Three things come to mind: (1) a co-worker, (2) the groceries and (3) my personal slicer.
I was at work recently recounting how I use http://www.peapod.com to order my groceries (and have them delivered to my fridge for a $8 delivery charge), how we occasionally have someone clean the house and occasionally have a dog walker. My co-worker then said, “Well what do you DO?” He went on to basically call me disorganized, messy, lazy (clearly if you don’t spend every waking minute cooking/cleaning/chores what else could you possibly do!). I felt my blood boil, my heart race, and my eyes flash anger. Was he seriously asking me this? Rather than bite his head off, I carefully explained how I commute for 2-3 hrs a day (to include daycare pick up), prepare dinner, take care of Sweetpea, have two dogs, a husband who works shiftwork….As I started going through my litany of time killers, I stepped back for a minute to think about how I DO have minutes now.
Recently, I broke my process and went to the grocery store. I purchased 72 items? So in other words I had a ton of bags, Sweetpea, two dogs returning from the kennel and no garage (and George was at work). As I made my second trip from the car (a couple blocks away), balancing the million bags on our stroller, my arm, this conversation with my co-worker rang clear in my head. I wanted to scream: THIS. THIS IS WHY I ORDER GROCERIES. SEE I REALLY DO HAVE A LOT TO BALANCE.
These two instances have caused me to really think about organization, efficiency, happiness, life. So I started off the Lenten season thinking about what I started calling a Vertical Slice. A couple years ago, I created a spreadsheet that spells out my roles and goals, my week. Then I recently used six sigma concepts to streamline my mornings/evenings. That brought me to today, I wanted to take each chunk of time and “slice it” with a common theme to encourage my next layer of efficient, organized living.
As I started thinking about the tools I gave myself to organize my time, I realized that each chunk of time had a tendency to be disorganized/cumbersome. (I wonder if George thinks I’m nuts) Sometimes or most of the time, I think in terms of platitudes, catch phrases and mottos which focus my every day. Or as I’m trying to say “slice” my minutes to weave together “cleaner minutes”. Maybe I should say something like, some people say “if you take it out, put it back”, “slow and steady wins the race” and other cliches to motivate themselves. I have spent the last few weeks trying to think of my own cliche/motto/catch phrase to slice each chunk of time with a common goal/theme.
Ultimately, my mission is “to be happy through an effective physical, spiritual, emotional living space.” Unfortunately, there is “white noise” or detractors in each those elements of my mission. I define white noise to mean static, or stuff glommed onto what I want to do, which ultimately weighs me down and prevents me from happiness and streamlined efficiency. White noise clogs my head and makes me sluggish. So the spreadsheet gave me organization to my day. The next step, after streamlining my morning/evening routine, was to create my phrase. After much thought and consideration, my personal motto or vertical slicer is “Why Wait”.
So for example, when I’m feeling lazy after dinner, Sweetpea is sleeping, George is at work, my tendency is to leave her toys out etc etc. So now, what I am trying to do is think “Why Wait”. Take care of ‘it’ now and enable time later.
This motto was inspired my oldest sister. Her hard working attitude of taking care of issues, problems, tasks, you name it — first– truly motivated me. I reflected on how rather than sitting down, she cleans her kitchen, runs to the mall to return shoes, walks her two large dogs without her husband. Her can-do attitude and ability to get stuff done, is a true inspiration to me.