And just like that, autumn is upon us here in the UK. The days are getting shorter and the leaves on the trees are changing colour, showcasing beautiful red, orange and yellow hues. The seasons seem to have transitioned in the blink of an eye. Along with the changing seasons, our schedules seem to be getting busier, too. Our calendars are getting fuller and requests or commitments on our time are growing. This week has been particularly hectic and at times we've struggled to cram things in. Being so busy, honestly, isn't so much fun and in the long run it's not sustainable. It's got me thinking about simplifying our schedule and making some changes. Thinking about what we can change to make these days easier. I wonder what your tips would be? These are some of the changes that I'm hoping to make this month.ย 

Planning ahead instead of procrastinating - even when I'm busy (or think I'm busy), I tend to procrastinate. If I've got all day to do something, then it will invariably take me all day. Even if it's just a selection of quick/medium sized jobs. Give me a half day, and I'll busy on and get it done. This autumn, I'm going to challenge myself to plan ahead for the weekends. For some fun days out with the family instead of letting the weekends pass in a blur of tiredness, washing and battles over homework. I can't believe that we've not even been on a forest walk together yet this month, even though we've talked about it. A cosy walk wrapped up in warm clothing and perhaps a hot drink or two is definitely needed ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

Getting over the fear of waste -Recently, my son decided he wanted to give up one of his sport's clubs and I was hesitant. I was mindful not only of the money I'd invested in his sports equipment, but of the time he's invested in learning the sport. On so many levels it would seem to be a waste for him to quit now.ย 

I've decided it's time to get over this "notion of waste"...there's no point trying to encourage him to do something he no longer enjoys - regardless of whether a lot of time and money have been invested in it. Giving him the choice, means giving him the time to explore other choices and hobbies that he has a passion for. It also means we're not faced with arguments after school, trying to encourage him to go to club.

Stopping making casualย commitmentsย - It's so easy to make casual commitments, isn't it! To sign up to help with events at your kids school, take on that extra shift at work or to go to see that show you've got no real interest in. Then the following day/week/month you resent that extra shift/commitment that you have to take care of. Remembering to pause, to say you need to check your diary or to consider what trade offs you would need to make (swapping a relaxing night in/time with the kids to work an extra shift) is often enough to consider the merit of saying no.

Determining the bigger picture and focusing on itย - consider whether your activities/the time you're spending is bringing you closer to your personal goals or aims ... or whether you're just plodding along on that treadmill of life without much thought or deliberation. Consider starting a journal to explore your thoughts and dreams. Or set up a free Instagram account to share images and concentrate on what is important to you; chances are you'll make some new friends with the same interests too. If you'd like to say hi, you can find my accountย  here.

Be brave and if it's not working out, ditch it- I've found this one quite tough, but it's often necessary. If something isn't bringing you closer to your goal, maybe it's time to ditch it. Things I've had to let go of in the past have included

  • Voluntary work (I used to volunteer for both the Citizens Advice Bureau and the girl guides) but it meant I was struggling to keep up with things at home. I've put voluntary work on hold - not forgotten about it.ย ย 
  • Poor paying jobs. I used to do a lot of proofreading for a company that I enjoyed to work for. Sadly, as a sign of the economic times we live in, they reduced the pay last year. As much as I enjoyed the work, it wasn't viable any more and it had to go once I found alternative work.
  • Another online job has to go in October. As much as I enjoy earning from "side hustles" online (completing surveys, tasks and studies)...I'm terrible for plodding on with tasks because they're easy rather than because they reward me well for my time. I need to remember to take stock and really think about what's working and what isn't.ย 

I'd love to hear whether any of the things that I've discussed in this post resonate with you, or maybe you're very adept at managing your time and have some tips you can share. I'd love to read your thoughts in the comments section below ๐Ÿ™‚

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16 comments on “Autumn goals – Decluttering my Calendar”

  1. It sounds like you’ve got a handle on things, making sure you are wise about your time and letting go of activities that aren’t meant for you. For voluntary work, I think it’s easier to volunteer for a one time event rather than being a member of a group that regularly meets and requires multiple calendar commitments. By one time events, I mean stuff like giving 2 hours to clean up after a Christmas charity sale, or spending an afternoon at the school to help the teacher dole out fund raising sales that have arrived.

    p.s. The photo of the pink flowers in a simple vase with the coloured chalk in a jar, BEAUTIFUL!

    • Oh, you’re so kind as always, Priscilla ๐Ÿ™‚ Some of this week has been a struggle, so I’m hoping that if I plan a little, the rest of the month will be easier. I love your idea of one-off volunteering days, that would fit in much better for me. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Hi, Kate, it can get exhausting can’t it! One after-school club sounds great, especially at this time of year. There always seems to be so much going on in the run up to Christmas. Thanks for stopping by x

  2. Man, I can totally relate to “be brave and if it’s not working out, ditch it.”

    So many times I have a new idea I want to implement but I haven’t thought it all the way through. If I have an idea, I’ll make it happen but if it does not give me certain results I need or if I have a feeling it is no longer what I want to do I have learned to toss it.

    The world of the creative is so odd and vast. Endless ideas but limited time. And not all of your ideas have to be something great. It’s about learning which ideas resonate with you and others and focusing on those things.

    Thanks so much. Food for thought.

  3. I love this post, it has given me real food for thought. I have made the decision to stop spending as much time on low paying jobs, cause it ends up being a lot of travel and time for not much money. I need to work on doing as much work and generating as much income as I can within the timescale I have got. It’s difficult though cause it could easily mean a period with significantly less money. Obviously, I am keen to avoid this.

    I also like the comment about it being difficult to find time to go out for walks. For us (my husband is usually at work for some or most of the weekend), weekends recently have involved football training and matches, homework, housework and not much else which gets a bit draining. Will try and turn this round.

    • Hi Suzanne, I’m pleased you liked the post and fingers crossed that you find a job that is easier for you soon. I was quite lucky to be offered something from a previous employer, I hope you get lucky, too. Your weekends sound much like my own…let’s hope we can both turn this around ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Great post! Decluttering is something I always seem to be doing, bit by bit; I love the idea of a massive effort to sort things out, but I seem to miss that bit of bravery that you wrote about – sometimes, you just need to take a deep breath and chuck what’s no good into a pile for recycling/sale/bin/charity and be done with it! Thanks for this, it’s made me motivated already as I can feel some decluttering coming on this weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks so much, Caz. I’m pleased that you enjoyed the post. Sometimes it really does take a big effort, doesn’t it, and that bit of bravery. Just taking that deep breath and getting on with it. Some days it works and some days it doesn’t….we’ll get there in our own time, one drawer at a time. Here’s hoping you’ve had a successful weekend and thanks for stopping by ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I agree with the casual commitments tip. So often I make a casual commitment thinking it’ll only take about an hour, but somehow one hour always turns into two or three!

    • Isn’t that just so true! These things can turn into much bigger commitments than we expect sometimes ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I try to keep a balance and tend to keep one weekend day free for us just to chill and refuel or see family, it does help to keep the balance. I have been volunteering in a school towards a course I am doing but this September I cut right down on my time in school to focus on the course work, it has been beneficial as I am getting finished quicker and now I am not so stressed that the work is building up.

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