How are you spending your time?

Photo courtesy of Kevin Yank (Creative Commons)

Photo courtesy of Kevin Yank (Creative Commons)

I just spent a huge chunk of a beautiful Saturday afternoon struggling with balancing bank accounts, paying bills, catching up on paperwork and generally working on things are absolutely no fun. Granted I was sitting on the porch enjoying the nice weather, but still, I cannot say that I enjoyed that part of my day. It made me crabby.

Part of the problem is that I knew how unpleasant all that would be, and instead of taking care of it when it first came in, I let it sit in my inbox, increasing the stress level because every time I looked in the inbox, I saw it, and told myself no, not now. But I still felt that little surge of dread, and kind of shivered before I put it back.

A few more things rolled in, a little more time passed and before I knew it – there I was ruining a perfectly good weekend day because deadlines were upon me.

Why do we do these things? And why waste time that should be more valuable, spinning my wheels?

One thing I have become more aware of lately is that not one of us knows how long he/she has left to live, and we need to be using the time we do have more wisely.  I am more acutely aware of how I am using my time and energy, and looking to find ways to streamline those tedious but necessary tasks (like paying bills). I want to find ways to spend more of my time doing things I consider valuable and with the people I treasure, instead of wasting time away.

One key change I am making is to take care of things right away. No more dropping it in the inbox to let it languish away for days (or weeks), setting off its negative energy each time I happen to glance at it. I plan to sit down the night bills come (or at least within a couple of days) and pay them and get them filed.

And those nebulous pieces of mail that you look at and think maybe they might be interesting, but it’s too much trouble to make a decision right now? No more. Keep it and deal with it or toss it. No more letting things simmer unless it is worthy of consideration.

And those people and phone calls that sap my energy? You know the ones – they are the energy vampires, and leave you feeling worn out and grumpy. I am learning ways to limit the impact, and politely, but firmly end the conversation before the damage can be done. “Oh, I am so sorry but I’m headed out the door.” “It has been lovely talking to you but I really have so much to do, I need to get busy.”

So this weekend, I enjoyed having already taken care of the critical things, and I sat with my feet up reading. How about you?