3.22.2007

Give Me Some Time to Find More Time!

Gathering around the table recently a group of us were sipping coffee and discussing the ongoing dilemma of not having enough time in our lives to " get it all done". One friend shared a story a teacher had told a group of stressed grad students at finals time. " Each of us has the same twenty-four hours a day. It is just how we choose to use it." That is a tough pill to swallow when it is ten o'clock and you still have lessons to prepare, a bag to pack and a breakfast dish to make for a potluck before you go to bed.

When I get overwhelmed and feel like eight of those hours have been robbed from my day, I peruse time management books at a bookstore or online. Just reading titles like Organizing from the Inside Out and Leave the Office Early add extra minutes to my rushed schedule. Books with titles like this sitting on my shelf work wonders. Somehow by osmosis I hope the suggestions and ideas will just fall into my busy brain.

Recently I did take time to begin the book Find More Time by Laura Stack. Looking at the picture above, the cover screams relaxation and reclaiming your time. Laura has the book organized by Pillars that are all P words: plans, priorities, personality, pests, possessions, paper, post, and play (blogger note: post is not what I am doing now... it is the place you reside). Just pronouncing all those P words makes me feel more in control of my time. There are quizzes for each P. I am the queen of quizzes. Good information often, but not a lot of follow-thru! The section I have gleaned wise thoughts from is Pests, which are the time robbers in your life. I have moved through many time management phases. I read the "simplify your life" set, the "organization, system, declutter" set and now this book. Have I found more time? Overall, I think so.

JEJ and I have worked harder at prioritizing what is important to us. I carve out time for writing, gardening, and other hobbies I love. I don't spend as much time venting with co-workers at the end of the day. I am careful what extra tasks I commit to outside of my hours at school. We don't just get in the car and go out to breakfast now ( well.... sometimes still). We organize trips to town, make time for camping at quiet locations with our dogs, and are purposeful in the trips we take. We build in time for volunteer work, but watch less television and movies. Taking a walk through the gardens each day noticing what has grown and changed is a higher priority than complaining with a neighbor about a barking dog or wayward cat.

It is a journey, but I feel more surefooted than I did a few years ago. Days and months seem to move in cycles with events that often none of us can control. That is when we prioritize, rest, and recharge. Anna Quindlen is one of my favorite authors. Here is her quote that hangs above my computer.
"Look around at the azaleas making fuchsia star bursts in spring; look at a full moon hanging silver in a black sky on a cold night. And realize that life is glorious, and that you have no business taking it for granted. Care so deeply about its goodness that you want to spread it around." Enjoy your next twenty-four hours. Remember to rest and recharge!

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