I’ve been a little frustrated recently with the way I’m spending my time.
We’re a homeschooling family, but recently I’ve been keenly aware of its opportunity cost. With two little students, a trouble-making four-year-old, and a crazy toddler, there’s just not enough time for the things I want to work on.
I want to make the most of my time, so I’ve been paying close attention to how I spend it. Since I can only become really good at the thing I practice, I want to free up as much time for practicing as possible.
I’ve noticed that when my kids are around, I spend way too much time on low-energy, low-importance tasks. I’ll check my email repeatedly, or check in to facebook or twitter. These tasks use up a lot of time and leave me feeling drained, but I rarely accomplish anything meaningful when I work in fits and spurts during the day.
I’ve decided to put an old productivity strategy to the test this week. For each hour I could spend not-so-productively–on email, or facebook–I’m going to devote 30 minutes to meaningful work and 30 minutes to sleep.
I’m going to go to bed early so I can rise at dawn to do meaningful work. I’m going to tackle the important before I tackle the urgent. I’m not going to waste my time on tasks that don’t really matter.
This 50/50 swap feels a lot gentler to me than the daunting task of converting all my dead time straight into meaningful work. And I certainly need the extra sleep after losing an hour for Daylight Savings last weekend!
What do you do to make more time?
For more on time management, try What To Do When Your Productivity Tools Are Your Biggest Distractions: A Two-Step Plan.