Time: Our Mortal Enemy

clocks

Time is what we want the most, but what we use the worst.  –William Penn

If I had a dime for the number of times I said “If I just had more time,” or “There aren’t enough hours in the day,” I’d be able to buy that Google Tablet I’ve been wanting for a while now.

Truth is, I’m a procrastinator. I am notorious for waiting until the last possible minute to get things done. I’ve been that way since elementary school and it isn’t likely that I’ll change now. But that won’t stop me from trying to manage my time or trying to fit too many things into my schedule.

I hear people say all the time, “Live life to the fullest.” What I think they really mean by that is “Use your time to the fullest.” If we can just manage to spend our time doing all those things we’ve always wanted to do or plan to do instead of sitting around flipping through channels on the TV or wasting time at work, we could all be living life to the fullest. Problem is, it’s easy to say we’re going  to manage our time better, but much harder to put those words into action and actually do them.

For me, it’s finding the time to write each day. Each morning I say I’m going to write, but I don’t always do it. So I’ve done some thinking, and I’d like to share the three things that help me most when managing my time.

1. Shut off email and log off of the internet if possible.

I don’t know about everyone else, but I will obsessively check my email if it’s open, and if I’m on the internet and at a slow spot while I’m writing, I will log into Pinterest for a “few minutes” to “get some inspiration.” Two hours later, I’ve repinned 46 pins, liked 15 photos and watched 4 videos, but I haven’t gotten any writing done. So my first bit of advice: Get off the internet! (right after you read and like my blog post, of course.)

2. Make to-do lists.

I am one of those people that needs to write things down. The minute I don’t write something down if the minute I forget to do it later. It helps me to write everything I need to get done down on paper and posted somewhere where I can see it and cross things off as I go. That also helps me with a sense of accomplishment as well. I always feel good about crossing something off my list.

3. Prioritize.

When I make my to-do list, I always star the things I need to get done first. I know going into the day that it isn’t always possible to get everything done, so I need to prioritize and make sure I’m getting the things that have a shorter deadline or are more urgent done before the things that could wait a day or two.

Those are the three things that have helped me the most. I hope they’ll be helpful to you too. Do you have any other neat tricks or tips to help manage your time? Please feel free to share below!

I’ll wrap things up with one of my personal favorite quotes about time, taken from one of my favorite books, Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien: “All we have to do is decide what to do with the time that is given to us.”

Thank you to Kate Ter Haar for the photo.

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8 thoughts on “Time: Our Mortal Enemy

  1. I use the same technique. No emails, no internet, no computer in the morning. Because I’m most productive in the mornings, I prohibit any computer use if I can help it. With pencil and notebook in hand, I jot down my ideas the old fashion way. There’s something about a blank page in front of me that draws out my imagination. Besides, I get to doodle on the sides of the page, too. Afterwards, I type it in the computer and print it out. (minus the doodling) Rereading it in type form brings out the teacher in me and makes it easier to see my own mistakes.

    1. That’s great to hear, Pam! I’m the same way, doodles and all. In fact I carry around a small sketch book instead of a notebook lots of times because I like to make doodles to go along with my ideas. I find it easier to write my ideas out on paper than I do straight to the screen. And I edit as I type too! You pay much closer attention to your words as you’re retyping them, I think.

  2. Excellent advice! I have to exercise all three points to get my writing done. With music, video and other projects I certainly use numbers 2 and 3, but because I write on my laptop I have the ever present distraction machine known as the internet tempting me!

    It takes some self discipline but in the mornings I usually limit myself to about 15 minutes of “checking” and then it’s straight into the writing. I allow myself to keep one browser up with a search engine in order reference or source stuff, but that’s it. No email or social media whatsoever!

    Great post 🙂

    Rohan.

    1. Thank you! The internet is certainly tempting and oh so easy to get lost in when you’re supposed to be working.

      I’m the same in the mornings! I like to immediately check my email and social media, answer any emails and then get straight to the writing. I can’t leave any windows open or I’m sure to obsessively check me email! It does take some self discipline – keeping a search engine open for quick research is a good idea, though one days when I really don’t want to be tempted, I just make notes on what I need to research and keep on writing.

      Thanks for the comment!

  3. I understand your pessimism about your tendency to procrastinate. i am just like that and now am scrambling to get all the details covered for the mission trip I leave for on Saturday (12/8). I hope I can do better, but know I likely am always going to be this way.

    1. I honestly don’t think I’ll ever manage to shake my tendency to procrastinate either. Luckily I work well under pressure!

      Wow, a mission trip? Where to? I think it’s inspiring to see people like you dedicate their time to projects like that.

      1. We are going to Belize for seven days. One of the things we will do is share the wrapped shoe boxes like with Operation Christmas Child with the children we encounter. I plan to blog a lot about it from there if possible, but definitely afterwards when i have better internet connection.

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