It’s safe to say most of us have experienced being stuck in a rut. Life just continued to quickly pass by while we expected it to get better. The reality is nothing changes unless we alter our direction.

Not so many years ago I was in 16 organizations, on 7 Boards, while working 50 plus hours a week. I was giving back in many ways but sacrificing time that can’t be replaced. It was time to make changes.

The first step was to adjust priorities and free up some time. Today, I am only on one Board that rarely meets. Now Lindsey Reinke, my daughter, and Joe Reinke, my son-in-law plus others at John Henry's Plumbing, Heating, Air, and Electrical have taken on many of these roles on Boards or are members of various organizations. Everyone on John Henry's Plumbing, Heating, Air, and Electrical’s team has stepped up and is doing a great job. That’s all helped free up time.

I’m now attacking my To-Do List during my 7th week of “vacation” while working part-time from home. Not everyone has that much time available, so we somehow have to find time to get To-Do Lists done. It’s kind of like eating an elephant; it takes one bite at a time!

Attacking a To-Do List allows us to check off one item at a time including those we tend to avoid. A good example is family photo album boxes and the photos in bundles that I was “always going to arrange better someday.” They historically remained on the To-Do List. Those pictures will soon be arranged and off that list!

Do you have boxes of photos that need to be arranged? Photo albums can be worked on as little as 15 minutes a day or even an hour set aside each week. In time they will be done and checked off the list. Just starting to do this tedious work is the first step!

It also helps to get rid of projects that can wear us out each time we see them and know it’s one more thing that needs to get done. Some of those ongoing projects can also provide cash and free up space. A friend just sold a ’54 Chevy pickup for $10K. It sat there for over 20 years while he, “considered restoring it.” Selling it freed up a stall in his garage, so he can park his daily driver inside now. He loves that extra space.

Maybe a project you have is smaller like a chair that needs to be repaired. If it has not been fixed or used for a few years, do you need it? Can it be tossed or recycled?

Another great way to free up time is to hand off work you do not like to do or have been avoiding. Often it can be completed better by someone else. Your plumbing maintenance is a great example. An annual service maintenance agreement will free up that time and reduce risks.

Plumbing Service Maintenance Agreements allow that tedious work to be completed by professionals on a systematic basis. Trained plumbing technicians know important things to look for when they inspect your systems. For instance, do you have a plastic water supply that is the type that breaks easily and floods homes? A flooded home would reduce your valuable time!

Do you have a toilet or faucets that need maintenance? Has your water heater been drained as recommended by the manufacturer? Is your water heater emitting high levels of carbon monoxide? Is your sewer draining properly or ready to back up?

A heating and air conditioning Service Maintenance Agreement also makes sense to free up time, reduce risks, improve comfort, and increase energy efficiency. Do your humidifier filters get changed annually? Again, what are the carbon monoxide levels? Are you safe? Service Maintenance Agreements are easy ways to free up time and reduce that To-Do List.

Completing tasks can also provide a feeling of accomplishment. After rearranging our Husker Big Red room it’s much more enjoyable. Seeing Coach Scott Frost and other legends on the walls add to the excitement for our next football season. Coach Scott Frost is also a great example of a great motivator with strong organizational skills and direction. Thanks for coming home to resurrect our Husker nation!

We all deserve to have less stress and more free time. Shrinking that To-Do List will help us do just that so we can concentrate on our Bucket List!

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