Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Managing Time

a.k.a “Time-management”

“Where did the time go?”
“Forwards, darling. Always forward.”

Time marches in one direction and, except for sojourns of the mind, don’t believe the physicists who tell you it’s the fourth dimension and as such it is a line you can move your dot on in either direction. Those same scientists also say the earth is round and, hey, it looks pretty flat to me.
My jesting way of saying our experience is that time runs like sand through our sieving hands.

Some years ago, I was blessed with finding a personal key to managing time. It came just in time, (pun intended) when my life became impossible to manage as a classic “sandwich generation” mom and daughter. But I had the tools, and by golly, I managed to take care of all my responsibilities and also write original fiction.

The key, for me, was to set a daily schedule of the minimal I must get done, and make it utterly doable. If anything, make it “under-ambitious,” so tackling the day’s tasks was not daunting. This is a system set for a marathon, not a sprint. I not only got the “must-do” done, I was less stressed about my time.
And here’s the secret kicker: always leave some time for nothing. That is nothing planned, where I can do nothing, do something I want to do, or attend to the inevitable emergencies that pop up. Nothing Time is sacred, and it is part of time management success.

With the rare exceptions of chaotic days (I take that possibility for granted), this system works for me to this day. Time moves forward, and I’m gliding on it.

I hope you find what works for you, so you don’t look back and say you didn’t get to do something you always wanted to do because you didn’t have the time.


Vijaya said...

"And here’s the secret kicker: always leave some time for nothing." YES!!! That's when the imagination can take off. Time is the one thing we can never get back so I agree, do what you love and what you must.

Sherry Ellis said...

My daughter told me about the change in dimensions. What is that all about? If I ever have any time, I'll have to investigate.

Mirka Breen said...

When you find out post it here, Sherry. I have no idea

Jenni said...

Being "under-ambitious" is the key. I have set a goal for myself to be creative everyday. Most of the time that's working in some fashion on my writing, but it can also be painting or playing the piano. I also agree with the nothing time concept. My son used to call that "thinking time"--and that's so important for creatives.

Mirka Breen said...

"My son used to call that "thinking time--""
My son's fifth grade teacher called it "sponge time," and this nothing-time was part of her school day schedule. I suppose putting it this way covers any leaks, drips, or seeps from just about anywhere :)

Barbara Etlin said...

Yes!!! I like "under ambitious" schedules. That sounds doable. It reminds me of a tip from Fitbit on how to increase the number of steps I get in a day: "Be as inefficient as you can."

Sue said...

So good. I'm not been good at scheduling lately and it shows.