You Have More Time than You Think

I want to write today about time management. Mostly because I suck at it! I spin my wheels; I spend my day daydreaming and pontificating and then complain that ‘I JUST DON’T HAVE ENOUGH TIME’! This morning, I decided I needed real world solutions to my real world problem.

Let me begin by saying, I like to think I know a lot about time management (I also believe that about exercise and diet) and I just don’t put what I know into practice. However, you and I both know that a guy who knew how to cure cancer but never shared it would just be some unknown smuck. An expert that can not put the knowledge to practical use isn’t really an expert (maybe that’s just my opinion).

My biggest complaint about time is that I have little free time. However, after putting into practice, what I consider my best way for understanding my time and how I spend my time:

I take a sheet of paper. I draw in seven days. I divide each day in to 24 hour increments. I color code blocks of daily activities (sleep, exercise, eating, work, repetitive leisure activities, etc) then I look at the time left (the white space). I then spend real time pondering the white space and how I want that time to be spent.

I have come to realize I have plenty of free time; I just am choosing to spend the time in ways that are less than satisfying.

As is my practice when I begin to write on a topic I do a little internet research. Today my research revealed a book I am very interested to read: 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think(affiliate link). Every review says the book is chock-full of good tips and tricks for accomplishing more every day and therefore every week. I did read criticism that the author suggests delegating and outsourcing many regular tasks (cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc) and we all can’t afford to pay to have those takes performed for us; but I’ll reserve judgment until I’ve actually read the book. (You can read an excerpt here).

I realize I am rambling a bit, and I apologize, but here’s my point:

You have more free time than you think – the real question is how do you spend it?

  • Are you watching NCIS (or fill in the blank for whatever show is your time waster) reruns?
  • Are you playing on Facebook (or twitter)?
  • Are you pretending to work?
  • Are you doing something you really want to do?

Try for this week to actually track your hours for a full week.

It won’t be easy.

You may become disgusted with yourself (and how much time you are losing to frivolous and inane activities) – I fully expect I will. But just like in business, you can’t manage what you don’t measure.

It is time for me to measure and manage my time – what about you?


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Happy First day of Spring – Go Pursue Happiness

Happiness is an interesting concept. It is something we all desire and yet it is a state of mind that few can completely articulate. What is happiness?

I learned as a child that I was entitled to the right to pursue happiness. Like many American children, I believed that meant I was entitled to happiness. I could ramble on and on about the ills of our societal belief that we are entitled to be happy, but I won’t, perhaps I’ll rant about that later. What I am coming to accept is that happiness comes in the pursuit. We must actively seek happiness. Happiness doesn’t just come and find you.

For the past several months I have been guilty of demanding to be happy. And, to be quite honest, of being angry when anything ‘made’ me unhappy! I wasn’t pursuing happiness, I was demanding that happiness come and overtake my life. Needless to say I was not happy! And neither were a lot of people around me.

Yesterday, completely by accident, I stumbled across a blog post: 10 Counterintuitive Tips For Being Happier I almost didn’t click on the link because I thought ‘what kind of hogwash is this?’

Instead I found an A-HA moment.

I won’t share what Gretchen Rubin says in her blog, you can click and read. Gretchen’s number one tip says to start by doing simple things like going to bed (ie get enough sleep) and don’t get too hungry. These are things that I need to be better about doing, EVERYDAY!

The second and ninth tips are the ones that really speak to me and I want to share them with you:

2. Do let the sun go down on anger.

I had always scrupulously aired every irritation as soon as possible, to make sure I vented all bad feelings before bedtime. Studies show, however, that the notion of anger catharsis is poppycock. Expressing anger related to minor, fleeting annoyances just amplifies bad feelings, while not expressing anger often allows it to dissipate.

9. Stop nagging.

I knew my nagging wasn’t working particularly well, but I figured that if I stopped, my husband would never do a thing around the house. Wrong. If anything, more work got done. Plus, I got a surprisingly big happiness boost from quitting nagging. I hadn’t realized how shrewish and angry I had felt as a result of speaking like that. I replaced nagging with the following persuasive tools: wordless hints (for example, leaving a new lightbulb on the counter); using just one word (saying “Milk!” instead of talking on and on); not insisting that something be done on my schedule; and, most effective of all, doing a task myself. Why did I get to set the assignments? I found it hard to give up nagging—in fact, I came up with 19 strategies to try to cure myself of the nagging habit.

Happy First day of Spring – Go Pursue Happiness

My Favorite Spring Picture

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Let’s encourage each other!

I wrote on Saturday about milestones and looking at the markers to be sure we were following the path we intended. I shared that my next post would be my 300th post. And that I wanted to examine the path of this site.  I have given much contemplation and anticipated a major announcement on ‘where this site is going’ for today’s post; I anticipated an A-HA moment when I had a prophetic revelation that would lead me to say…

So here is the deal my people….we are embarking on a WHOLE NEW journey!

I LOVE SAVAGE CHICKENS

Instead, I will tell you that my quest for average has taken me to the gym. Yes, as you read this (8am Wednesday March 14) I am at Planet Fitness! I’m sweating! I am encouraging endorphins into my brain! {In case you need a refresher on why endorphins are important – “Endorphins are neurotransmitters produced in the brain that reduce pain,” says Alan Hirsch, MD, neurological director of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago. “They have also been known to induce euphoria.”} It is doubtful I will feel euphoric when I arrive at work today, but I have great hope that by next Wednesday I will be embracing a new habit.

I will tell you that while I love sharing via this blog about personal matters, my weekends of history / photography, my memories, and other ramblings but I want to get back to sharing with you about goals, about the power of positive, and about the influence of social media. The latter takes more effort on my part, but I think (hope) it will create a more productive experience for both of us.

I will tell you that what I really love is to hear your comments.

Let’s encourage each other!

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Dust off your Dream

Title IX turns 40 this year. It should come as no surprise that I remember June 23, 1972,  the day it became law. I stood earnestly before the console TV and watched the news story. Girls playing sports! Naturally, my precocious nine year old self was anxious to be a benefactor of this new legislation. Sadly, I was in college before I played any organized sports.

She changed the face of Little League Baseball

My parental unit was of the ‘don’t rock the boat’ generation and change doesn’t come quickly in small town America. However, I was desperate to play little league baseball.  After College I coached little league softball. It was my way of being able to do what I had wanted since I was nine and the man on the news told me I could!

That’s the thing with dreams. They don’t die just because you weren’t allowed to do something. There comes a time when as an adult you MUST address those dreams! It may not be exactly the same dream. Maybe it is the grown up version of your childhood desire. I’m not saying that every childhood dream is worth pursuing, I also wanted to be a tennis player one summer, but some dreams are life long. They speak to who you are. Those dream need to find their way to fruition. Turn your dream into a goal!

Perhaps your dream was put on hold while you devoted time to your family. Perhaps you were side tracked from pursuing your dream career. What ever your dream, find a way to make it a goal. Goals are just dreams with legs. So dust off your dream and give it some legs.

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Dont You Dare Give Up

Some days it seems as if everything in the world is going against you. A salmon swimming up stream has an easier time reaching her goal than you’re having reaching yours.

I wish I had wonderful and expert advice to help you through those days. I wish there was a magic pill I could offer you that would make it all easier and better. I don’t.

What I can tell you is….

As hockey legend Wayne Gretzky once noted, you will always miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.

You must continue, even on the worst of days, if you want to succeed. So today, run in the rain, walk even thought it’s cold, read (or write) that book, practice that instrument – do whatever it takes to move you closer to your achievement. If you don’t give up, tomorrow will be better!

 

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Human Progress is Neither Automatic nor Inevitable

Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable. Moving forward is often the most difficult thing we will accomplish in our lives. The path from where we are to where we want to go can seem daunting. The fear of success and the intimidation of failure can cause us to never take a step outside our comfort zone.

What dream are you dreaming that causes you to lay awake at night yearning? Why are you not moving toward that dream in the light of day?

Today is THE only day you need to get started. Small steps or giant leaps – either will get you that much closer to where your heart desires you to go.

Just take a leap of faith and begin!

 

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