“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresea, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” Life’s Little Instruction Book, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
I saw this on a poster many years ago and at that time, just laughed at the implications. These days, I find myself living it. I marvel at what I can accomplish when I put my body, mind, heart and soul into my activities. When once upon a time, I drifted, rather unconsciously through each 24 hour period, convinced that a ‘go with the flow’ attitude was somehow more spiritual than being in driven ‘get it done mode’, now I immerse myself in planting the seeds, doing what it takes and then surrendering outcome paradigm. Yes, balance is necessary in order to remain sane and vertical. As I write this entry at 6:55 a.m. on a chilly February morning, sipping acai berry tea, I am enjoying peeking out the window at the soft pink sky and hearing the serenade of a mourning dove. Except for that sound and the gentle hum of the lap top and the tap tap tap of fingers on keyboard, I am enjoying relative quiet. No one else is up yet in the house and I am immersed in one of my favorite activities. In a short while, I will need to get ready for my day job, at which I serve people with mental health diagnoses. After that will come home, write more, plan classes I teach, do promo work for myself and other people whose work I support, and if there is time, I will do my gym ‘playout’. Then there are the routine housekeeping activities like laundry, paying bills, cleaning, getting the Jeep serviced and inspected, scheduling a dentist appointment, prepping my taxes to get to my accountant (and oh yeh) cooking and eating dinner. Well, maybe I won’t do them ALL tonight.
Most people in my life tell me that they feel exhausted just hearing me rattle off my schedule. I chuckle, and tell them that sleep is highly over-rated. I love check lists since they keep me focused and offer a sense of accomplishment when I cross off the items on them. At work, I use bright pink or yellow highlighters to emphasize the point.
Prioritizing is a key factor, although I always make sure I include ‘goofing off’ on my to-do list. As a former magazine publisher, I work well with deadlines and that helps me to stay on track. If things are too nebulous, they slide to the bottom of the list. I use the analogy of a customer service line. The attendant can really only take care of one customer at a time effectively, and yet, I joke with my patients, that as a social worker, I am expected to multi-task. There are times when I am in conversation with someone in my office and the phone will ring with a call from a person with whom I have been waiting to speak and I tell them I need to call them back and then return attention to the one in front of me and then someone will knock on my door to talk about an issue that needs my immediate attention, of course. I reassure them that I will take care of it once I complete with this person. Whew! Now I feel wiped out just thinking about it.
The gym, car and shower are great places for me to dream and scheme how I intend to move through my day and night. There’s something about water, sweat and the call of the road that help get my creative juices flowing. Creativity is an essential component of time management…how can I get more done in less time…’work smart, not hard’ is a motto used by many and I would guess, for those whose names are mentioned in the initial quote.
So on this day, as I aspire to have lots of pink and yellow highlighted lines on my checklists, I know that what is even more important is the grace and play, joy and fun I have while engaging in the next 24 hour gift offered to me by a Creator who is eager to see what I do with it.
http://youtu.be/fg73MRomwSA Turn, Turn, Turn -The Byrds