I want to put my money where my mouth is. I’m always writing about quality of life. So, I asked myself what needed to happen for me to improve my own quality of life – not in the future, but immediately. Right now. Today.
I came up with this:
1. I want to stop working when I’m in charge of my kids. I usually work on the computer between 6-8:30 in the morning while the kids beg me to watch “Martha Speaks” with them. After being nagged twice, I enthusiastically sit on the couch and pat myself on the back if I’m still sitting there seven minutes later. This is going to change. Immediately. I thought about what I’m actually accomplishing during this time that cannot wait. It’s the social networking – managing facebook and twitter, and getting rid of all the sales-y and junk e-mails that come in. I need to eliminate this from my daily schedule. Today.
2. I need to exercise more. I love to exercise. I usually exercise 3-5 times a week. I have done every boot camp and spinning class in the book. But I stopped going to the gym while recovering from surgery in July. For a while, my concerted efforts at daily walks/jogs proved fruitful. However, in my busiest season I find that I wake up fully intending to work out and then realize as the sun sets that I never actually got around to it. That is something within my power to change immediately.
3. I need to manage my time more protectively. I will only schedule one event each day. My original schedule for today showed me taking my 2 yo to try out an hour in her soon-to-be pre-school classroom, then going to a lunch meeting with the Sheriff for the non-profit board I chair. I love lunch meetings, and I love hobnobbing with the Sherriff -he’s a great guy and very dedicated to our cause – but I love my daughter more. And with all those LSAT takers chomping at the bit to actually apply to law school, I decided that the lunch meeting had to go on without me and now I will have time to implement goal #2.
How did I take care of #1 and #2? Easy. After weeks of talking with various people touting their skills as Virtual Assistants, I finally found one who I thought understood what I needed and who immediately “got me.” I think I’ll enjoy working with her, so I hired her. And I told Husband Extraordinnaire (in business circles I refer to him as my Business Manager when I don’t want to be blamed for the decision I’m making) that this would be better for me, better for the girls, and better for him because it will enable me to stay skinny. He approved the expenditure.
I believe the key to using your time wisely is to wisely choose how you use your time.
I absolutely want to be the person who writes personal messages on holiday cards to family, friends, and clients. I want to be the person writing thank you notes for my daughter’s birthday gifts. However, I don’t have to address the envelopes, buy the stamps, or get them mailed. I want to be the person who picks the holiday gifts for my daughters, but I don’t have to be the person who returns the duds or sells off the ones not worth the shipping fees to return. And I don’t feel like I’m passing off these tasks because I’m actively employing those who do help me complete them. I’m contributing to the economy and keeping things moving. (Of course, this is how I justify the new shoes also …)
Ok, and just for the record for those of you who have been following me since my big reading-related announcement last month:
I did read Septembers of Shiraz (liked it a lot), did not read 10o Years of Solitude (sadly, no one else in the book club did either, except for the organizer who called it “depressing”), am about to read The Price of Privilege” for my other book club, and still need to read “Thinking Like Your Editor.” However, I am considering paying my new VA to read that one for me….