A Slice of Life: the ‘Cans’ and ‘Wills’ of Time Management

It is early Wednesday morning as I write this blog. Snowflakes are falling outside my window, my neighbor’s cat is sitting on the window ledge and there is a hot pot of Earl Grey tea steeping under the cozy.  I love to write and work in this room. The south and west-facing windows fill the space with constant light and overlook my neighbor’s splendid front garden. Sitting down to contemplate my week makes me laugh out loud. Around this time of year I am committed to a study plan but sometimes feel a bit wobbly about how to accomplish everything; a slice of life puts time management into perspective.

My perspective this week revolves around what I have to do, what I want to do, priorities, time and variables. Each day I must balance short-term needs with long-term goals.  I have learned good time management is not making time to do a little of everything each day; it is focusing on priorities and being organized especially when variables become involved.

So far this week my variables include a twenty-one foot rug rolled up in the middle of the room like a giant tortellini, my laundry room is under construction and has only half a floor, and ten inches of rain fell on Tuesday resulting in a leaky ceiling in my design studio. My neighbor knocked at the door to tell me the top of a thirty foot maple tree outside my studio windows caught fire from rubbing against an electrical line. New priorities are moving furniture, my building contractor, utility linemen, and the fire department. This weekend I launched an online retail business. My design studio, with the leak on one side and the flaming tree on the other, holds three years’ work of prototypes, design files, hand-made papers from around the world and electronic equipment. On Sunday I must deliver one of my first commissions of handmade stationery for an event at the Frick Fine Art and Historical Center. Are you laughing yet? Do you remember I mentioned my study plan?

My study plan this week might need to be altered a bit. Instead of reading new material my focus will be answering ‘Study Guide’ questions on text I have read. Right now I am reading ‘Troilus and Criseyde’ by Chaucer, Henryson and Shakespeare; that should be plenty to think about. Despite my week’s variables this change in study strategy increases my concentration, helps with retention and keeps me organized. Did I mention my husband spilled a bowl of confetti on a Persian carpet?

With a handful of confetti and a good chuckle I sit down to contemplate these three masterpieces of western literature with the greatest  pleasure. As interesting as variables can make time management I do not like to claim the struggle. I prefer humor and Norman Vincent Peale’s famous advice, ‘I am not saying a positive attitude can make you successful. I am saying a positive attitude will make you successful.’

One thought on “A Slice of Life: the ‘Cans’ and ‘Wills’ of Time Management

  1. Hi Catherine, I’ve just cleaned up a smashed tea pot that I had for over a decade. I lost a loved object as well as half an hour of study time… Then I found your posting in my mailbox:)
    Keep up the positive thinking!
    Love, Monika


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