Read, read, read

Trying to catch up on my reading list even as T and I zealously finish her large stack of books form the library.

I did not neglect my reading too much while on vacation. Read two books, sneaking in my reading in all those spare minutes! I am also using all my disjointed free time to read all I can. What with T’s vacation, family over for holiday; it is a bit tough! But, religiously following the Spare Time  principle. Every page read counts!!

My list is as follows:

  • Asian Efficiency (self-help)
  • Bhima (pseudo-fiction)
  • Think, Write, Grow
  • Back of the Napkin

I am striving to stay disciplined even on the weekend; hopefully the above success will see me through!

Until Monday’s post; Adieu! Have a splendid weekend ahead!

 

Spare Moments

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!

2017 Book Reading Challenge- Updates

Raise your hand if you love being ahead of a deadline? I definitely do. That is why this week’s post is a short update on my Reading Challenge for 2017.

2017Challenge

Just looking at that ‘ahead of schedule’ statement is giving me a high! Yippee!

While I have updated my Books Read- 2017 Page, I shall save you the bother of leaving this page and continue reading.

BooksRead

I am so ecstatic and can’t wait to keep this winning streak going! True, it’s not like winning an Olympiad or Noble Prize. But, we should not always wait for Himalayan triumphs. The numerous little joys add up to more than the adrenaline high of the few grand occasions.

On that happy note, wishing all those reading this post, a happy week ahead! And do remember to enjoy the rest of the weekend. Make these hours count too!

Planning for 2017

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.

Sugar Jar

At the beginning of the year, I had written about Sugar Jar– which lists my methods to capture memories.

In this post, I list another method- the Time Sheet. Ever since I started logging my time and relaxing with the insights and accountability, (lessons listed here), I have started feeling great about how much time I actually  spend with T. And it occurred to me, with the addition of comments, these can actually serve as splendid reminders of all the fun things we did!

A great advantage is that, my Sugar jar where I slip little notes about fun memories are not always filled in immediately following our adventures. So, this can serve as a handy reference too! I shall be adding samples next week, for accountability!

Speaking of accountability, I missed filling my timesheet for two weeks now! 😦

What with T being ill and Hubs and visits from friends, there simply was no time. But, since I know our regular schedule, it seemed like I knew how my day would progress with almost 90% accuracy! Hurrah! Plus, the last two days, I napped with T after taking my medicine; so I’d say that was a good bonus!

With that, I turn over the question to you: how do you capture memories? Leave me your tips and techniques in the comments below; I would love to read them!

168 Hours Challenge- Eye Openers

I am on my 3rd week of time tracking. And it has given me quite a few eye opening revelations.

  • Housework:
    • Doing housework in the evenings, including cooking, works better for me, as I actually do it a bit more efficiently. Assigning morning or afternoon time slots for such activities is like entering a time warp for me. One task leads to another and I simply never get anything completely done.
    • Mindless housework slows me down. Clubbing it with listening to inspirational videos quickens me up. Later, the rush of having used my time efficiently, aids me to get more work done. This was a big win!
  • Sleep:
    • I do sleep enough. I had previously thought the opposite.
    • On the same subject, finishing my food prep for lunch the previous evening helps me sleep better. The reason is simple: I don’t worry while going to bed about oversleeping or having a rushed morning the next day. Bonus: My mornings are more streamlined as I am not thinking about what to cook or how best to cram too many activities in too little time.
  • Emails:
    • Checking emails sucks me into surfing. Except in the mornings- when I am more brutally prioritizing about it.
  • Grooming/ Getting Ready:
    • Showering in the morning before I drop T at school makes my day more productive. (I think it has more to do with my feeling accomplished and the winning vibes that accompany this small success.)
    • Also, having T and my outfits ironed and ready helped save time not only in wondering what to wear but also limit T’s choices. (I have started limiting T from choosing her dresses for school because we never agreed on accessories and colors and stuff. So, she gets to decide and linger over her wardrobe after she comes home and needs to change. 🙂 )
  • Time Logs:
    • Logging time multiple times keeps me accountable. So, I make better choices when it comes to what activities I spend my time on.

Watch out this space for more lessons and hacks once I complete a month of time logging! Until then, please do share your tips for efficient time management and productivity hacks! Have a great weekend!

168 Hours Challenge- Lessons

My 168 Hours Challenge finished Sunday night. Seven days of tracking my time… honestly! The entire exercise was an eye opener and very enlightening.

Listed below are the lessons I learnt:

  • 15 minute time slots actually work very well. (Contrary to what I thought at the outset). With a young child, it seems my work gets done in 5 minute intervals. So, this was perfect. Plus, I actually got a great sense of my day’s structure and major activities. It also gave me insights on how I can plan my day to make best use of my time.
  • Mindful multi-tasking works. Food prep clubs with podcasts or speaking with a child-‘ double dip’ as ‘No Regrets Parenting’ book states.
  • Clubbing activities in the same room works better than going task by task from my list.
  • Regular sleep, healthy food and down time are essential for a productive day.
  • Timers are not just for kids. Racing against a timer actually spurs me on and keeps me focussed. It also frees me from distractions because I know I will be done in a finite time and can attend to other tasks/ activities then.
  • Having a reading list and playlist of podcasts really helped me. In spare minutes, I knew I had inspiring/ interesting articles and videos to engross myself in. This not only was a wise use of my time but also was  energizing and uplifting.
  •  The biggest win was that I was more mindful of how I used my time. Knowing I would have to log my activities made me treat every minute like the precious commodity it is.

Inspired by the success of last week, I am continuing the challenge this week too. Laura Vanderkam, who issued the challenge and has written wonderful books and articles on time management, has been doing this for over seventeen months. While my goals are not as lofty as hers, I am determined to go on till December to truly discover how I spend my time, especially, in the holidays.  Wish me luck!!

Have a refreshing weekend and a productive week ahead!