Sunday, October 12, 2008
Three Tips on Finding Time
"The Letter H" - ink on paper
copyright 2008 Maggie Stiefvater
illustration for upcoming Merry Sisters of Fate anthology.
Today was scary for me. Every once and a while, I dye my hair a shade lighter. As I get older (approaching a crusty and crotchety 27), I have gone from summer-kissed light brunette to dark-haired, pale and undercooked.*
*I typed this "undercookied" at first, which is probably a Freudian slip as I just pulled some out of the oven but haven't eaten any yet
Anyway, today I dyed my hair. I got a new sort that said it only took ten minutes to work. So I put it down and came downstairs to catch up on some blog posts, and then realized that almost twenty minutes had gone by.
Cue Maggie galloping upstairs to hastily rinse it out. There was a patchy moment when my hair looked slightly skunklike, but I think it's become a nice light albeit-not-naturally-occuring-in-nature shade. Sort of blonde-brown-orange-red-green-something. Pleasant, though. Actually, now that I think about it, it's sort of cookie-dough colored.
So. Anyway. Three tips. I know I've done a ton of posts on time management, but most of them are extremely long and unwieldy. I got an email from Rose that made me think that maybe a three tips on snatching a few more minutes here and there might be useful. So here they are.
1. Like with like. Clump all your housekeeping chores with other housekeeping. Your town errands with other town errands. Your chihuahua wrangling with other chihuahua wrangling. It's easy to waste time doing errands and chores as you see them -- picking up one stray toy leads to folding laundry that's right next to the toy leads to loading the dishwasher leads to changing the sheets, etc.
Am I telling you to not do housework?
I'm telling you to think about making one or two days a week your housework days, and then just do mild tidying in between. If you've got to make a shopping trip, group it with other like chores. Cut out the back and forth as much as possible.
2. Make your to-do list shorter. Lots of people tell me they make to-do lists and then never get to the bottom of them. Well, #$%^, there's no satisfaction in that. Moreover, if you keep making a list that you'll never get to the end of, eventually the list will be meaningless. If it helps, make a list for the day, then another for the week, then the month, etc.. If you get done with your day's list, you can attack the week's list instead. But trust me, you'll be a lot more productive if you think you can actually cross everything off.
3. Turn off the internet. No, really, right now. I'm distracting you. Get to work.