for Moms, it's available for a fee from their website here. They had some sort of promotion and I received the e-book for free last year. I don't know if they'll do that again, but their website is worth checking out if you're interested in learning more. I also liked this article from the NYTimes about time management tricks.}

Do you use any of these principles around your house? Please share some examples in the comments!


  1. Oh I need to work on this. Great advice.

  2. I leave things scattered all over and am working with that challenge. ;-) My husband has been preaching the "touch it once" rule through our entire marriage. He said that it's something he discovered and it's born out of his laziness. I've caught myself actually putting stuff down thinking, when I go back by here I'll pick it up and put it where it goes. But then it sits there for weeks and every time I see it I feel guilty. (I'm laughing at myself as I write this)


Thanks so much for commenting! I love to read what you have to say. ~Carrie


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