Time Block

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Don’t Lie, Don’t Cheat, Don’t Steal – Time Block

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I recently tacked a piece of paper onto an already overflowing idea board in my home office that said,

“Best advice: Don’t lie, don’t cheat, don’t steal. Don’t whine, don’t complain, don’t make excuses….Just do the best you can!”

This seemingly elementary advice was relayed by Kimberly Caccavo, co-owner of GracedbyGrit, in a San Diego Union Tribune feature article from May 27, 2014, as the best advice she ever received.

When my 10 year old daughter later came in to ask me a question, she asked why I had put the quote on my wall. She said, “That’s so obvious mom! Why would you need to write that out and tack it up?”

I think at this point in my life, I’m pretty accomplished at the not lying, cheating or stealing portion of the advice, but I could probably use a refresher course on not whining, complaining or excuse making.

I absolutely know that NO ONE likes a whiner and the “dog ate my homework” excuse is ill-advised. However, like most working women, I sometimes struggle with getting to work in a timely manner, working effectively once there, ferrying my daughter to school and to her after school activities, trying to maintain a household that looks presentable and is stocked with daily necessities, walking my dogs, entertaining and seeing friends and extended family when possible, and fighting that ever present fight against old age and infirmity by working out and reading something other than romance novels.

Clearly, ineffective time management is the crux of my problem and occasionally causes me to complain or make excuses as I labor to balance my family, work, fitness and social life.

The most effective tool I know to combat ineffective time management is time blocking. Most people reading this probably have, at one time or another, been coached to time block. Essentially, you get out your calendar (okay, maybe for you, your phone or computer) and create an appointment for EVERYTHING you plan to do in your day. (Just Google it, there are numerous articles and how-to’s.)

It only takes a few minutes and trust me, if you’ve never done it, it works, or if you’ve gotten lazy, try to start doing it again. I suspect that even a 10 year old can do it.