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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Monday Morning Check In: What's in Your Schedule?

What a busy few months I have had! I am sure you all share the craziness with me. I finally finished a few projects and got a little free time, and then I found myself running errands and scheduling  appointments. Before I realized it, I completely used up any small amount of free time I could have carved out, and yet I still face many things that need to be tackled with little or no time in which to do them.

At this point, my husband would love to turn to me and say, "it's your choice how you schedule your life." Grrr, except that he is correct. It really is my choice how I structure my life and spend my time. This is true for all of us.

I know it is not the half-year point yet, but I think we should consider a review of our yearly plan at this point. How far off track might we have gotten? Are we headed where we wanted to go by this point?

I find it helpful to start out such a review by considering those tasks and projects that I have already accomplished this year. Rather then cause myself stress over those things that I have not accomplished (yet), I find it encouraging to contemplate how much I have already done to show for how busy I have been.

Well, when you put it like that, Bird, that paints a different picture, and indeed it does. I need not bore you with a litany of my accomplishments. The purpose of this exercise is for me to give recognition to the fact that I have indeed done many, many things so far this year and to remind me not to beat myself up over the head over the things I still face on my yearly to do list. I may be disappointed with myself for not making as much progress in some areas as I had hoped, but I do not want to lose a grasp of how far along the road I have come.

As I thought about all this, one idea stood out in my mind, and that was that if I needed to find time for certain things, then I was going to have to schedule that time for myself. After all, I am in charge of my own life and am captain of my scheduling choices.

For the next few days, I plan to make a list of the most important things I want to work on in the coming months. I am going to bring out my toolkit items, which have gotten lost under a pile of papers that need to be filed, and I will begin using these tools again in earnest. (To read more about my toolkit, click here).

Most important of all, I will remind myself daily that I am in charge of my scheduling choices. I will begin to schedule the time I need for the projects that I want most to accomplish in the next few months.

Recently, one of my adult students began paying me more money than I normally charge for a lesson. He told me that he thought the time I gave to him was valuable, and that I should be paid a particular amount that he thought more appropriately reflected the value of a minute of my time.

Who am I to argue?, I thought, although I did try to talk him out of this idea. Later I found that I like the idea of thinking about my time as having that particular monetary value associated with it. I found that I made wiser choices about how I spent my time. If I decided to slack a little bit and watch some TV, at least I was more aware of the value of the time I spent in front of the screen.

How much is a minute of your time worth to you?

This week I will spend my time contemplating the state of my schedule and making a list of the things that I need to finish in the next few months. I will devise a plan to address how I will schedule my time to accomplish my remaining tasks for this year. I will also avoid any urge to engage in mental scourging concerning how many items and projects I did not yet accomplish. Instead,  I will focus my mental energy on a scheduling plan that will lead me down the path to fulfill my goals.

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