Friday, February 3, 2017


I've started listening to Ted Talks when I'm getting ready in the morning.  You know me, I have a bit of an obsession with finding ways to do more, see more, learn more.  Until I burn out.  And then I go the opposite way, crawl into a corner, and pretend I'm a minimalist living in my tiny-house dream.

But stick with me in my typical bi-polar swing to the right.

One of my favorite Talks was Laura Vanderkam's "How to Gain Control of your Free Time."    I later read her book,  What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast.  

Time management fascinates me--which doesn't mean I'm particularly good at it, but from my 6th grade reading of Cheaper by the Dozen, time and motion study has intrigued me.

A pet peeve of mine is when people say they don't have time for _____.  This means that I am sometimes annoying myself, because I catch myself saying that exact same comment.

In reality, we make time for what we truly deem important.  But we also need to carefully consider HOW we are spending (and wasting) time to find space for our priorities.  Again and again the seemingly urgent overtakes the truly important.

I have often been a fan of finding 20 minute time slots to work on a big project, even going so far as to set the timer.  This has been particularly helpful when something feels overwhelming (taxes, big projects, starting a complicated homestudy) or is something I don't want to do (insurance, business calls, cleaning the attic).  It's amazing what can be accomplished in just 20 minutes, and the best part is I usually keep going for a longer period.  Without this method, I don't think I would have ever graduated from college or completed all that dreaded adoption paperwork!

Vanderkam suggests prioritizing those goals we want to accomplish by penciling them in to our daily planners as if they are appointments, freeing time we are unexpectedly wasting (hello social media), placing a high priority on relationships, and getting up early to work on our highest priorities.   This was the new idea for me. I always get up before my kids, but I spend that time getting ready, making breakfast and lunches, starting laundry etc.  In reality, that stuff is going to get done out of pure necessity.  Instead, I am now getting up just a little earlier and achieving a goal that was too often overtaken by life--jogging.

Okay, so true confessions.  I've only just started this new routine.  I ran once.  Kidding.  Three times and now my knee is sore! But it feels so good to finally prioritize my health.  I am also making time to move forward with my social work license and get back in the routine of Friday night dates with Hubby.

I am also spending a LOT of time doing this!  Paul, Vu, Patrick and Mei Mei are all playing basketball.  This makes for lots of miles on the car and chaotic, but exciting evenings!  Maybe I can learn to meditate (another goal) while cheering?

And perhaps I should prioritize a photography class?  I seem to have an incredible ability to take photos just as my child turns away!  It's a gift peoples.  A real gift.

1 comment:

S said...

You are so right that we have to prioritize things and I love the idea of tackling in chunks...yet I have paralysis if taking that first step in tackling one of my huge burdens, which is the chaos and clutter in my home. I will look for that TED talk to see if it will give me the nudge I so need!!

And glad it's not just me with the bad picture taking!