Set Up Time to Save Time


This is a guest post by Beth Dargis.

Things often seem to take longer than we think they will. The main reason is because set up time is not included. In fact, we usually don’t even think of it.

We see, according to our to do list or calendar, it’s time to do a task or a project. But first we peek at facebook and our email. Then we realize we can’t do it because we have to go find something or get out something. We get the thing we need. Then if we aren’t excited about the action it becomes time to procrastinate. Next thing we know we are watching YouTube videos. None of this time is scheduled in.

The better option is to plan for set up time and to be conscious about your set up time.

Before you start the work, take out what you will need: open the pertinent tabs in your computer while closing the others, get out your scratch paper, take out all your grooming supplies for the day, or get your sewing supplies. Keep track of how long that is so you can add that time to the task or project in the future.

Next you set up your mind. Think about how it will feel to be done with this. Think of how this task connects to a bigger purpose. Or how you can use it to guide your character. Or how you are thankful for this task. Keep going until you feel that motivation to do it. If it’s not working, call a friend for a kick in the rear. Or put on music that would be perfect for the task.

The more work you put up front getting your mind in gear, the less time you will spend flitting away with procrastination.

You can also consciously add procrastination to the work task. If you know before you can write, you need your coffee, you need to spend 5 minutes looking over your Google reader and you can’t start until you know there is nothing urgent in email – plan for this routine. And add the extra time to your schedule. Plus since you are doing it consciously you can time parts of the routine so set up takes 15 minutes, not three hours.

Think of your next task you want to accomplish. Perhaps you are procrastinating on it in this very moment. What do you need to set up, to make the action start easier and go more smoothly?

Now off to it!

Beth Dargis is the founder of where she helps the overwhelmed create a saner, simpler life. Her tips are short, sweet and right to the point. She says, “I deliver … Untamed possibility. Breathe easier simplicity. Hope. On the wings of understanding and encouragement. Step by step breaking down from “no way! “ to “why not?”. Get your free declutter calendar here.


** Photo Credit: by basykes

FREE "Decluttering Guide"

Enter your email below to receive a FREE decluttering guide:
"10 Questions To Ask As You Declutter Years of Accumulated Mess In Your House"

5 Responses to Set Up Time to Save Time

  1. October 25, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

    “The more work you put up front getting your mind in gear, the less time you will spend flitting away with procrastination.”

    Nice encouraging post. I can really use this simple routine. I also like the idea of setting aside time for “planned procrastination”.

    Dan @

  2. Dave October 25, 2012 at 7:17 pm #

    Hi Beth,

    Some really good tips here. I like your focus on entering a task with consciousness, that can make make such a big difference, and I sweep into my work without remembering to do that.

    Your advice to take out what you need beforehand really resonated for me, I often mess up my focus by fumbling around for materials and when I find them my concentration has been lost in the process. I’ll definitely try to put your tip into action.

    Something I always try to do before sitting down to work is to ground myself, to do something that gets me in my body, it can be as simple as taking a few breaths and being really present for that, or doing a quick stretch–anything that connects me to my body seems to center me, and get me into a good frame of mind.

    Thanks for the useful post!

    • Mohamed Tohami October 30, 2012 at 12:41 pm #

      Beth’s tips help increase our productivity. We tend to think that this kind of preparation work takes more time, while instead it saves us time and helps us finish the task faster.

  3. Beth Dargis October 29, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

    Thanks Dan and Dave!

    Yes, grounding is really helpful to do before working.

  4. Womens Fitness Program November 30, 2012 at 2:59 am #

    Thank you guys,You know I own a fitness and health blog and when I work I find it so easy to be distracted, Which often means I’m wasting time. This is some great advice.I need to be more grounded.

Leave a Reply