The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is. ~C.S. Lewis
I’ve just returned from Canyon, Texas, where the Writer’s Academy was held on the West Texas A & M College campus. One of the things that was emphasized over and over by the instructors was the wise use of time.
I’m well aware of time. It is a valued and selfishly guarded commodity of Neal’s. He will give you anything he owns, he will write you a check, but when it comes to time he is Ebenezer Scrooge.
Me? I’m oblivious of time. I have no idea where it goes. When Neal asks me about my day I can remember how busy I was, but I can’t pinpoint why. I start many things, but do not have evidence of finished things. This is one of my many weaknesses. And this past week, I’m reminded to do something about it.
One suggestion made at the Academy was to keep a “time diary” in the same way a dieter keeps a food diary or a budget diary and figure out what we do with our time. We may find we spend more time in front of our televisions than we realize.
Another suggestion was to look at a calendar and budget time on it. The instructor said to print out a calendar with large squares. For the days one has to work, mark through the portion of the square that represents the hours for that day. For all the chores or appointments outside of the workday, mark those with a different color. Then try to schedule “fun” time somewhere on the calendar. That is important to mental good health. It was suggested to try and schedule appointments on certain days to keep from filling the week up. I do that already. Since I live outside of town I make all my appointments on Tuesdays and Thursdays to keep from burning gas.
• Make a list of things needed done in the order of importance and feel the satisfaction of marking them off when finished.
• Let the phone pick up messages and answering them all at one time. In other words, don’t let the “ring” rule!
• Learn to say “no.” Have a nice little answer already prepared and memorized. Something like, “How nice of you to think of me. I’d love to help, but I really can’t at the moment. But thank you for asking.”
Time is something we all have in equal increments. Wise use of it is what makes some seem to have more than others and, oddly enough, takes pressure off of us whereas time misspent adds pressure on us.
This week, keep an eye on your use of time and spend it wisely.