"People ask me how I do so much. I wonder how they do so little." This is a quote I remember reading somewhere. If anyone knows who said this please let me know. (I tried googling but it did not help)
The reason this quote came to my mind today is because of yet another e-mail that I received (and I love hearing from those who have read my book and I do try and respond to each and every mail I get) asking me how I manage to do so much (painting, blogging, exercising,reading ,watching movies, doing yoga and being and being a full time mother and a wife).This person had asked me to write a post on time management. Many people have made this request in the past too, asking me to share my 'secrets'. So here goes. :
A day has 24 hours. Deduct 8 hours for sleeping and an hour for other activities like grooming etc. You are still left with 15 hours which is a LOT of time!
1. No television: I watch absolutely no TV at all. I have not seen Friends or Seinfield or Big Bang theory or How I met your mother Or Scrubs or any TV show. But I read up about them (and I read a lot) and watch bits of it, so I'd be able to discuss it in a conversation. If I know that I will positively like it then I' get the entire series and watch it like a movie. (Probably the only Television series I have seen fully would be Band of Brothers which I loved) The only thing I watch on TV are the music videos and usually while having breakfast. (so the total time spent in front of TV would probably be 10 minutes at the most for me) (But I do watch movies and love them :P but again I am extremely selective)
2.Organise a lot: I save a lot of time by organising things in advance especially in my cooking. My meals are all simple, nutritious and fast. I would usually grind dosa/Idli batter (yes, I grind it traditionally at home in a wet grinder) which would last me a week and so a quick meal when kids are ravenous would be piping hot dosas and sambar. (Again I would have boiled the tur dal needed and it would be stored in the fridge). If I am making paranthas, I would already be having the dough as well as the aloo/gobhi mixture which goes into it, prepared in advance. So I save a lot of time even though I make traditional food. In a day the maximum time I spend in the kitchen would be at the most 1 and half hours and this would include cleaning up (as I have no maids here). I will usually have my laptop on the kitchen table too. So while I wait for the rice to boil, I can still check my mails :-)
I must mention here that Satish helps me a lot and we enjoy cooking together when he comes back from work. During weekends he takes over almost always.If I am working on some thing he will fully hold the fort down and give me my time and space. I am fortunate that way to have a very supportive spouse.(Yeah, he even wakes me up with coffee each morning)
3.Phone calls only rarely: I hardly spend time talking on the phone.The only person I call regularly is my mother.If I talk on the phone, it is usually while walking to my Art-course (I am doing a course in Human Portraiture). Only very few people (two to be precise apart from my mother) call me from India and usually while I talk to them I am cleaning up my bedrooms or making beds or putting the laundry for washing as I speak!
4. Focus and intense focus: If I am doing my yoga, I give it my 100% for that half an hour. I will shut out everything else and do only that. In India, people used to constantly ring my door bell but if I was doing my Yoga or my work-out there are times when I have not bothered to open the door :P :) If I am working on a piece of writing, I do not get up till I finish it. If I am doing a portrait, it will take a really important thing for me to get off it!
5.No fixed routines: Some people thrive on routines and feels that it saves them time. But somehow I detest routines.To me, routines are really boring. That gives me a lot of flexibility and a larger time frame to do things I want to do. In the gaps of time that I save, I fit in other things to be done. There are days when I paint a lot and write a lot and there are days when I do nothing but 'waste time' the whole day.(If 'wasting time' is really possible for a full time mother :P )
This is really all that I do. I rarely sleep before 12.30.a.m and I am up by 7.15 a.m. On weekends I sleep very late. (I hate waking up in the mornings. I am a total night person)
I am sure these are no 'big secrets' and this is what most people who run a home must be doing.
If you have any tips on how you efficiently organise your time or if you have any questions that you would like to know, I would be happy to answer!
Current mood video (see right): Barry white Practise what you preach.