Posts Tagged ‘Time Management’

I really liked the theme of our Sunday Photo post this past Sunday – Time!  I am all over the board when it comes to all things “time.”  If I have a meeting or appointment, I am an on-time kind of gal. Arriving somewhere 5 minutes early is quite late for me. While I still am on time for those things, I am here and there and everywhere on so many other time-related things.

Starting more aloe plants for swapping

Starting more aloe plants for swapping

I am a potterer (is that a word?) I potter around, in that aimless way (sort of). There is a method to my madness most of the time, but I do get distracted easily and find myself working on something completely different than the task I started on initially. I get things done (for the most part.) So many things are on the big “list of things to do”  and I will chip away at it. Some of the projects I can do quickly, others are ongoing and just take time. Heck, everything since January takes a lot more time than it used to. That alone is a new concept in and of itself.

I am a list maker. Always have been, although the older I get the more important it is. I was one of those people that used to remember all the details like phone numbers and little tidbits. I had several jobs working phones. One was a switchboard with 10 incoming lines for a international music company where I knew most of the extensions to everyone in the building. I can’t remember how many employees there were, but I’ll take a guess it was more than 300. I also worked on a switchboard after-hours at a medical clinic where patients would call in to get a hold of the on-call doctor.147

Getting back to how this all relates to the concept of time…. Somewhere in my 30’s I decided that if I had this stuff written down somewhere I wouldn’t have to remember it, clearing up all that brain power for other things! I find that with all the changes and advancements in technology I barely know anyone’s phone number at all anymore. they are all in that little Rolodex called a cell phone!

Some days time just flies by, other days it really seems like the day is longer. Not dragging on, just longer and it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with how much I get done or even how much energy that I have. Before I know it, it is the end of September. Some days are still go go go, and others I can just get lost in what I am doing. Taking plant cuttings and potting them up, starting seeds, planting things, or working on a sewing project or making cards.

Where does the time go? It is filed into the memory banks of our mind I guess.

How do you manage your time?

Sincerely, Emily

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I’ve never been one to celebrate New Year’s as a way to make life changes. I’m a firm believer that those changes can come at any time and shouldn’t be put off until the first of next year. That being the case, I find it thoroughly ironic that since I’ve returned home from the holiday celebrations I’ve not done much other than purge my house and life of un-needed, excessive, or un-wanted items and activities. With all of the activities in my life (and the need to stay sane) I’m doing what I can to make life simple.

Notice I didn’t say convenient.

My daughter, Hubby, and I have rid ourselves of easily a 10×10 roomful of long unused items and an automobile (aka “The Hotrod”). We’re considering selling my little motorcycle since I haven’t ridden it nearly as much as my brother-in-law has. We’re making plans to convert our kitchen back into a full-blown kitchen rather than an eat-in chicken. We’ll get rid of our computer desks and our computers and switch over to laptops, thereby freeing up our office and returning it back to its intended purpose as a dining room. We’ve donated 3 large boxes of books and videotapes to the library. We’ve sold DVDs and CDs.

I’ve also been purging some unhealthy lifestyle activities from my system lately. I limit how much time I spend in front of the computer and the television. I’ve started working out again.  One of my gifts was a Kindle, and I’m thrilled at the number of trees I’ll be saving. I’m also thrilled at the prospect of reading all of those classics I trudged through in high school and college once again, but this time for enjoyment purposes – and for free. We’ve even downloaded some “living books” for homeschooling. I think the Kid has had almost as much enjoyment out of the Kindle as I have.

I’m tired of cleaning all the time. I’m tired of having to move stuff out of the way just to clean other stuff. I’m tired of having to shut the spare room door because I can’t find room to store all the things we’ve accumulated. I’m tired of having boxes of stuff that I don’t even know what is being stored because we have so many dang boxes of stuff from our grandparents, our childhood, and stuff we’ve just kept! I’m tired of having to trash one room just to clean out another.

So – what does this bring me to?

Conveniently enough, a good friend of mine, Xan, all the way back up in Chicago is hosting a challenge this month:  NoBuyFebruary. One that you can bet I will be joining even though I am limiting my electronic time.

For the month of February she is challenging that we don’t buy a thing that we don’t absolutely need. Seriously. Americans are renowned for all the crap that we have. We have stores dedicated to Crap (with a capital “C”). Most grocery stores carry Crap toward the center of the buildings, and for that matter, so do many Big Box Stores. All that stuff by the checkout line – CRAP. The stuff at eye level, yep usually Crap. Ask yourself, do you really need that magazine? Do you need yet another flavor of lip gloss or Chapstick? Will you absolutely die if you don’t take advantage of the white sale? How many Persian cat figurines or bobble heads must you have?

Why keep buying stuff if you don’t need it?

Oh, I’m so guilty of this too, trust me (why do you think I’ve gotten rid of so much stuff, given it’s 15 years of accumulated Crap). My Kindle is a month old, already full of free books that will take me months to read, and yet I actually bought a book the other night. Our hallway is decked in a collection of handmade and imported masks and I still find myself browsing through those at art stores. I bought a mini-evergreen as a Christmas tree because it was only $5.00 and I was too lazy to get our artificial out. I’m not allowed to go near candles nor yarn until I use up my stores. I almost asked for the $250 KitchenAid Pro (ON SALE!!!) for Christmas just in case my smaller model broke within the next year or so….

Here I am at Pier 1 eyeballing a new set of dishes because the cheap set I asked for and received 2 years ago is starting to chip already.




We have been trained as consumers to become hoarders… to compete with the neighbors to have the biggest inflatable holiday decorations, the nicest car, the best patio equipment, the rockingest entertainment center, the newest computer equipment. All of which will be outdated within a couple of years and be considered ….  you guessed it.

And where does it all go when we’re done with it? Yep, the trash. And when 311,958,838 people throw out their Crap they run and get more, and in two more years that Crap will be replaced and so on.

So, do you think you can manage one measly month – 4 weeks – 28 days – and not purchase one thing except those things necessary for survival? Can you get by using the stuff you already have in your home? Can you imagine how much money you will save as a household? Can you imagine how little trash you will have?

If you went one step further, if you cleaned the “Crap” out of one room, how much trash would you have from that one room?

Please be sure to stop by and visit Xan at her blog and sign up for her challenge if you’re up for it. I think it would be interesting to keep track of your usual expenditures and see how much money you think you save this coming month. While Xan is not a normal writer for this blog (none of us are dabbling in normal after all), she is a regular visitor here and challenges my way of thinking often. Even if you don’t join us, at least give a second thought the next time you go shopping whether or not everything you need in your cart is a necessity or a frivolity.

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For many of us, choosing the not “normal” path time is short.  We are busy folks, with long to-do lists and even longer lists of projects we hope to tackle.  Its imperative that we maximize our time while not allowing ourselves time to play and relax too.  Time management, is one of those things, that varies for each person and what works for Sandy might not work for Jill and vice versa.  However, there are few things that most anyone can implement in their own fashion to make life run more smoothly so that more projects can be tackled.

  • Project Notebook/Calendar/Planner/Blackberry – Some sort of time management system is extremely helpful.  This varies for every person, but having one place that keeps track of every appointment, errands, to-do lists, shopping lists, birthdays, holidays, etc. is essential.  Knowing that you have one notebook or calendar to consult at the beginning of each day instead of hunting in three different places as well as the calender on the refrigerator and daughter Karen’s desk calender too, will make life much easier.  Make that planner or notebook your life line.  Take it with you every where you go and keep everything in it.  It make take a little while to make this routine, but in the end it will take less time to figure out your day, week, month, year.  Mark things like first and last frost dates, birthdays, keep a section for to-do lists, grocery lists, and everything else that you need.  You can buy calendar pages or print them out for free.
  • Everything has a place and everything in its place –Just like grandma always said.  Its much easier to keep things put away in their proper place, than it is to hunt for them later.  When you’re done using something put it back in the same place every time.  Make it a habit and you’ll never have to hunt for something for minutes or hours on end again.  Train other family members to do the same, by instituting a fine system when something’s not put back correctly.  The fine can be as little as a nickel or dime for each item misplaced, that money is then used for date night for mom & dad.   Or a massage for mom…
  • Idle hands are the devil’s playground – You should absolutely plan time for rest, but also remember that its okay to watch a movie and do some knitting or embroidery at the same time if you so desire.
  • Keep a meal plan – It’s okay to change your meal plan if you desire or something comes up.  However, having something written down each week will save you time and money, because there’s never any doubt.  The meal plan will also alert you to things that need done, like taking the chicken out of the freezer, or making rice.
  • Make time for fun & rest –Be sure you manage your time to include fun and rest.  Without some time to de-stress and have some fun, little else will get accomplished because you’ll be too burned out.
  • Be realistic –When you’re planning your days, be realistic about what you can accomplish in a day.  If you’ve got two toddlers in diapers, you’re probably unlikely to accomplish as much as the person with no children.  Don’t expect yourself too, either.  Set your days around what is doable without stress and learn to be okay with that.  As your life changes and grows you may find you can fit in more or less, learn to accept yourself and your life as it is.  In the end, this will help you more than most any other time management tip.

What’s your best time management tip? What advice would you give someone struggling to manage the details of daily life and still have time to enjoy life?

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