Wednesday, October 17, 2012

time management

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I was telling some friends recently about my 30 by 30 list and one commented on the list she had before she turned 30, over 10 years ago. She said her 30th birthday came at her so quickly she didn't get a chance to complete it. I don’t want that to happen to me.

Why would I be surprised that my birthday has arrived? It’s on the calendar. In my heart I know the reason. Time. It’s the same reason the end of school, the end of summer or even a parent’s birthday slips up on me.

It’s tiresome to hear people groan on about time…how little they have, how much they have to fit in, how kids grow up too fast. But this is the truth.

Our time is so precious. Are we choosing to spend it wisely? Am I truly using my time for the benefit of my life and others?

Shortly after that I bumped into a friend while I was shopping.  She chatted about how she now works full time (note: most of my friends are/were stay at home moms like me, although now they are slowly slipping back into the work world as their kids grow older. I am starting to feel like the last of my breed in my little circle) and as soon as she’s off she has to chauffeur kids to various practices and events.  And then the question came….”So, what are you up to these days?”

“Well…” Uh, come on Angie, think of something that sounds demanding real quick. You know what I through back at her? “I’m getting more involved in the church” Which is true. But nothing that “competes” with a full time job. And certainly not something God would have me use as a defense to my insecurity of how I spend my days. Did I really just do that?

I left the situation feeling rather crappy.  She is a sweet friend and by no means was that a hostile encounter.  I’m truly glad a bumped into such a sweet face. And to be perfectly honest, had I told her I was currently in the middle of trying to “remold” myself, I’m sure we would’ve had a genuine conversation about the subject. But that wasn’t going to happen in the middle of Kohl’s.

Why should I even worry about what others think of my time? Until that moment I didn’t think I did. I had even recently had the conversation with my husband about the matter. He explained he really didn’t care what I did during the day, as long as the house wasn’t a wreck and the bank account empty. Love that man. He knows my heart….why should he bother stressing over me? I’ll do it for both of us.

But when I was hit face to face with the topic “how I spend my days”…I became defensive. Maybe I should take that as a clue. A clue that I know inside I’m not using my time to the best of my ability. If I had felt truly comfortable in my skin, or in my time management, would I have become defensive? Probably not. I would’ve smiled more, shared and opened up. After all, that’s who I am…Queen of sharing more information than you bothered to know (Welcome to my Blog).

So now I've been trying to focus in on how I do spend my days vs. how I should. I keep coming back to the question...what have a done today that will help make me the person I want to be? Or...What have I done today that will help me reach my 30 x 30 goals?

Gretchen Rubin, in her book Happiness at Home, assigned months to certain life/home areas. While this worked great for her I realized it wouldn't work for what I have in mind for me. I like the idea of resolutions, but don't think I could take a month to focus on just one area of my life. I need to focus daily, even if for just a moment, on all of them.

So I've semi created a little method of my own....

Each morning instead of simply writing my daily to-do list, I've started categorizing my life areas (i.e. love, kids, home, health, etc.) and make sure I complete one thing each day in that category. And if I don't have something to do in that category....I find one.

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This allows me to plan each day to love on my husband, participate with my kids, clean the house, tackle something I'd rather not (for 15 minutes) and make sure I've achieved something for my health and more. Every day.

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Once I started this little new method of mine I felt completely accomplished before noon. Everything else I manage to fit into my day seemed like icing on the cake. And I've tackled something that puts me closer to my goals.

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Of course I type this while my lazy butt sits on vacation. So take this post however you wish.

Now I ask do you spend your days?


  1. Angie, you are such a great writer. You really are. I love your blog and I love your heart the most! Keep blogging, friend. Love you much!


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