Scheduling Between the Times

You look at your schedule this morning and brace yourself for a crazy day.

Classes all day long, work, and then a family function.

Dropping one child of at school, then another at the dentist, and then running errands.

Meetings, phone calls, home chores.

Whatever your life is like, on a day to day bases you are usually busy. You wrote down some form of schedule whether it is an advanced planner with sticky notes and highlights, or a humble reminder in your phone. You set your schedule and you know what you need to do, but did you plan in between the times?

Scheduling Between the Times: Planning the Schedule You Forgot

In between the times? What is she talking about? I’ve heard of “between the lines,” but “between the times?”

You know what your schedule looks like. Breakfast, to the dentist, to lunch, to nap time, to errands. You know the activity and what is expected of you, but what about getting to that activity or just before it starts?

Did you plan what you would do when driving to the dentist office?
Did you plan what to do while waiting for the bus or train?
Did you plan what to do while cooking meals?

You may think that’s my breathing time. I don’t need or want to do anything then.

If that is your plan and it works for you, great! Keep it up!

I just want you to know there is a lot of extra time in your day if you can find it.
Tweet: There is a lot of extra time in your day if you can find it.  Where are your extra five minutes of productivity hiding? @pondofdunans

Sure, you’re cooking dinner and it may take an hour to make, but that does not always mean you have to stand there stirring the entire time.

Thing about making spaghetti and meatballs.

To start, you put a pot of water on the stove. While it boils you get out the ingredients for the tomato sauce, mix them together, and let them simmer.  Then you add the pasta to the boiling water and start steaming some vegetables. Then you have maybe 8 minutes before the food really needs your attention. You might stir the pasta and sauce every once in a while, but you don’t have to hover over them the whole time.

What do you do with those 8 minutes?

You could set the table or clean up whatever mess you made.

You could, but let’s say you cleaned up as you went along and you asked someone else to set the table.

Now what do you do with those 8 minutes?

The Doctor’s Office

Let’s think of another situation. The heading above says “The Doctor’s Office,” but it could easily say “The Dentist Office,” “The DMV,” “The Social Security Office,” or a number of other places. There are many activities everyone has which require some period of waiting before it starts.

The length of that waiting period varies. You could wait for your class to start for 5 minutes. You could wait for your child’s activity to finish for 10 minutes. You could wait at the doctor’s office for one hour. You could wait at DMV for six hours.

What do you do while you wait?

The Drive

Traveling  is almost like waiting at the dentist’s office. You need to travel so you can get to one place to another but you can use that time to do something else as well.

The Golden 5 Minutes

I’m not asking you to find every single extra seconds in your schedule and plan out exactly what you will do with it. That is ridiculous.

However there is a lot of wasted time in our day that could easily be used for productivity. Five minutes of waiting or extra time may not seem like a lot, but I find I have at least three-four sets of extra five minutes on a busy day.   That is 15-20 extra minutes I could use.

I’m sure you can think of these times. For me it happens most often when I cook, bake, wait for something to start, or even when I eat a meal by myself.

I guarantee if you look for those extra few minutes you will find them. If you capture them and put them to good use you will get more done than you thought you could.

The Solo Meal

I often eat breakfast alone because no one else is awake at the time.  I usually take anywhere from 5-10 minutes to eat.  This is more extra found time.

Now What?

So I’ve led you on this hook. You know what planning between the times means and you are starting to realise you have more time in your day than you thought you did. Now what? Well I can’t plan out your schedule for you. I don’t know what your day looks like or what you need to complete to feel success in your day, but I can you give a couple ideas.

The 5 Minute To Do List

Right now in my life there are a few things I need.  These activities don’t take long, I just could not find the time to complete them.  Changing a light bulb, putting a couple stitches into a skirt, and cleaning out the fridge are just a few of them.

Find tasks like these, which you’ve been meaning to do or know you need to do in the near future and write them down.  Then separate them into two groups.

First list the items you can complete in 5 minutes or less together.

5 Minute Schedule. Things to do when you have a spear 5 minutes. "Scheduling Between the Times: The Schedule You Forgot About."

The 10 Minute To Do List

Then do the same for things you can do in the 5-10 minutes range.

Keep the lists on your fridge, in your electronic devices, or where ever you are sure to see them.  Then when you find some extra time complete one of the tasks.  (Or if someone in your house complains about being bored hand them the list and ask them to complete two or three tasks.  That boredom will vanish.)

10 Minute Schedule. Things to do when you have a spear 5 minutes. "Scheduling Between the Times: The Schedule You Forgot About."

What Can You Do While Traveling?

You cannot do as much if you are the driver, but there is a lot you can do while in the car,on the train, or the bus.

If Not Driving

Listen to Audio Books
Check and adjust schedule
Make a phone call
Send an e-mail
Hand work (crocheting, knit, doodling, drawing)
Have a deep meaningful conversation with other passengers
Read a book

If Driving

Listen to audio books
Think about your schedule
Have a deep meaningful conversation with other passengers

The Solo Meal

Read
Watch online class
Watch other video
Memorise class notes
Make a phone call/text
Send an e-mail
Listen to music
Go over schedule

Where Are Your Extra 5 Minutes Hidden?

Think about your own schedule, but this time think between the times.  Where in you personal life do you wait around for something to happen.  When can you find an extra five minutes to do something you meant to do a while ago?  What can you put onto your 5 and 10 minute to do lists?

If plan between the times and look for those extra five minutes, you will find the time you need.    Good luck!

 

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