Friday, August 17, 2012

Being Frugal With Your Time

Frugal Friday

If it's anything I've learned over the years, it's that there is no such thing as 'normal.'  We wish for a normal life or a normal day.  For me, that means a day when everything goes as planned, and nothing goes wrong.  And I have to say, there are a few of those.  Unfortunately, there are more that don't.

How many times have you looked at your schedule and thought—this looks like an easy day.  Then, the dog throws up on your carpet as you're leaving for work, there's an accident on the highway with traffic backed up for over a mile, and you realize you forgot your lunch, so you have to run out and get something instead of making up for lost time by eating at your desk.

The next morning might go more smoothly.  But then you get a call from your mother that she ran out of her prescription medication, your husband calls and asks you to send flowers to his boss's wife who had emergency surgery, and your son 'reminds' you there is an Open House at his school that evening.  

You had your days all planned out to the minute, from errands to cleaning to cooking to laundry.  Then these emergencies happen.  Your life is anything BUT normal.

So how do you cope?  I call it being frugal with your time.  Just like you put away money for a rainy day, or are very attentive as to how you spend it, you should also do this with the minutes and hours in your day. 

Never plan out every minute of every day with something that needs to be done.  Odds are, these emergencies will creep up, eat up your time, and before you know it, nothing is checked off that list. In fact, the list keeps getting longer, not shorter.  So leave cushions in your week for these emergencies.

Allow more time for appointments and tasks than you know they will take.  For example, you have a dentist appointment with a 15 minute drive each way.  You know the appointment is only for a cleaning—30 minutes tops.  So you allow yourself an hour.  But then traffic and lights slow you down, the dentist is running late, and they discover a cavity that needs filling.  Suddenly, that hour appointment turns into two hours and the bathroom doesn't get cleaned as a result.  

Finally, don't take on any more tasks than you are sure you can handle.  It's much easier to say no at the beginning than handing it back mid-project.  

Be frugal with your time, and you will find you have more of it than you think.

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