*Time Management*
By: Hayseed
08 June 2005

How many of you actually plan your day and then stick to it? I get made fun of often because I work 7 days a week, but I get more done than a half a dozen "average" people. Each evening I sit down with my Franklin Covey planner and plan the next dayís tasks, then I do the best I can to stick to it. Sure, it doesnít always pan out, things happen that change the course of the day, but I can always forward the undone to the next day. If every evening you would sit down and make a list, then prioritize that list and then actually DO what that list says to do, youíd be surprised how much you can accomplish!

First off, if you realize what all you have to do youíll spend less time on idleness. If you do the most important things first, the rest will fall into place. The old adage of the jar, large and small rocks and sand comes into play - if you have an empty jar and put the sand in first the rocks wonít all fit, but if you put the large rocks in first, then put the small rocks in and shake gently, then the sand and shake gently, the voids will be filled by the smaller things and everything will fit! It all gets done.

Youíd be surprised how much you can get done in a days time! Let me tell you about my last Saturday for an example: I worked at my business until noon, then ran home and fed my son his lunch. Then, we both went to work (I lead by example with my son, just as I do at work). The boy started by getting a sack and heading out to pick up any trash and sticks that could be in the way of mowing. I got out the push mower and got started on the 6 yards I had to mow. While he picked up ahead of me I got started mowing. I use a push mower for two reasons, four of the yards I mow are around pole barns and outbuildings where things are kind of tight, but more importantly I need to get the exercise where I can get it. Nothing works your heart better than working up a good sweat pushing a mower. Then while my son weeded the garden (which is almost exclusively raised beds and pots), I got the weed-eating done and walks and patio blown off. Next, the boy got in the pool and vacuumed it while I watered the plants. By this time it was about 6:30 in the evening and time for dinner, so we followed our Saturday evening ritual and ordered a pizza. After the pizza my son was off the hook for the rest of the evening, but I did a few loads of laundry and cleaned both bathrooms.

About 9 oíclock I tell the boy to go shower and he can stay up as late as he wants . . . as long as heís quiet, he gets up and heads for the shower while I sit down at the kitchen table with my trusty planner to check off what Iíve done and forward to tomorrow the things I didnít, then add to tomorrowís agenda. At 9:20pm Iím done with my planning and the boy is clean and laying on the living room floor watching TV. I go shower and say goodnight at which time the boy shuts off the TV and heads to bed too . . . heís tired. Tomorrow weíve got a lot planned - chemicals in pool and hot tub, put clean laundry away, do grocery shopping, get brooder ready for ducks and geese expected on Tuesday, dust and vacuum whole house, sweep and mop kitchen, cut up the tree that blew down across the lane at the farm and pile the brush and stack the wood, wash and wax one of the fleet trucks. I wonít get it all done I know, but I have a plan! Eventually it will all get done and for now Iíll just do what I can. Iím only one person and I can only do so much, but when Iím at work and Iím out with "the boys" I get tickled that a 40 year old woman can outwork a 20 year old man. I may not be as fast or as strong, but I am smarter than they are and Iím a steady worker. Nothing makes me feel better than when someone says "Youíve got a nice looking yard, building, truck, whatever" . . . especially since theyíve all been around for quite some time! It just takes a little effort to keep things "kept up".

Most important thing is to PLAN! Write it down and give yourself and overview. You donít necessarily need a planner, just make a "to do" list and then move on it! Just knowing what you need to do and seeing it in writing motivates you to either move forward or fall behind. Itís all a state of mind and thereís nothing you canít do if you set your mind to it. Youíll never have any trouble falling asleep if you get in gear and plan then implement that plan; and more important things wonít pile up and not get done.

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