What $25 of Groceries Can Teach You About Time Management

The holiday season is coming up FAST, and honestly, this is the perfect time of the year to really highlight the importance of being super intentional with your time.

As a working mom, you already have a very full plate, but as you know, things are about to kick into high gear. 

So, how do you continue to be productive during the ultra-busy holiday months without working yourself to the bone or losing sight of what’s most important?

To start, I’m going to tell you a story — a story about grocery shopping. And just bear with me because I promise it’s all going to make sense by the end!

 

Let's say I handed you $25 for grocery shopping, and with that $25, I told you that you needed to feed three people for the next week.

We can probably all agree that $25 is not a lot of money to provide meals for three people for an entire week, right?

Now, normally, when I go into the grocery store, I always head to the right and hit the produce section first. And at my go-to store, the produce section is connected to the bakery — which is definitely a weak spot for me.

But if I only have $25 to spend, I’m not going to be tempted to waste any of those dollars on muffins or donuts. Because I know those tasty — but ultimately empty — calories are not going to last long and would not be the best choice to feed myself and two other people in a smart, responsible way.

The same goes for the chip aisle (which I also love). I’m going to breeze right past because I know that’s not a good use of my limited resources. And if you were in this situation, I know the same thing would be happening to you. 

In fact, you would probably be thinking, “Where can I get the biggest bang for my buck? What can I spend money on that is going to make the biggest impact and provide the best nutrition in the simplest, least expensive way possible?”

My first thought would be spaghetti! I can get a lot of meals for very little money when making pasta for dinner. I might also go to the frozen vegetable area and get some bags of fruits and veggies because they are a lot more cost-effective than getting the fresh ones right in the produce aisle.

The point is not really what you’re buying with your limited $25, but how intentional you are being with your choices.

You wouldn’t be eyeing the candy at the checkout. Your eyes would be on the prize of feeding yourself and your people!

And just like this limited grocery budget, as we shift into the holiday season, our time gets more and more constrained. We have more things we need to be doing. We have more obligations. We have more commitments. And we have to be more intentional with the time we have.

If you’ve been following me for more than a minute, you know I've talked through the importance of knowing your real available time so many different times and in so many different ways. And I truly think this grocery store analogy is the best one that I can give you for the holiday season and your schedule. 

 

Weekly planning during the holidays is particularly vital.

When I do my weekly plans in November or December, and I know I only have eight hours available to work on the things to grow my business, I'm definitely not going to waste them. 

I won’t be tempted to listen to one more webinar that isn't about something that I need to be doing right now. I'm not going to be tempted to go down the rabbit hole of social media and waste 3 hours there. I am not going to be tempted to put off the thing that might be hard but I know will have the biggest impact on my business. 

Instead, I'm going to zero right in on that “spaghetti dinner” that I know is going to have the most powerful impact and isn't going to waste the limited time that I do have.

So, as we move into this last portion of this year, I would encourage you, at the start of every week, to fill out that weekly plan. 

Identify what your current commitments are. Identify the time you're not available to work. And go through the exercise at least once of understanding how many hours you actually have this week to get things done. 

Because this process will 100% help clarify for you exactly where you need to spend your time, and as a result, your priorities will become crystal clear. 

You will be able, with much more ease, to step away from the distractions and not waste your time on things like the bakery section or chip aisle of your business. 

For more tips on all the things, time management, organization, and productivity, check out more blogs or podcast episodes!

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