“I have so much on my plate. Something’s gotta give this year.” Each year I set aside time to evaluate and do an overview of how I spend my time. I know that I need to clean house and take some things off my plate. I wanted to evaluate carefully and choose wisely what needed to stay in my life and what needed to hit the road. So I decided that this year I was going to come up with a system to do just that.
I lay everything out on the table much like the concept described in Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
Kondo suggests in her book that you take every piece of clothing you own and put it on the bed or floor. Next you pick up each item and ask yourself these questions.
- Does it bring me joy?
- Does it fit?
- Do I wear it or is it outdated?
By using these tests you begin to eliminate and discard those items that do not bring you joy or serve you well.
This concept also works on things that have a place in our lives and commitments that fill our schedules: book clubs, projects, volunteer work, school, new job assignments, board memberships, church commitments, helping friends, PTA meetings, seminars, conferences, etc….
At the beginning of each year I evaluate what is on my plate and what responsibilities I have ahead of me. Here is the method for deciding what to keep and what to remove off my plate.
The SandiCor Method
TITLE: Take each task no matter how large or small and write each one on a sheet of paper/file or document. One page for each task.
Next add these questions to each page without answering the questions.
- TIME: Note the time it takes to do this task/commitment. Is is monthly, weekly, yearly? What day of the week? How long will it last and what is your prep time and clean-up time?
- POSITION: What is your position/responsibilities? What do you do for this organization?
- COMPANY GOALS: What goal(s) does this group/company/organization have overall? What is their mission statement or purpose?
- PERSONAL GOALS: What is your personal goal for being involved/participating with this company/organization? What do you want to get out of it? Is it money, knowledge, friendship etc…?
- CONS: What are the cons? What are those things you must deal with in this position? What is the poop sandwich that you have to eat? What do you have to put up with to get to do the fun stuff?
- PROS: What are the pros? What are the benefits to you? If it is a benevolence organization, first answer your benefits and then add benefits to others involved.
Once you have filled out each page with the task name, you can begin to evaluate. Start with the smallest consumer of your time, i.e. volunteer work or book clubs. As you move from the smallest to the largest responsibilities you are able to see how much time you are spending as a whole. This will give you more insight as you walk through your year. Knowing what is on your plate and how much time you spend on each event/job helps you make better decisions when faced with new opportunities.
NOT ALL GREAT OPPORTUNITIES ARE MEANT FOR YOU.
Next, answer all the questions and ponder the importance of them in your life. Will it stay? Should it go? Does it have a timeline or a deadline? Touch the paper, review the responsibilities, job descriptions, etc… Meditate/pray/ponder on how you will spend your time for each task. Is it worth the time spent? Does it bring you satisfaction? Does it fill a void in your life? Does it bring you happiness or peace before, during, or after the task?
Do not move on to the next page/organization until you have answered all the questions for the first one. One by one dwell on the benefits and decide if it will stay or go. You may start a pile of “Maybe I will give it a go one more year” or “Heck yeah, I want to do this again.” Wherever you place your tasks make sure you think long and hard about what place it will take in your life.
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