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Jenny: How Limited Time Can IMPROVE Your Productivity Part II

[Editor’s note: The post below is a follow-on to How Limited Time Can IMPROVE Your Productivity Part I, which ran last week. Jenny Wynter is an Australian comic and mother of three, aka Comic Mummy. The post below is cross-posted from Jenny’s hilarious and insightful blog. Jenny has generously allowed us to republish several posts from her archives — enjoy!]

“If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.” Lucille Ball

I’ve always loved this quote, but only just this morning discovered that the voice behind it was:

a) a woman;

b) a mother; and

c) a woman and mother in COMEDY!

I can practically feel the fairy-dust a-spilling! (Do be careful not to trip, won’t you? I don’t have insurance on this blog.)

But now that I think about it, it seems perfectly natural that Lucille — a mother (unarguably a synonym for “busy person” if ever there was one), striving to carve out a career following her creative passion — would be the one behind it.

I just LOVE it, LOVE it, LOVE it! Namely cos it turns that whole “Boohoo! I just don’t have any tiiiimmmeeee….” thang right where it should be: on its whingey, sad, defeatist little head.

*Disclaimer: author of this post is talking to herself as much as you.

Indeed, having limited time can be our bestest little buddy in the whole wide world when it comes to getting stuff done. Because:

  • when we do have an opening of time, knowing that this may be a small window at best forces us to quit stuffing around (I mean, does it really matter whether there is such a thing as a Johnny Depp Batman doll on ebay? I mean, really?) and just pull up our socks and get into it;
  • it forces us to get organised (bearing in mind that being ‘organised’ is a continuum, so by this I mean ‘more organised than we might otherwise be if we had limitless time to squander at leisure’)
  • the simple state of being ‘busy’ with things to do, means that we are creating momentum. We are already moving! Okay, sure, that might be movement involving wiping snotty noses, wrangling snotty children, or fixing snotty meals — hang on, did I just say that? — but the bottom line is that this ‘business’ can lead to a snowball that you can ride, baby! And anybody who’s ever tried to haul their butt out of a lovely, fluffy, inviting, retro, heart-shaped lounge knows, that starting any movement from zero, just ain’t easy.

1. MAKE LIKE A BOY SCOUT & BE PREPARED!

Have your to-do list/goals list ready at hand so that when the moment of free time strikes, you are not wasting a moment of it scratching your head, looking heavenward and pondering the secrets of the universe.

Note that I’ve found it works better for me just to have a generic ‘to do’ list to work on as required, rather than a strict time-based schedule. i.e. if I start doing the whole “at 9am I will work on ‘blah blah'” thang, I start pulling my hair out pretty quickly thanks to the ingenius knack of kids to turn all unpredictable on me. Seriously. I have a bald patch. I don’t like talking about it. Could we please change the subject?

2. TREAT YOUR TIME LIKE THE LAST TUBE OF TOOTHPASTE ON EARTH

I’m serious. When it comes to squeezing every last drop out of these fleeting moments of peace, you’ve gotta commit to the battle, people! For instance, in our house, we have those rare — yet treasured — but rare, occasions, when my older kids will arrive home from school while my littlest is still sleeping. It’s around this time that I squeal for joy like a little piggy on steroids. (Silently of course, what are you, crazy? I don’t want to wake the baby!)

I then, in what can only be described as “somebody’s pressed the fast-forward button on Jenny’s new show: So you think you can guarana!” I assemble a line of snacks with a bansheed cry of “I LOVE YOOOOOOUUUUU!!!!!!” as I disappear back into my lair.

Mummy needs "ME" time.

Sure, it only buys me an extra 10-15 minutes at best, but in the words of Sarah Connor: “We loved a life time’s worth.”

3. SLOW COOKERS ARE YOUR SOUL-MATES.

That is all.

***

But enough about ME!

No, really?

Yes, really.

What about you?

*Just for the record, if there really is a Johnny Depp Batman doll — on ebay or anywhere else in this cosmos — please contact me. Not that I need it. Ehem…

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Great post. It made me laugh. Thankfully I’m pretty good at treating my time like the last tube of toothpaste on earth … My challenge is being able to Just Stop Occasionally. I recently returned from a holiday in which I was physically LIFTED out of my usual day-to-day madness however when I came back it was like walking into Hell’s Kitchen. I realised just how intense the life I’d left for a fortnight really was and could then (take two seconds) to reflect on whether this was really what I wanted. Since then I haven’t had time to think about it again, which kind of speaks for itself.

    Perhaps another holiday is in store …

    July 8, 2010
  2. Gosh this is hilarious-I LOVE YOU JENNY!

    OK yes so I had another one of those “I can’t do all this” tantrums yesterday wanting to throw away all the hard work and planning of a creative business b.c I just wanted a nap and I wanted my 4 year old to nap and I JUST WANTED SLEEP and why am I working so hard!!!!

    But…I got some sleep last night and I am back at it bright and early this morning. I do it because I MUST!

    July 9, 2010
  3. Thanks Bethan and Robin, happy to hear there’s chuckling around!

    Bethan – I so feel you – we just got back from holidays and I almost drove myself insane trying to let go!

    Robin – Aww, you make my heart feel shiny. You are my heart buffer! I think wanting to sleep is a very, VERY worthy toothpaste-squeezing-of-time user.

    I know that last sentence didn’t even quite make sense (in the words of Maxwell Smart: “missed it by that much”) but you get the gist. I’m gonna have to write a whole heap of other posts on just chilling the heck out. I’m working myself up into a bit of a state here!

    Thanks for reading and commenting, ladies! x

    July 9, 2010

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