I recently had a friend write to me, “You amaze me. How do you find the time? I’m scrambling all the time, and I don’t have young kids or a job (a paying one, that is).”
I laughed. The truth is, I don’t find the time. If I harnessed even a small percentage of the time I goof off, there’s no telling what I’d be able to accomplish. I might look productive, but you should see my house. 😦
Have you ever noticed that when you have too much to do, you get overwhelmed and don’t know where to start? Generally, I would advise tackling the most important task and working at it until you finish. But what if it’s something you hate to do? Like housework. Or what if there’s more than one thing vying for your attention? How do you balance what you need to do, what you want to do, and what you can’t ignore any longer?
Between writing, blogging, critiquing, social media, my part-time job, a dash of consulting, and being a mom/wife/Christ-follower and part-time seminary student, I spend far too much time huddled under the covers of my bed hiding from life, tired and demoralized. Today I decided to try something different. And you know what? I think this is the answer for me. Maybe it will help you too.
I set a timer.
Not just any timer, but the timer on my oven that doesn’t turn off until you go up to it and press a button. In other words, a timer even I can’t ignore. 😉
I set the timer for an hour and got some editing done on a manuscript that has been poking at my brain.
When it went off, I set it for 30 minutes and started a load of laundry, took care of dishes in the sink, cleaned the rest of the kitchen, collected the girls’ things for them to put away later. And the timer hadn’t even gone off yet. So I wiped off the counters and pulled all the furniture out of the kitchen and set R2 (our Roomba) to work. He’s busily eating dust even as I type. 😉
Now I’m at the computer again for another 60 minutes. I’m finally writing a blog post, something I haven’t “found time” to do in weeks.
The thing is, just being productive gives me energy. When my house is cluttered, it sucks the life right out of me. The less I do, the less I want to do and the more I tired I become. It’s psychotic, I know. Any rational person would know this without needing to be told. But sometimes we overlook the obvious. I thank God that he gave me the idea of the timer today. I feel great and plan to enjoy my new schedule. And, as an added bonus, it gets me up on my feet for 30 minutes every hour. 😀
Oops. Time to spend 30 minutes on laundry…
TELL ME, HOW DO YOU FIND THE TIME? WHAT IS YOUR BEST PRODUCTIVITY TIP?