Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Walking AND Chewing Gum

So the past week has been a big fat blur, but mostly in a good way.

Getting back to work has meant not only a lot of "catch-up ball" but also dealing with a regime change here at the unit and a MUCH higher optempo, so to speak. With the days' lengths seeming to just expand and expand (Saturday was 18 hours from door to door...really) I'm noticing I'm missing some things.

Like returning e-mails. Like being on top of all my bills and other mail. Like writing essays for potential grad schools. Like blogging.

Here's the strategy that I'm going to implement to fix some of this: Doing more at the office.

Now don't get me wrong -- I'm not talking about stealing Company Time from Uncle Sam. Instead, what I mean is that once "quitting time" has arrived, staying the extra hour or two to knock out all those little knick-knack things that are okay to let slip on any one given day, but not okay to ignore indefinitely. I can bring a lot of what I want to accomplish with me, and it seems like a more efficient way to go.

Plus, it gives more of a separation between work and home, which is probably an ancillary bonus, esp. considering 'home' increasingly means my in-laws' house on Willie St., which is a lot more fun than my own house on Market St (not to mention an endless source of good food), but with the flip side of being a tougher environment for attacking the daily to-do list.

This also seems more efficient if there's anywhere to go in the evening. On a second Tuesday, for instance, there's a VFW meeting at 7:30...so rather than go home just to go back out, my thought process says to stay at work until about 6:45 or so and then just head straight there.

I'll have to wait and see how it goes, but I'm confident from the get-go that taking even that little bit of extra time while I'm still in *work mode* is going to be better than just coming home exhausted, throwing everything down, and putting everything off until the next day...rinse, wash, repeat.


C R Krieger said...

I know the challenge.  Being on an extended travel and working Saturday and Sunday is hard on the old as well as the young.  If you find the magic formula, pass it along.  I need it.

Regards  —  Cliff

The New Englander said...

Cliff -- so far, so good. No magic formulas yet but let's keep this thread and idea running on ours or any other blogs...it's too good a topic not to.

I read in a time management book that people who stop and take the time each morning to outline their goals for any given day tend to be far more successful and far more productive. I know there are correlation/causation issues here, as the types of people who would follow through on the list might be better at following through on the tasks, but I really think there's something to this -- trying to envision/plan out your day before it happens is a great way to help steer it where you'd like.

One way I could greatly improve my effiency would be better use of time spent in transit (in my case, that's mostly the car). I keep trying to promise myself I'll spend more time with audiobooks and such *smart* things, but then there's that tempting path of least resistance of following a long workday up with some mindless radio tunes.

Also, a very wise man once told me "Don't ever waste your time trying to chase the daily news cycle." Use it instead for real thinking or other ways to expand...if something is really that big of a deal, you'll hear about it.