Progress, no matter how small

When I see progress happening in my life, no matter how small, I am happy.  It produces a ripple effect.

Last week I was compelled to write a post, Waiting for that Perfect Moment.  Since then, I can report that I followed my own advice and I am starting to see the results.  Sure, it’s in small things here and there throughout our home.  Yet, I can see the subtle changes and that has been rewarding.

These positive changes have given me just the right amount of encouragement to continue.

As I mentioned in last week’s post, I have a full time job and at the end of the work day, I tend to be tired when I get home.  However, one of the things I did in the evenings last week was spend 30 minutes to an hour in my studio.  I create Art Jewelry and if you are curious about my work, you are welcome to visit my website or another blog I maintain devoted to my metalwork.

To my delight, by the end of last week, my studio time produced two pieces.  A pendant and a pair of earrings.  I will be posting photos of those on my other blog at some point in the near future.

What I like to think of as the reclamation of our home is occurring too.  Things did not get into this state overnight and the recovery of those spaces won’t happen overnight either.  Not only do I have a very supportive, encouraging, and helpful husband, I am embarking on my fourth year of reading the Simple Abundance.  The practice of decluttering to achieve a more simple life is just one of  the simple abundance principles.

Clearing out closets.  Organizing spaces so there is a place for everything.  It’s happening.  You may recall that as part of how I manage my time, I set a limit for how long I will work on something.  I continue to be amazed by how much I can get done in 30 minutes.  One of my biggest deterrents was mistakenly thinking I need 4 – 8 hours to work on something to its completion.  I don’t have that luxury of time.  But now, I have a new awareness to stay focused on the present moment and make the most of smaller time increments.  If I cannot finish something during a given period of time, I will return to it on my next window of time.  The key is to keep going back to it, as time permits, until it is finished.

If you too are finding it difficult to accomplish all the things you want, just start with small increments of time as you find them.  Trust me, they are there for the taking and the results will happen….the ripple effect.  Time management is easier than you think. It is great.



Waiting for that Perfect Moment

We all do it.  Right?  Wait for that perfect moment in time when we can do something we have put off or something we really want to do.  Waiting for it and in doing so squandering the one thing we need to value….TIME!

When does that moment come?  Will we even recognize it?  Will it pass us by and be that fleeting moment?

This weekend I had a revelation.  I realized that waiting for that perfect moment was a waste of time.  Yep.

Lately I have been reading a lot about living in the present.  The practice of meditation focuses on the now.  Living in and being in the present moment.  Shutting out all those thoughts and nagging voices about what happened yesterday or what we want to do tomorrow.  Focus on this moment in time.

Yesterday, as I was dwelling on the importance of being present in the current moment, I realized that was it!  Kinda obvious, right?  Focus on now.  This very moment in time is all I really have.  There are no assurances about the future.  I shouldn’t wish for more time in the day or having more life to live.  Live now.  This is so critical to changing what I can accomplish because being focused on this very instance will give me so much freedom to get to the things I have wanted to do and I will get them done.

Let me give you some examples.

Our home has taken on so many warts and barnacles of clutter and chaos because of other obligations and commitments trumping our time.  This year, my husband and I have started to tackle a few things, here and there, but things I want to take care of have been in a pending state because I have been waiting for that perfect moment.  In my mind, I want some rather large chunk of time where I can immerse myself in the task and make all kinds of progress.  It is February 24, 2014 and that delightfully precious bit of time has not arrived.  It may.  But I just can’t wait for it any more.

After this insight came to me yesterday morning, this is what I did.  I set a timer on my iPhone for one hour.  Maybe that is your perfect moment in time, maybe not.  It isn’t my ideal time segment but I had to start with something.  I’m greedy, I always want more time but there is no way to add more minutes to the day.  Make the most of the time you have.   I am here to tell you that one hour time period was extremely productive and produced more results than sitting around waiting for it to happen.  It also gave me momentum for the rest of the day.

I cleared a fairly large area of clutter in that one hour.  Sorted, tossed and cleaned.  At the end of that time, I could see visible results.  There were still areas to be addressed, but the fruits of my labors and that time well spent were evident.  My spirits soared a bit because this is more progress than I’ve seen in the first 7+ weeks of 2014!

Next came a lunch break.  Refuel and get ready for the next round.  The afternoon was filled with a mix of chores and fun.  My philosophy is to reward myself with something I enjoy after I have done things I don’t like doing.

Now I imagine some of you are thinking I had that golden big chunk of time I desired to accomplish all of this.  Yes, I did.  But what got me started was that timed one hour because before I took that step, I had been sitting around waiting for it to happen.  It was up to me, changing the way I thought.

The next step in this battle with the clock will be tonight.  Instead of planting myself on the couch and watching TV, I need to get up and spend that 30 minutes or more doing things I need and want to get done.

My Achilles heal in my fight for finding more time is the computer.  When I feel like procrastinating, that is I want a break or I’m frustrated with what I’m doing, I’ll sit down at the computer.  Let’s check email.  Oh, better yet, let’s see who is doing what on Facebook.  Poof.  There goes 30 minutes or an hour, never to be seen again.

The key here is to recognize what your personal diversion tactics are and do something about them.  Limit your time by setting an alarm or just avoid them completely.

Once time is gone, it is gone.  It becomes the past and we cannot recover it.  That is why it is so important to focus on the present moment.  Don’t waste time waiting for that perfect moment.  Stay focused in the present and just do that one thing you have been avoiding or do that one thing you have been wanting to do.  Just start.  It doesn’t matter if you don’t finish a given project during your allotted time.  You will receive the rewards of taking action, rather than living in a state of inaction.  Many times I have been told “to make good use of your time“.  So true.  Don’t let those precious moments slip through your hands because let’s face it, they are all perfectly precious moments.