There is so much I’d like to do, but I can’t find the time.  I wish I had 40 hours in my day.  I don’t have time now, may be next month, or next quarter, or next year.

Does that sound like you?  If yes, welcome to a large club!  I share those sentiments too.  From reading a lot, asking questions, and from my life experiences, I am learning a few things about time:

There is never a perfect time.  First I wanted to get done with residency, then fellowship, then babies came along, then other issues came up.  Life challenges and concerns evolve.  Having challenges at each time, is a fundamental part of life.  You may think you’ll try something next year, but what if you find that that you have more to handle than you expected?  Isn’t it better to choose a few things you want to work on, and continue to try every year, a little at a time, as much as you can?  Yes, there will be ups and downs, but every new day is a chance to pick up, dust off, and try again.

You have to be selective about what you do with your time.  I love historical programs and occasionally watch the History Channel.  I watch the news on TV, or I look up News apps on my iPhone.  I do enjoy watching movies on Netflix.  Still, I don’t watch movies during the week ever, only occasionally at weekends.  I have learned to minimize TV time because it doesn’t further my goals in any way.  I would rather read a book, or write a blog post.  Being selective about activities helps me save time in a rather busy world.  I am also learning to pick and choose what to do at each time.  Of several things I’d like to do, I can only do so much.  I choose what adds to my strategic goals and leave others. Some things I leave, I plug into my calendar 1-2 years out, hoping (God willing) to re-address them then, if I feel I might want to do those but don’t have the time currently.

I use technology to manage time:  I have used a smart phone for several years.  I have about 4 different calendars merged together.  Everything I do is scheduled – my hair appointment, play dates, date night, grocery shopping, girl’s scout meetings, taking kids out, pediatrician and dental appointments for the family, making important calls, using social media, etc.  I schedule far in advance – family vacations, talks (and time to prepare for the talks), birthday parties and prep time, etc.  I have a good sense of important events on my calendar for a whole year at a time typically.  All important birthdays are plugged into my calendar so I’ll remember.  I use apps to write on the go, apps help me keep up with world/national events, etc.  I even have an alarm setting that reminds me to go to bed at a certain time.

I try to be very disciplined with my time.  As much as possible, I minimize phone calls outside of my intimate social/family circle during the week. I try to accomplish as much as possible via email. I can respond to email in the late evening, at a time that would be too late for calling a casual acquaintance.  As much as possible, outside social/family circles,  I prefer to email and schedule time to talk rather than impromptu phone calls.

I’d love to learn how you manage your time so please do share by leaving a comment!  Continue to follow my posts about cancer, books, and parenting.  If you enjoy my blog posts, please share freely with family and friends.  Hover over the bottom right and click on “Follow” to subscribe and be the first to see my posts as they come up.

 

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