A number of my recent posts have been about managing time and using all those spare moments that make up the bulk of this Stay-At-Home-Mom’s day. Following this quest, the book I am currently reading is Laura Vanderkam’s ‘I Know How She Does It- How Successful Women Make the Most of their Time’.
I am only half way through the book, and already am delighted by the many inspiring but practical techniques to follow. One concept that stood out to me is mindfulness and measurement. Being conscious of your time and the need to log your activities makes one really mindful and cognizant of what we are doing. I know this by personal experience because I logged my time for a few weeks. Read more on that here. One of the best benefits of time logging was how involved and engaged I was. I actively tried to maximize my time, energy and tasks. This means batching tasks and mindful multi-tasking.
Also, from my recent Positivity Ratio tracking, I realized that planning my day and time with T to include a mix of routine and novelty keeps her and me both happy. Planning what I will do in spare moments, being prepared for all those spare moments keeps me away form distractions. After all, time is like salary. Like my father (an accountant) is fond of quoting:
It is not about how much you earn, but how much you save!
Or more appropriately:
It is not about how much time you have, but what and how we invest that time in!
I am hence trying to invest my time in high return activities:
- health : cooking, exercising, eating consciously
- career: studying, doing personal projects, working on my online biz presence
- reading: keeping books of all formats at hand, saving book lists and finding which are in my library.
I would also like to mention her how I tackle the books on my reading list:
- I maintain a list of books to read on my iPhone.
- Whenever free, I check if it is available in my library.
- If yes, I add the accession number.
- On my next visit, I know what aisle to head and grab the book.
- If not, I check if available on Hoopla Digital, the online platform. I access it via my library and borrow if available.
- If not, ask around: interlibrary loan, friends. Usually: works!
- If not, check a different book. 🙂
Being intentional helps me read the books I want to and not just any fluff. Plus, it keeps the preschooler form whining as I search for the books I need as opposed to carting her off to the kiddie section.Win-win!
As a Sahm, who has been tracking her time, I realized I do have time: just in frequent, tiny bursts. Taking a lead from Laura Vanderkam’s tips to plan activities for leisure; I decided to be deliberate about how I spend my free time (or more appropriately freeze time)!
Like spare change, spare moments add up to so much!
What better than this blog to monitor my efforts and share my tiny triumphs! And what better time than now?
Today, I got some ‘freeze time’, as my child napped on me. Getting up would wake my angel and cause a tantrum, and deprive me of some down time. So, I used that time wisely. Thanks to my stash of ebooks, I raced through Chandler Bolt’s bestseller Book Launch! Yayy! Win-win!
Hoping to inspire others to plan their spare moments and motivate myself to stay focused by sharing this publicly, Thanks for Reading!
Do share your methods and techniques to use your spare moments in the comments below. I can always use handy tips!
I watched Laura Vanderkam’s TED talk today and am inspired to act on it. It will be a grand and useful challenge to imagine next year and act on future goals.
While I am still pondering on my resolutions and challenges for next year, her simple exercise seems a great way to outline my goals and set priorities.
Do watch the video and share your steps to plan for the future and set goals in the comments below.
It seems like only last month, I was lamenting to my twin about how I am always hard pressed for time and there is too much work and too little time to do it in. I actually stated that while I know everyone has the same amount of time; it feels sometimes, that someone is possibly stealing my time! I feel that over worked! But no more; I no longer feel so rushed.
The change is definitely because of my time keeping. I followed Laura Vanderkam’s time tracking and in just one week, I got so many insights and ideas. With every activity written down, it is hard to fabricate my over work or miss glaring trouble spots. Also, I have the satisfaction of not having to wonder where my time goes- since I know!
While I still am studying my time, especially our unpredictable weekends and the upcoming holidays, I have been able to identify/ change some activities to better use my time. Here they are:
- Only work/ study while T is away at school. Those hours are precious and allow me to get solid work done, especially studying, coding and writing. I do not use this time for anything else. It’s doubly benefitting, I cross off important tasks and surge ahead during the day with that happiness of having completed my top priorities.
- Cooking in the late evenings instead of mid evenings is helping. Since I devote all afternoon and early evenings to T, she is happy to play/ watch iPad while I cook. Staying in the kitchen and clubbing all my culinary and cleaning chores together helps get them done better.
- Ironing has always been a trouble spot for me. Now I just listen to a good podcast/ video to take my mind off it. In fact I conquered my ironing load both these weeks! Yippee!!
- I have blocked a few sites where I would mindlessly spend time surfing and waste it.
- Using the ‘Double Dip’ strategy as suggested in the ‘No Regrets Parenting’ book is immensely useful.
- Reading list and Save for Later Playlist is a good trick. Whenever, I am taking downtime or simply multitasking, I refer to this list. Since, I know what I have to read/ listen, I no longer go down then surf and lose track of time route.
- Editorial Calendar is another great trick. I blog here and on my website, so, having a clear topic to write on saves me the heartache, cluelessness and succumbing-to-surf-instead-of-research mistake!
I have improved slightly- won’t say dramatically! But I am happy to feel more relaxed now. I actually did some amazing stuff this week:
- Watched ‘London Has Fallen’ on Netflix
- T and I watched ‘Zootopia’
- On the day she missed school, T and I made Fairy wings, wand and a crown.
- We also found time to play and do homework quite leisurely.
- Hubby and I devoured Pani-puris and Dal Makhani on the same night. (I would definitely not have ventured 2 prep-intensive dishes on the same day earlier)
- I did a lot of frying- 3 days in this week. Another activity I would not have thought possible previously.
- We had company on 2 evenings- and my schedule worked just fine! I did not even ponder if my schedule would remain on track. (This I felt was a big Win!)
Signing off soon that happy note! Have good weekend! And since the weather and nature are quite violent in places- stay safe folks!
Starting Monday, I shall be tracking my time using Laura Vanderkam’s time sheet. This is part of the challenge put up on her website. Link is given here.
I am all excited as the exercise will give me a clear indication of how I actually spend my time and how I can use it better.