Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Time Management

I hate to be late. For anything. But especially when people are expecting me. So, appointments for myself or my kids, meetings, parties, airplanes, I tend to leave much earlier than necessary (my husband agrees, and luckily entertains my madness by leaving for the airport several hours before our flight). I often arrive early, then scout out the nearest coffee shop to kill time. That's better than being late! I realize that I am overly rigid with my schedules, both in my personal life and my work. I may be the only specialist on earth who routinely runs on time for appointments. I'm ok with that, but my patients also understand that I expect them to be on time, too, or plan to reschedule. Otherwise it doesn't work, now does it?

I have been working on being more at peace with the schedule, especially when things are out of my control. I realize (now, at age 30...something) that getting pissy and screaming at the freight train between me and my destination will only raise my blood pressure, and the train really doesn't care. I also try to breathe and be realistic about how much I can accomplish in a certain amount of time. Because I hate to be late, I seem to have developed a tendency to over-estimate the time it takes to get anywhere. Then, if I don't have that pre-conceived amount of time, I start to panic that I will be, you guessed, late. My mantra is now "there IS enough time."

I have also begun to find small snippets of time during my day, when I previously thought I couldn't possibly find the time to... whatever. I read a self-help book (ohhh, I love the self-help genre) that recommended you write down what you're doing every hour of your day for several days in a row. The premise was that surely you would find at least 30 minutes when you're staring at your navel and could be doing something more healthy or positive for your soul. Since I love to practice what I preach, I am finding those moments. I am using them to read something enjoyable just for me, writing in my journal before bed, blogging :), and practicing yoga, either at home or in class. I hope to uncover some snippets of time when I can plan meals for the week and meditate, but I am a work in progress, and I will keep trying!

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