As a result of a comment regarding a recent post, http://postworksavvy.com/respect-speed-limits-in-life/, I had further thoughts about the practicality of the speed limits of life commitments I’ve made.
A loyal reader and good friend gently reminded me that life is short. To live well, retirement should not be about rigid schedules and productivity expectations. She advised doing what is possible every day and then carrying over tasks that are not completed without worry or frustration. Her comment caused me to think about the expectations I’ve set and committed to until the end of the year.
To respect the speed limits of life, I decided to use retirement time more effectively by scheduling and allocating time for various activities and tasks.
I realize that I can’t approach every day with a rigid time schedule complete with estimates of how much time I will devote to various activities on the schedule. However, scheduling certain activities gives more time to finish projects, to enjoy hobbies, or to relax. Less time is frittered away.
Creating definite time slots for various activities is an old time management technique used during career days to assist with managing priorities. I am trying to adapt this to managing time in retirement without getting overly rigid about how I spend time.
When discussing the time management challenges with my friend, I acknowledged that some things would always take precedence. I won’t compromise on family time or opportunities to spend time with friends. If my husband proposes an activity or an outing, I will shift my priorities. If my son, daughter-in-law, or grand-daughter needs a favour, I’ll do my best to be there for them.
Aside from time for family and friends, two key items for most days include writing time and exercise.
Sometimes writing and research for blog posts will take two or three hours. On other days, writing a journal entry in the morning as I drink my coffee will suffice for my writing commitment. I use my journal to keeping a log of ideas for blog posts which helps with choosing topics when it’s time to do the writing.
Exercise is on a weekly schedule. I try to get to the gym to workout on cardio and weight machines, to attend certain aqua fit classes and to attend yoga classes. This involves ensuring that I have the right exercise clothes packed in my gym bag, driving to the gym in morning traffic, getting to the locker room in time to change for the activity, and then showering and dressing afterward. It takes a minimum of two hours and usually happens on three days of the week, and preferably, on four or five days. When there is no time for the gym, I walk — weather permitting!
An aspect of respecting the speed limits of my life involves measuring time spent on various activities. Metrics provide data that gives needed information to make decisions about what can be changed or streamlined to manage the mundane tasks, like housework or shopping or doing errands.
Life will never be perfect and I will sometimes ‘goof off’. In my mind there is a difference between ‘goofing off’ when it is done consciously and when it happens without paying attention. Before I blink, a day, or a week, is frittered away with little productivity or satisfaction.
Using time effectively should help to optimize retirement activities for joy and happiness. Success will give time to live without feeling frantic and hurried every day. Perhaps a scheduled approach to retirement activities will help me to achieve my dream of a relaxed approach to every precious day.
I’m interested in tactics and strategies that readers use to manage time effectively. Everyone I know seems to have too much to do. My retired friends keep saying that time goes by more quickly as we get older. How do you live consciously? How do you deal with inevitable distractions?
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