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Time Flies: Make It Count!

September 25, 2019

Time flies, but does it count? Do you too often find the day gone without any sense of satisfaction or accomplishment? Rich or poor, we all live in the same framework of twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, or “24/7” as it’s come to be known. But what great differences there are in how much individuals accomplish. Bad decisions lead to frustration, lower self- esteem, and increased stress. And people who don’t have good time management skills are usually the ones who “don’t have time” to learn how to improve them.

I believe there’s an additional factor for women because we’ve often spent years organizing our lives around others’ needs: the boss wants the report tomorrow; son’s soccer practice Tuesday and Thursday; daughter’s piano lesson Wednesday; husband’s office party Friday, etc. We’ve been responders, filling our calendars with everyone else’s required activities, sometimes forgetting our own needs. After fifty, your calendar may become free of many external obligations, but you might not be accustomed to choosing and scheduling activities for yourself. It’s time to make yourself a priority.

Recognize, too, the difference between efficiency and effectiveness: being efficient means doing the job right, but being effective means doing the right job. You can be efficient all day long but accomplish nothing of value. When you write down your “to do” list, it shouldn’t be more than ten items. Resist the temptation to do the easy ones first so you can have several items checked off (efficient). Also, the 80/20 rule, or the Pareto principle, “means that in anything, a few (20 percent) are vital and many (80 percent) are trivial.” Applied to time management, then, 20% of your activities can produce 80% of desired results if you do the one or two most important items on your list (effective).

Tips: ask yourself…
  • Is this activity helping me reach my goals?
  • What are the two most important things on my “to do” list? Do them first.
Yes, time flies, but you can make it count.

by Kathleen Vestal Logan, MS, MA October 29, 2018
excerpt from Second Blooming for Women: Growing a Life that Matters after Fifty by Kathleen
Vestal Logan and E.L. (Betsy) Smith, PhD, pp. 73,74