Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Time Management!

What a waste of time!

Searching for items, spending minutes, hours looking for them. Repeating the same things over and over again when you can do it just once. Running errands without a list to find out you forgot something and have to go out again. How much time do you waste? I'm afraid to even know.

Time wasting costs time... but it can also cost money. Being organized... THAT saves you time to do the things that are productive, and it can also make you money!

Time is like your bank account filled with money (I wish) and you get to choose how you will spend it. So lets say you have lots of money and decide to go out and buy an expensive steak dinner. Once you've spent that money it's gone. Now you could have gone to the store bought a great steak, cooked it for you and your friends and spent way less money. You have that choice. The same is true about time.

Your time bank account has lots of resources, but if you are like me you might be spending it foolishly.

I forgot a valuable lesson about this that I learned along time ago when my kids were little.

The moment came for my son (he's the oldest) to start to learn how to tie his own shoes. The thought of teaching him to tie his shoes would arise when we were ready to go out. I had a choice on those occasions to teach him to tie his own shoes or just do it myself. I opted to do it myself because I rationalized that it would take less time. That was true for that particular moment but then I realized if I added up all my shoe tying for him it was a heck of lot more effort than teaching him how to.

That experience happened about 33 years ago and last night I remembered that lesson and realized I was doing the same thing again with my meds. Time wasting.

Each morning and evening I open the bottles and pick out the pills and re-close the bottles and then look at each pill in my hand to make sure I got them all and then I swallow. This happens twice a day 7 days a week. Once I have the bottle opened it would take a bit more time to pick out seven pills drop them in a seven day pill box and then close bottle and repeat till I was done for the whole week. My estimation is it would take me maybe 5 minutes more on one morning of the seven days. Then all I would have to do each of those other 6 days is open the one marked for the day and swallow.

The above example is just one illustration about my time wasting.

So what to do? I have made many attempts to organize my life with to do lists. I love them, love making them, love crossing off what I've done. There are some problems with this though. I usually use a small note book that I thought would be helpful if I carried it around with me in my pocketbook. My goal was to do the list each morning (I'm too tired at night to think straight) The problem with this was half the time I couldn't find the notebook, ( a time waster). The other problem was if I didn't accomplish what I set out to do I gave up.

So I was stuck, wasting time. Well after realizing how I was wasting time on my pill intakes I decided I needed to analysis my other time wasters. I needed to come up with a type of system that would:
  1. keep me on track for goals
  2. figure out how to be a better time spender
So my little to do list page for my 6 day work week (God rested on the 7th day) will be on a clip board in my workroom that stays put so I don't loose it. On it I list the to do's and then what did I do. I call this The Boss. You know that guy who looks over your shoulder making sure he's getting his money worth out of you, the paper has now become my boss, the one I have to answer to.

What will this do?

My hope is that I can see what I've accomplished (hooray) and what I haven't (boo hoo). For the not done I'll ask myself the important questions of why? What happened that kept me from doing all that I wanted to do. I might not be doing things (like soap wrapping) in a productive way and then I can search out better ways to do it.

My purpose in this is not to beat myself up for not getting things done but to improve my life and how I function. I'm excited and really looking forward to being the best I can be.

My worksheet is crude but feel free to use it if you are so inclined to go on the journey of reducing time wasting. You can see it here

Of course keep in mind you and I also have to be realistic in what we can and can't do, you understand that, right? I'm not asking of myself to have a to do list that would take a great time spender a week to accomplish but I want to do it in one day.

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