We all have the same amount of time…168 hours per week. That’s the premise of a book I just finished: 168 Hours by Laura Vanderkam.In a different twist on time management, Vanderkam provides an excellent tool for analyzing your use of time. I was chagrined as I read many accounts of highly-productive people; amazingly well rounded people, who manage to get it all done and then some.
I was reading at the beach, a deserted Chesapeake Bay beach that I sincerely hope never gets discovered. I was so engrossed in her writing that the tide came in and engulfed my feet and bottom in the beach chair before even noticed it creep in. And no, I don’t get anything out of suggesting the book.
Laura Vanderkam has a website and blog as follows:
You can download a free weekly time log. She examined a great deal of research which indicates that we exaggerate time spent in worthy pursuits and underestimate the amount of time we sleep or do less productive activities. Keeping a time log helps you get real. Vanderkam examines how we spend time from a philosophical as well as a practical view.
A close friend is going through a painful professional time. I’ve noticed over the months, that he spends a lot of time being frozen, attempting the same report or task many times. He has difficulty moving forward to completion because he is perplexed about the overall situation.
He worries about tasks, obsesses about them, asks questions, reviews, ruminates, second guesses himself and others, and then finally completes tasks under great pressure just prior to the due date. In all, he spends ten times more time on the task than he needs to, because of all the negativity he feels. Think I’m criticizing? I can be just the same.
Confession: I fritter time away. I am not disciplined. I don’t get to the things I value. If I do get to them, I feel pressured and run through them like my hair is on fire. My big time wasters? Television. Specifically, Law and Order and NCIS reruns, however entertaining I find Mark Harmon to be. Trust me, really entertaining. Internet surfing vs. internet research. Helping others prior to getting to my own responsibilities. Procrastination.
I have a bazillion things I want to do…spending time with loved ones without feeling harried, community activism, decorating projects, trying out new recipes, working in my cottage garden, taking pictures, professional pursuits, and finishing my book. God has a plan for my time and talents. I'm not doing a very good job of following it. My tombstone shouldn’t read, “Here lies Annie…she watched a lot of NCIS reruns.” Actually, I want my tombstone to read, “Hey, thanks for stopping by!” Dare me.
So I’m analyzing my time, beginning Monday. My goal? Accomplishing the things that truly uplift and fulfill me, and waiting until the new NCIS’s come back in September. It is only fair, if you think about it. Mark Harmon isn’t home with Pam Dawber watching me.