I would like to tell you about the biggest time saver I have ever found. If you are like me and always looking for ways to get more done in less time, I have a tip for you. For months I felt frantic every day with the long list of things that I felt needed to be done urgently. I would end the day mentally exhausted with a long list remaining on my desk. There were work tasks and ideas to be launched; the many tasks needed to keep the house organized and clean to some acceptable level; and charitable work that fulfills my passion for giving to others the gifts I have received through the work of those before me and around me.
One day as I was maintaining the hot tub that I never found time to use I asked myself why. Both my daughters are in college so I should have plenty of extra time. That day I made the decision to use the hot tub regularly rather than just clean and maintain it.
Guess what I discovered? By taking 20 minutes a day to do absolutely nothing I saved at least twice that much time. I honored my commitment to use the hot tub and soak for 15-20 minutes each day. I let my mind wander or go blank. I do not intentionally focus on anything while I am letting the warmth seep into my bones. Suddenly I find that inspiration to a dilemma comes to me when I am not consciously thinking about it. I am clearer about my priorities and tasks for the day and write more quickly and clearly. All of this has added up to working more efficiently and effectively.
Currently I am reading “Heroic Leadership” by Chris Lowney. He writes about the best practices of the Jesuits who have been a successful company for over 450 years. One of the disciplines they practice is taking five minutes three times per day to examine the opportunities and challenges of the day and how they reacted to them. This self examination provides ongoing feedback and allows them to incorporate lessons in real time and ensure they are acting in ways that move them toward their goals.
Do you need to have more time in your day? I suggest you find it by taking five minutes to do nothing. Sit comfortably in your chair or on the couch, in your bathtub of warm water or even your hot tub for ten minutes tomorrow. I wonder how much time you will save or what inspiration will come to you. Let me know and I will pass on your experiences in a future newsletter.Tags: personal development, self care, time management