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I’ve only done one real reader survey with this blog. From it, I realized three main things:

  1. I wish I would have done a survey sooner, and more often. You guys are awesome, and I am so grateful that you take time out of your day to read about what’s going on in my little teeny corner of this planet.
  2. Apparently, you guys want me to talk more about me. Which feels very odd, like I’m going to start alienating you all when you realize how awkward and disorganized I am. But I hope you’ve noticed that I’ve been trying, like here and here. (And just you wait – that post about laser hair removal? Oh yeah, it’s coming. You’ve opened the floodgates, people.)
  3. Many of you are very fond of the word “Superwoman” – which is so very flattering, but also incredibly false – and I need to tell you more about how I manage all of the stuff that goes on in the UDH world.

But, unlike the dating post, getting all of my thoughts down wound up being too long for one post. So, after taking the last five months to get my posts together, I’m happy to announce that I am finally starting my series on time management. It took this long because 1) I didn’t want to start another series I’d feel rushed to post each week. So I wanted to make sure I wrote the first couple of months of posts before announcing a series that would pfft out like some of my others (yup, that was a fart noise); and 2) We’ve established that I’ve got a lot going on… so sometimes it takes a second to get something done. Ha, the irony.

I”m going to keep it simple and just call the series “Time Tips” (I considered calling it something cutesy, like Ducks in a Row  – get it?)  But in the end, I wanted to make this easy and straightforward for both of us. By far, it was the most popular request from the reader survey, and it’s been one of the most popular subjects when you comment on a post (“I can’t believe you work, go to school, and remodel your house! HOW DO YOU DO IT??”). So I’m giving in. I’ll spill all my secrets. From the most disorganized chick on the planet.


The Disclaimer

We have to start somewhere, right? Let’s start with the truth:  You want advice… from me?

To be perfectly honest, I’m kind of surprised anyone would want my advice on the subject. I’m not in the same situation as many DIY homeowners. I’m single. I don’t have children. But, hopefully, the fact that I do manage to juggle several very stressful, trying, and time-sucking activities into my life, who knows? Maybe you’ll find a few nuggets of wisdom in my rambling. And if that’s not what you came to read about on this blog, then you can still catch some of my tutorials and some of my whacky dog photos in other posts coming to you each week. Everybody wins.

All I’m going to ask of you in this series is to please remember that I’m not really designing this series to be some sort of self-help thing. I might have a bulleted list; I might ramble on and on about only one topic for a particular post if I think it needs a thorough explanation. There won’t be a lot of “Top 5’s” or whatnot; while they’re probably good for a my blog growth-wise, I don’t find that I get a lot out of them (who else feels they almost always know at least half of what’s on that list, and yet you read it anyway?). I sincerely hope that one or two of these things help you find a little more space in the day for the things you want to do – and make you confident that it really is possible to keep a little sanity in the middle of a busy schedule. But there’s also a chance that these things that I do work only for me. So let’s make this an interactive series. If you have your own tips to share, please do!

First tip:

Keep the rules that work for you; quickly ignore the rest.

Yep, this is still pretty much in line with what I’ve just said. But it also works as the first tip for this series. There are a LOT of ideas, books, and online articles about how best to manage your time. And that’s because certain things work for certain people really well. And sometimes they don’t. Both are okay if you learn to give them a try, and only keep the things that work for you. Only a handful of them will work for you.  Don’t worry if your best friend’s super detailed to-do list makes you frustrated rather than organized. If it works for her, that’s awesome – but you may not be a list person. Don’t feel obligated. Don’t feel like you’re doing it wrong if you choose to deliberately ignore the stuff that others swear by. Don’t feel guilty about finding that something didn’t work (I’m tempted to quote Edison, but I won’t). It may take a little trial and error before you hit a workable groove; you may find that a certain method works really well for a short period of time and then stops. Stay flexible. Experiment. Because eventually (and this is the takeaway here, I suppose), you’ll hone the needed skills to more quickly identify what works and what doesn’t, making you more efficient at … well, being efficient. Ha.

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  1. I think my all time favorite time tip came from a guy who worked an insane number of hours and yet somehow managed to design a line of shoes, get them produced in an Italian factory and distributed. I asked him how on earth did he do all that, and his response was so simple. He said,” you know all that time you spend watching tv, surfing the Internet, whatever….. While you do that, I am designing shoes.”

  2. Sarah, I have to tell you, you and Kit are my heroes. I’m 27, single, living alone, no kids and have had my own ugly duckling for almost a year.

    While I still would have had the balls to muddle through gutting my kitchen immediately upon closing without knowing about y’all, I’m constantly inspired and encouraged to know that I’m not the only crazy one out there, and that there are PLENTY of projects out there that I have yet to tackle that are totally within my capabilities.

    Keep on rocking!

    1. I completely agree, you both are my heros! You and Kit are fantastically talented human beings and graciously humble all over. (Oh go on, -i will!) I will even go as far to say, you inspired me to believe I could start my own silly blog about my own very ugly duckling. And although my blog is a festering poop blob in comparison (all I could come up with at 12:00am) to your adorable site, I followed you in so many ways. I thought , well she had to start somewhere too! So with that being said, (I hope I’m not creeping you out TOO much) Im glad you’re starting this series so I can learn a little inside scoop on how to manage this life and blogging through it. Sometimes i feel overwhelmed. And when I say sometimes I mean everyday.
      Keep up the good work, stay real, I think we’re friends already in my mind, I guess. I pretend…
      This is me
      http://Www.christyreneedesigns.com. Try not to laugh too hard ;)

      1. What an interesting layout for a blog! Lots of luck too. And what you’re going through is completely normal. I’m probably still going to act like a starstruck fool at the Haven conference this fall :)

  3. I love that tip. It has taken me months to realize I need to accept that my way works and I don’t need fit into this post calendar idea of how I should manage my posts or my time. I love that you mentioned being flexible because one way may stop working down the road. Feedly really is the best I love how simple it is. The recently created a button you can put on your blog to have people follow via feedly.

    1. One thing I haven’t seen is whether or not they have a follower count. I want to put a button on the site if they do!

      1. I don’t think they do yet. They have an area for input and have been very responsive to user suggestions so far. Their Facebook page is helpful for updates as is their blog building feedly.