Do you sometimes wish there were more hours in your day? I think we all do. While we all have the same amount of hours, some of us are better at using those hours than others. We all have those days when nothing gets done despite our best intentions, but what if we could have fewer of those days and more of the rockstar, get ‘er done days? That’s what Morgan Tyree helps us do in her book, Take Back Your Time.
About the Author: Morgan Tyree
Morgan Tyree is a lot of things. She’s a mother, a wife, a fitness instructor, a professional organizer, and a writer, amongst other things. After spending years evaluating her priorities, tasks, and goals, she’s worked out a system of matching up her tasks and her time to be as efficient and as focused as possible, while still having fun and making space for herself. She shares her systems in her book, Take Back Your Time.
Takeaways from TBYT
Why so much emphasis on time management? Well, for a lot of reasons. When you use your time wisely and maximize it, you actually minimize your stress. Time management also equates to the choices you make. When you’re intentional, it leaves more room for play and more grace for handling inevitable chaos.
The Daily Five
To foster independence among her children and give herself a break, Tyree developed what she calls “The Daily Five.” The Daily Five are five tasks she expects her children to complete every day. Rather than constantly asking her three children if they’ve done all five of their tasks one by one, she simply asks, “Have you done your daily five?” and her kids can check themselves.
The daily five is a perfect complement to morning routines, so if you’re building one for your kids, incorporate a daily five (or six, or four… whatever!).
Before digging in to how to use your time more efficiently, Tyree suggests taking a moment to identify your top priorities — three to five is good. While this isn’t exactly time management, it allows you to make sure your focus is in the right place.
Some top priorities are likely family care, self care, household management, health, job, religion, charity, and relationships.
To compare how you’re currently spending your times versus how you feel you should spend your time based on the priorities you set, Tyree includes free printables on her website. Filling in the forms will allow you to evaluate exactly how you’re spending your time and, therefore, make changes in the future.
Tyree’s time zones are the basis for her entire book and her time management system. Everyone has more or less productive times of the day or month. Sometimes, we’re unstoppable and clear the entire to do list in record time. Other times… not so much.
Tyree suggests matching productivity levels to tasks. She breaks it down into three time zones: Green, Yellow, and Red.
The Green Time Zone is a chunk of time where you can sit down and focus. Do tasks that require a lot of concentration during this time. You can read an essay, pay bills, or send an important email.
The Yellow Time Zone is a less focused time. Maybe your family is around and there’s more noise, or maybe it’s just a time of the day that you have lower energy levels and aren’t as productive. You can do a variety of simpler tasks at the same time, those that have flexible start and stop times.
The Red Time Zone is a stopping point. This is your free time for self-care or family fun. Having a solid stopping point to getting things done will allow you to rest and recharge your battery.
Assigning tasks properly to these time zone allows for efficiency, focus, and free time.
Successful multitasking relies on effectively matching complementary tasks. Certain tasks, such as folding laundry and catching up on a show, make sense together. Other tasks, such as making an important phone call while grocery shopping, make little sense.
Combining tasks that make little sense will cause you to do a poor job all around, leaving you feeling drained and frustrated. Matching tasks up wisely can save time and recharge your battery.
This concept is something parents everywhere need to be aware of and intentional about. Often, we cause ourselves a lot of stress and strife by making poor choices about matching tasks.
Thinking back to your chief priorities, you will probably want to consider making some goals for your family and your life. How do you want to spend your time? Goals help you to be intentional and focused.
Do you want to travel with your family? Read more books? Run a marathon? Make a goal for yourself. Be sure to include measurable time frames and find an accountability partner, if you can!
Taking Back MY Time
After reading this book, and completing the workbook pages and printables, I have a better understanding of how I currently spend my time and how I WANT to spend my time. I could stand to be a bit more intentional and focused in certain areas.
I now see that challenges within my time management are mostly due to poor planning or poor task-matching. Becoming aware of this concept allows me to make changes going forward in how I match my tasks to my time.
Taking Back Your Time: Final Thoughts
Overall, Take Back Your Time by Morgan Tyree was a good read. The logic about “seasons” of life and the tips on maximizing time and efficiency are on point. While I still have not implemented scheduling different tasks within different zones, it’s definitely something I plan on doing once my children are in school and our schedules become more regular.