23 July 2012

How Do I Spend My Time?

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I've been thinking about how I spend my time and energy. It's amazing how little things can distract. I have been thinking a lot about how badly doing too many things at one time or being easily distracted can keep me from getting things done.

On Saturday I found myself trying to print out documents, create small photo cards, write a letter, talk on Facebook and clean house all at the same time - and I had the TV on. Ridiculous. I would sit down and forget what I was doing, then get distracted on something else, then remember I was doing something else and go back to that for a few minutes. As distracted as I felt, it didn't really hit me until later that I could have enjoyed that time so much more and been much more effective - which would've given me time to do all those things I want to do and never make time for.

Some things that would've helped me:

1) Turn off the TV. I started thinking about how often I have the TV on as noise. Did the junk I had on really mean more to me than having peace, being focused and getting things done quickly - no way! In fact I realized it was just a lot of noise and was really distracting me.

2) Put on some music. Some days I need energetic music on loud, other days I need very peaceful music on very quietly. But either way, it can help set the tone for what I want to accomplish and help me focus my inspiring my energy.

3) Make a To Do list. I can definitely get more done when I am very clear about what I am trying to accomplish. A list also helps me prioritize how I spend my time because I see my priorities and try to work from most important list items to least.

4) Do one thing at a time. Oh, I've been so bad at this lately. Drifting from one project to another and not completing anything in a reasonable amount of time. I have a lot of half-done projects around me and I don't like it. Tomorrow I start project "Finish the Project" around here and with a list, some good music and some additional effort to be focused, I get some things done, put away, organized and rearranged.

5) Define my work time. Rather than just fumbling through an entire day, I want to plan out how I use my time: work, rest, reward time, workout time, etc. Then I have compartments of time that I know I need to focus on certain things. For instance: from 10 AM to noon I will work on online projects, then lunch & a brief break, then from 1 PM to 4 PM I will work on organizational projects, etc. Just an example but knowing when I need to focus, when I can rest and when I can reward myself for a good day's efforts help me balance my energies and have discipline at times when I most need it.

How about you? Have you caught yourself in a ridiculous, ineffective spin cycle? Do you have any tips and tricks you could share with me on how you buckle down and get things done? I'd love to hear them. Have a great day and thanks so much for coming by.

4 comments:

Kelly said...

This post is so timely for me. I thought I was doing ok with this, but now that I have a few new things on my plate I find I need to get "back to basics" again. :-) Well said!

GLENDA CHILDERS said...

Such a great and practical list.

Libby Hickson said...

Good advice - I'm very much the same. I was trying to block out my time as you suggested for a while earlier this fall, but I fell back out of the habit. I need to restart that! I've also heard that when you have a task you've been avoiding, an idea is to set a timer for 30 minutes. Just focus on it completely for those 30 minutes until the timer goes off. Somehow having the timer set helps to keep you from wandering away from it.

kalanicut said...

Libby, I love the timer idea. Thanks for reminding me about that. I used to do that and often do it with our little one but I forgot how well that works for me when I am faced with "don't want-tos". I'm going to start doing that again.

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