Time Passages

So you’re recovering from the weekend, whether it was  the neighborhood football game, acting wild and crazy, traipsing over woodland trails,  or household repairs.  Then it’s back to work on Monday.  Wait?  Wasn’t there suppose to be some resting somewhere?  Do you ever feel like you need a rest from the weekend?

Monday begins the work week, new projects, new routines.  Ever get to where you feel like screaming “Jane, stop this crazy thing!”

It’s pervasive in our society – – the constant rushing, the over scheduling — all of which leads to feeling grossly overwhelmed.  I know I don’t do as much as my friends.  I hand them the superwoman costume gladly!  I’ve spent a great deal of time helping others to accomplish their goals, but ironically there’s never anyone around to help when it’s time to accomplish my own goals.  Nobody is going to guard my time but me.  In the business world time is money!  Actually I feel time is more valuable than money. You can always get more money, not so with time.  We get 24 hours in a day, universally.  When you work for someone else you are trading your time for money.

When dissatisfaction occurs, you begin to question the merit of that, and realize that time is a harder commodity to come by than money.  It’s why you pay the plumber to fix the clogged drain – because the time it would take you versus the time it will take him is worth the money.  It’s why you pay someone else to do the physical labor.  Consider the cost in everything you do. Sometimes it’s more beneficial to pay triple what you could do it for yourself if  you are DIY handicapped.   There are times when it’s worth the time it will take you, and save the money.

I don’t mind painting.  In fact, I enjoy it.  I will gladly sand, spackle, patch, prep and paint the entire house  because it’s something I enjoy doing.  It would be disastrous for me to try to tackle the wiring.  Aside from not knowing electrical codes, and not having the proper certifications or licenses, I would likely cause a fire or cause damage to myself!  It’s worth it to pay the electrician – and thank you Chris for  fixing my  kitchen outlets!

There comes a point when you have to guard your time.  It seems there are more people trying to take my time than there are people trying to separate me from my money.  I am setting a new schedule to help me achieve  my professional goals.

Monday starts the work week, and usually that day is swamped.  Tuesday is sometimes less hectic, but in my case lately, not so much.  Often it is midweek before I actually get to address the “new ideas”  I had for Monday.  My big plan for  a new schedule that was supposed to begin on Monday has been pushed back.  That’s ok, it gives me a little more time to adjust it and make even further improvements.

Setting a workable schedule is an important aspect to working from home.  Aside from the constant stream of traffic that think I do nothing since I’m home, there are the distractions of my own making.  There are five areas where I undo my best laid plans.

1. meals   I make sure the family is fed and out the door in the morning, but often jump into my work without eating breakfast.  Sometimes I forget to eat something until 2 in the afternoon. By then I could eat anything and everything in sight.  Not a good thing for someone who is trying to lose weight.  Skipping meals is not a healthy thing to do!  Then there’s the flip side of that – after several days of skipping meals I’m ravenous and the kitchen is just right over there ! (points to my left)

2. Chatting  I open Facebook to check on things, read comments, catch up.  I can easily get tied up in a chat with a friend much longer than I intended to. What can I say, I’m a chatty type of person.

3. Research – Follow the bouncing link into cyberspace infinity.  Come on, you know you do it too.  There  are links demanding to be  clicked!

4. Reading articles  My friends post all sorts of interesting articles, I click and read.  I want them to read mine so I read theirs. I will include blog posts in this as  well.  Chuck comes up with some interesting things. Not to mention Raymond, Joseph, Aurora, Penelope,  Boogz, yeah I could go on and on and unfortunately I often do.

5. Multitasking can be unproductive  Splitting my time between multiple projects keeps me busy – oh yes very busy.  However, it can be rather unproductive when project A has a deadline tomorrow and I haven’t made the progress I had planned, so everything else is put aside to finish project A in time. Project B is vitally important to my career, but seems to be pushed back frequently.

It’s amazing how these things just creep in and take more and more time from my schedule.  It’s the same principle as feature creep.  You patch that spot on the wall, then notice another, and another. soon you’re painting the wall, then the room, then the entire house.

Working from home requires decidedly more discipline than working in an office if you are ging to be effective at it.  It also requires re-evaluating your progress periodically to see where you can make changes and improve the processes.

What are your areas of feature creep that are stealing your time?  Are they self-made disasters  or real constraints?  Leave me a comment, even if it’s to say I’m the only one that deals with these issues.

Write on my friends, write on.