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How do you spend your time? A lot has been written about that as experts in time management advise us to ask ourselves that question, in order that we may use our time efficiently.
Are we using our time in specific ways that are geared to advancing our goals? Or are we just filling time with “stuff” that has nothing to do with what we are trying to achieve?
I know I tend to do a little bit of both. My goals in life revolve around taking care of my family, myself, my work, hobbies, and community involvements. Then there are the things I do “for fun,” or “for leisure.” Those are important (like maintaining a blog – how much of a time filler is that? I wonder….hmmm), because we do need some “down time.” But a really organized and time-efficient person would allot time for that “down time” in the schedule of the day, alongside the “up time,” wouldn’t they?
As I was pondering these very deep and relevant matters, I happened to have a conversation with a good friend of mine with whom we share our lives, views on politics, religion, relationship discussions and other such matters. You know, regular stuff. Well, I was mentioning to this friend about how I have been doing some “book signings” for my book. For example, I have begun to plan and give presentations to groups or organizations about my book concept (that would be relationships of grandmothers and mothers-in-law vis-a-vis daughters-in-law and grandkids, in case the reader forgot!). After said presentations, I offer my book for sale to those who want to purchase it.
Sounds time efficient – doesn’t it? Plug for book, presentation, social setting, and book selling – all in the time frame of about 90 minutes maximum. Not bad? Right?
Right. (surprised you there…didn’t I?)
But, here’s the dilemma: what about those times that I show up at bookstores, and sit there for 2 or 3 hours to sign books that folks buy from the bookstore? That is not a very good use of my time, on a regular basis. Once in awhile okay. But not as time efficient as the organizational presentations/book selling.
I could be chatting with my husband and kids, or I could be returning emails. I could be working with my music therapy patients and clients. I could be spending time with my children and grandchildren, or I could be working out at the gym. I could be eating out with some friends. Or I could be writing on this blog, or working on an article for a magazine submission. I could be praying for world peace, and for the recoveries of ill people around the world. Or I could be visiting a lonely person who is sick. I could be shopping for groceries, or I could be baking challah (hey, haven’t done that in a while!).
In short, I need to structure my time, hour for hour – prioritize which actions and activities are time wasters and time fillers, and which projects are time-well-spent. Then once I have my priorities set up, I can go about accomplishing. Check. Check and check. Do it all, one by one. Day by day.
So from now on, I will label an activity as a time-efficient or time-filler, and proceed accordingly.
I think that’s a plan. Let’s see and re-evaluate in a week or so.
What is your opinion on time and how it is spent? I would like some feedback.
Tags: author, blog, books, clock, dilemma, efficiency, organization, presentations, signings, time