All three intertwine and cause similar kinds of distraction and destruction. For example, procrastination and poor priorities contribute to poor time management just as fatigue can lead to procrastination.
Let’s expose a third particularly sneaky kind of “time mismanagement enemy” and learn how to defeat it. That way all three enemies will be hard pressed to suck the possibilities and vitality from your life.
Most of our wasted time is not counted in hours, days or years but rather in minutes.
Unfortunately, those little unnoticed wasted minutes quickly add up to hours, days and years. We place great value on big blocks of time but don’t value or take advantage of the “little blocks of time.” To often we don’t even notice them. Let me identify some small blocks of time, some as short as five minutes, some as long as 30 minutes, that can be managed to get big things done.
The time between when you wake up and when you get up. This time can be increased by getting up earlier. This is a great time for a short read, a devotional prayer or meditation time. If you get up early enough you can use this to do some kind of exercise and really feel great about starting the day.
The time after you have finished a meal but are not required to be back at work. Time to take a few notes on moving a project forward, work on a drawing, or develop a new idea.
The time between when your children go to bed and you go to bed. This is especially precious time which is often wasted watching television. I have found a multitude of much more productive ways to use this time. This is when I paint and read and finish up little projects around the house. This is also the time to work on hobbies that would otherwise be ignored.
The time between when you have cleared security and your plane takes off. This is a time I often waste seething over the groping I just experienced. It is not a good time to rest so why not finish this blog post or make some calls that need to be made.
The time you are on a plane. I have used this time to write and read entire books. I often plan out some of the bigger hunks of time during this time.
Time Traveling Not in the “time machine sense,” but as a passenger in a car or on a bus. Even as a driver I can safely think through a project and dictate notes to myself. If I am in traffic of any significance I focus just on driving to avoid the fastest time travel of all. I don’t think there would be much time between here and heaven to take notes on anything.
The time waiting….. for anything is valuable time. Waiting for the doctor or dentist to make her appearance long after your appointment. (You could write a novel in that space of time) Waiting in the car to pick up children from school. If it’s waiting time it’s useful time. Have you ever wondered why there are magazines in the doctors office? To help you WASTE time and help you catch someone else’s disease. Don’t fall for it!
Time exercising Although I like to run or a ride bike without interruption, my more productive friends use .mp3 players to listen to books and learn skills while exercising. This opens up other spaces of time to do the things they love doing.
Here’s the bottom line.
No use will be made of these important “Little Blocks of Time” unless you plan it.
Bring that notebook, or drawing pad. Can you just chill out and relax during one of these “Little Times?” Absolutely! But plan it! Don’t let these important moments slip away.
Go ahead and continue to block out the big time slots in your life like meetings, shopping, work, etc. Then pay attention to those little spaces between the big blocks. Color them gold, like nuggets. Scribble in those spaces how you plan to use them. Watch what happens.
Eventually I promise that managing the “Little Time” will open bigger blocks of time for you do to the things you love.[reminder]What little blocks of time have you learned to manage to your advantage?[/reminder]