Can I write something, in fifteen minutes? I ask myself before sitting down to write this. Any alone time these days has to be utilized for showering/bathing and using the bathroom. It’s weird to think at one time I could accomplish a bunch of things within one hour – every day. Whereas now, that seems like a dream. Ha! Yes, my productivity has gone down immensely, but my love for these boys has grown exponentially. Clearly, I wouldn’t change a thing, but I am amazed at how time gets away on me too fast these days.
The other week I took a course offered by one of my favorite bloggers, Bethany, called ‘Life Re-Focused’. As one of the steps towards organizing time, she pointed out that you have to know what you do with your time before you can organize it. So, my time inventory week began. I downloaded the app called ATracker PRO and started tracking (almost) every minute. It’s amazing what I ended up accomplishing that week because I was aware my time was being watched! When I’d take a ‘rest’ while the boys slept (watching a show, reading some blogs, talking on the phone, listening to a podcast, etc.), I’d fold some laundry. Meals were planned so I could prep in the morning before/after breakfast. The kids were in bed on time every night (with baths before dinner, mind you). I even saw progress with certain projects because I carved out time for it! Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t find I had oodles of extra time on my hands BUT, the basics I needed to accomplish were all being executed. The very next week, when I didn’t track time and wasn’t as intentional about what I did with my time … let’s just say, the results weren’t the same and I didn’t see the basic tasks to completion. Life can’t always be tracked and timed down to each minute nor can it all be perfect getting all and everything done when you want. It can be intentional and “planned”. Much like I learned that first week of this experiment.
We all have the same amount of time. The successful entrepreneurs, the stay-at-home mamas, the free-spirited globetrotters … the only difference is what we do with it. Because each and every person has different priorities/passions, it tends to look different but does not mean one personality type maximizes the most out of time compared to another type (i.e. I conditioned myself to think that because I was more of a ‘type B’ personality I probably would not see the same measured accomplishments in a day versus a ‘type A’ person). What we end up producing with our time depends on what we prioritize.
Being intentional, and knowing what’s most important and prioritizing from there, I know I can make the most of my time (much like that week I was tracking my time). And though it goes against my grain and my “fluid” way of thinking to want rigid structure in my day, the older and busier I get, I see the need for it – personally and in our family life. For something to flow, structure has to be present. Look at a river … though it is wild and runs free, if there weren’t the parameters of land forms and geological substance, the water would spread out flat and would absorb into certain terrains. Like in a day of the week, with no guidelines or goals, it can be wasted time absorbed with meaningless things.
So as I have a dash here and there, I CAN make the most of it. Fifteen minutes or 2 hours, I don’t want these dashes to go to waste. In the words of Mary Oliver,
“What will you do with your WILD and PRECIOUS life?”
pic pix. our mini mountain getaway, Nov.2015, Banff, AB