Friday, October 24, 2014

Found Time - Days & Hours #Productive

My calendar is absolutely blank for the next three days. Nothing scribbled in pencil, nothing typed in. Three blank squares.  I think I've figured out how to clear out days of nothingness, time to catch up on all the stuff you still have to catch up on.  How to find that extra day we all need.  Cancel all your plans!

We planned to go away and then had to cancel that trip.  So while we were planning on not being here, I didn't put anything on my calendar.  Ta-da!  It's like a snow day, but without all the slush and cold.  The possibilities are endless!

I could clean my house. When you get busy, it seems like the house suffers.  All the shoes pile up, everyone running in and out, changing for the next activity. And laundry, sheesh!  And, yes, embarrassed to admit there might be a cobweb or two I could knock down.

I could bake some cookies. That's always a good idea.

I could write. I'm in the process of writing book number 2 and finding time each day is crucial to staying on schedule.  I could catch up on a few hours.

I could catch up on Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder.  Note - Do NOT tell me anything that has happened, I don't even want to know which white coat Olivia Pope is wearing.  As previously noted, such spoilers could get a friend de-friended.

I could go out to eat, grab lunch all by myself somewhere with nice table cloths.  I know some people don't like to eat out by themselves, but I do. A book, a drink, a good meal.  And movies, too - I love have the popcorn ally o myself.

I could work-out.  You know when your kinda fit a bit big jeans start to feel snug? You can deny a lot of weight-related signs, but the jean fit is a clear indicator.

I could wander around the neighborhood and walk the dog.

Hmmm... the possibilities.

But since I don't actually want to cancel too many vacations, perhaps, I will use the concept of blocking off days to do nothing. Here's a couple other ways I've found useful in finding a few extra hours.

Use waiting time.  Almost every weekday, I'm picking up/dropping off my kids to some practice or activity. I used to sit and watch them do whatever, waiting until they were done. Sometimes, I still do when I really don't have anything else to do - I can read or crochet, enjoy a quiet, non-moving few minutes. But when I do have stuff to do, I try to squeeze it in then. Someone asked me the other day if I'd have some time to meet with them. Sure, for this hour and half within a 15-minute radius from this practice location - I'm there.  It's also a good time for grocery shopping and other short errands.

Schedule outings, meetings on the same day. If I had several meetings that would take me out of my house, I used to schedule them on different days, thinking that would minimize the hours/day that I've got to be out. But what I found is that it makes my time at home less productive because I'm getting ready for and driving to those events each day. Now, I try to schedule outings as much on the same day as possible. Recently, I had some meetings at our school central office; instead of going over three days in a row, I scheduled them all on the same day. Started in the morning, went down the hall, grabbed lunch, had another - and I was done for the week.

Schedule email and online time. I read this tip in a post about getting to a zero-email inbox (only 600 more to go) - have a set time and time limit when you are going to check your email. Read it, act upon it, then move on with your life. Good point. I do check my email when I'm bored. Or trying to procrastinate. And it probably is a big time waster, so I'm working on that.

There's three quick tips. Share any others you have in the comments.  I'm off to go enjoy my found hours!

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