Monday, March 18, 2013

Making the Most of Each Day - Got Pockets?

In this four-week series, we will look at how to make the most of each day by making the most effective use of the one commodity we all share – time.

It would be wonderful if we had large blocks of time. We could really get a lot done if we had an hour or two or even more to devote to getting organized, study, clean, spend time with loved ones, write, read or indulge in a hobby. It’s rare, though, to have that kind of time on your hands. The sad thing is that we sacrifice a lot based on something that really doesn’t have to be a problem.

You have time. Trust me, you do. You just don’t see it because you don’t have great big boulders of time, you’ve got small rocks, pebbles even. However, if you use these small blocks effectively, you’ll be able to find a couple of larger rockers and even the occasional boulder.

  • Want an extra 30 minutes? Wake up 30 minutes earlier or go to bed 30 minutes later. Use half of your lunch time to get things done.
  • Got 15 minutes? Use it. A quarter of an hour can be enough time to get some cleaning, straightening, or organizing done. Fifteen minutes of filing or cleaning out your email box can get a lot done. I even write sometimes in 15 minute increments. It isn’t a lot of time but done consistently, it can make a big difference.
  • Have just 5 minutes? Five minutes is enough time to return a few phone calls, especially if you are just have information to communicate and don’t have to have a conversation. Leave messages. Call work colleagues before the work day begins, at lunch or right before you leave work. Call family and friends during the work day.
  • Drive much? Use your time in the car to return phone calls (Use your hands free headset. Safety first!). This is also a great time to catch up on the news or listen to an audio book. It could be a good idea to turn off the radio or music and use the silence to recharge and get a moment to yourself.
  • Dog Gone It! I return a lot of phone calls while walking the dog.
  • Use Your Smartphone Wisely. On my Android, I have apps for most of my bills, and my bank. I also have apps that let me check the weather, get movie times, create and update a task list and a calendar for appointments. While I never advocate this while driving, this can be an excellent use of your time when you are standing in a long line, on breaks at work or waiting at the doctor’s office or at the mechanics. Recently, I paid several bills on the train ride to my salsa lesson.

Using the time you have is empowering and effective. It’s a great feeling to know that you are getting things done and saving time to boot.

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