Tag Archives: time management

Coming Home

Standard

Like many Americans I am returning back from a Memorial Day vacation. This time, as I returned to the daily routine of my day I have chosen a more mindful approach when enacting the activities of my day. Taking a personal inventory to ask questions such as “What did I truly miss while I was away or who did I miss when I was away?” are important questions to ask. Of course everyone has things in her or his daily routine that may not be enjoyable per say, however one can agree that if the activities improve the life experience overall, it is worth keeping such actives in the daily routine. For example, doing dishes and laundry,  or taking coursework in a subject that is not one’s strength, are activities that person may not want to return to however, she realizes that they need to be done.  Especially if that person enjoys eating off of clean plates and having clean clothes to wear.

The important part is not to mindlessly return to a routine after vacation. Ask if the typical actions of the day are producing the results that bring feelings of progress, fulfillment, satisfaction, and yes JOY! This life we have is so short and precious if it has become constant drudgery and compromise, instead of being fun and interesting most of the time, than something is out of balance and needs to be addressed.

So As you return from vacation or the stay-cation of a three day weekend I invite you to mindfully reenter your routine and make it a more satisfying one in order for you to have a happy life.

Don’t let it go to waste.

Standard

After I finish this post I’m going to eat a slice of the pumpkin pie I have in the fridge, with plenty of whipped cream.

It’s been sitting there for two days now, untouched. There’s nothing wrong with it, I’ve just been waiting for the right time to eat it. I placed a plethora of rules onto the experience. Some are internal some ingrained from growing up.

The rules of law for pumpkin pie eating include but are not limited to:

  • Not too early in the day
  • Not before we  eat a nutritious meal first (can’t fill up on pie before dinner)
  •  Oh now it’s too close to bed, don’t want to eat it right before bed.

So this goes on until, if I don’t act on it, the pie will mold in the fridge and I’ll have to throw it out. It becomes a missed opportunity to have an enjoyable life experience.

Now it’s wasted.

The reason why I bring all of this up to you is that I thought to myself, do we place too many rules on our pleasures of life, so much so that our life wastes away without enough of these enjoyable moments.  Rules like, I can’t play with the kids until this or that is done, now they are napping, now it’s time to start dinner. Or  I was going to snuggle with my husband but that article still isn’t written and I haven’t checked email all day, maybe something important I’m missing, now he’s on to something else that he needs to do. I have these blessings before me but if I don’t take the time to engage them, those precious opportunities can also be wasted, just like the pie, they are perishable.

It’s good to be mindful about enjoying the good times when they present themselves, it seems they can be too few and far between many times. The more of these small moments we seize and make the most of, the more satisfying memories will be available to reflect on in the end. Now, for some pie.

What are you doing? Manage your time, manage your life.

Standard

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself  “What am I doing?”  Why are you doing a specific action at a particular time?

It’s interesting to break-down how people use time.  What is the difference in actions between the way a transient person uses time and a billionaire? The way a stay-at-home parent uses time and how a corporate executive uses time? How a celebrity uses time and how an office worker uses time?  The way we use our time ultimately defines what kind of life we have to look back on, when we reflect on the life created by these consecutive moments, how time is used can have a major impact in the arena of material success, how a person uses their time is a fundamental  factor in a person’s chances of success.

In the poem I Was Going to Live My Dream But… I illustrate the many little time takers a person encounters in their day. This is written from the point of view of  a wife and mother, however it’s easily transferable to any life and the specific fill-in-the-blanks tasks that make up a  day’s worth of time.

Time is a precious commodity. As we get older time practically vaporizes before us, and once in awhile a moment will happen that causes a person to take note of just how many years have flown by. Those years, all made up of tiny moments, are reflected on, and the question inevitably comes “What did I do with that time?”

So what’s the point? What is the point of the tasks that take up a day? What goals do these actions make happen? What results come from these actions? Is it what you want? Are you happy? It’s  good  to be mindful of questions like these as the day goes by to make sure you are getting the most of every moment. Especially in today’s world of technology with literally thousands of methods of distraction available to us in an instant a person can lose a lot of time without a satisfying return on investment from how that time was spent.  It takes discipline, discipline  in thought and action in order to have satisfying experience of life.  Discipline becomes at the same time the most difficult thing to do and the most important thing to do when achieving goals to live a satisfying life.

Discipline has a negative connotation, as if something is being taken away– Freedom stolen.  This is not the case. Discipline is simply a path, like digging a canal that flows to the life a person wants, time can be much like water. Water can cause a lot of damage when it’s not channeled through a canal, at best it lazily floods and makes a big mess, at its worst it can be highly destructive, but all of that can be avoided with proper channeling of the water flow. Once water is channeled within a canal, it can irrigate a field, or serve as a water source, even create power if attached to a hydro-electric device.  Channeling the water makes it productive and the same is true with time. Daily schedules help combat distraction, and when teamed with a reasonable to-do list which is  marked by priority, a day’s worth of time begins to take shape. Much like a canal,  the schedule gives a path to time that causes something to be produced with it. Consulting  schedules and to-do lists  lends  guidance to decide what activity should be going on in a particular moment in order to reach a goal and feel satisfied at the end of the day.

These are merely guidelines of course,  as the day unfolds its undoubted that the schedule and list will go through alterations,  however there is still a course that can be returned to and priority tasks can be completed.

Make a list of all the time stealers in your schedule. Which stealers can be removed from your schedule by either delegating them, deleting them or managing them more effectively. For example social media like Facebook and Twitter can steal a lot of time if you let it, but with a timer beeping when allotted time is over, and by limiting access to it by only checking at designated times of day (this can apply to email as well), one can have more time for productive work with a good return on time invested.

It is important to make not only financial or material goals but also personal and social goals as well. Spending time with family, having fun, self improvement and care time are included in the list of what must be done. With the guide of a schedule and to-do list and with discipline to channel the use of time, one’s daily actions can produce a very happy and satisfying life.