I recently came across the term "fringe hours" in one of my Facebook feeds. It piqued my interest so I had to click on the article to read more. A mom and blogger named Jessica N. Turner coined the term and wrote a book about it. Essentially fringe hours are pockets of time in your day that are often frittered away and wasted essentially leading to a lack of productivity. Think about what you do while your coffee brews, or while you're waiting at the bus stop with the kids, or how you're spending the 45 minutes before the rest of the household gets up in the morning. Are you using that time to the best of your advantage?
Here's how to capture those minutes to take back your time and get things done:
1. Track your time.
For one week log where your time is going and how it's being spent. I bet you'd be surprised how much of it is spent on social media. Did you create yet another Pinterest board?
2. Evaluate how you spend your time.
Really delve into the reasons why you're spending the time the way you are. Ask yourself some questions: What items MUST I do (work, school, child rearing)? Do I have too much on my plate? Could I delegate or hire out any of my tasks? Is what I'm spending my time on helping me reach my goals?
3. Take back those minutes.
Fringe hours can crop up without warning so have a plan in place. Keep a list in your purse or on your phone of things you want to get done. The extra wait time at the pharmacy could mean you delete old photos off your cell. Waiting for your kids' bus could mean you wipe down your silverware drawer. The hour after your kids go to bed could be your time to weed out your recipe box.
Taking advantage of fringe hours doesn't mean you start a large, complex organizing project like tackling the garage or revamping the master closet. It's about simply knocking off mini tasks that you never seem to get done. Then again you could use your fringe hours to relax and regroup by picking up a favorite book or taking a green break outdoors. Organizing your mental space is just as important as organizing your physical space. Whatever you do, use these mini-minutes as a way to take back your day and improve your time management.
How will you use your next fringe hours?
Psst... You could spend them by reading the book - The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You by Jessica N. Turner. I think I'll be adding this to my reading list!