I recently read an article that talked about time being a person's non-renewable resource and how we should be better shepherds of that time. The article rang true but I didn't think much about it until this morning.
I was making muffins and by the time I got the ingredients put away and the dishes to the sink I had 9 minutes left on the timer. 9 minutes doesn't seem like a lot but in those 9 minutes I loaded the dishwasher, washed the pans that were left soaking from dinner last night, washed down the counters and made and drank a cup of espresso. I could have spent that time scrolling through Facebook, reading the headlines in the Washington Post or catching a story on the morning news. Instead I did something that needed to get done and would have distracted me later in the day.
Lately the buzz has been about "Time Blocking" and how you need to schedule large amounts of time for your most important tasks. I'm not about to argue with that philosophy as it certainly has merit, what I am suggesting is that there are all of these little time pockets throughout the day, waiting for your microwave lunch to cook, waiting on line at the pharmacy, driving in the car to your next appointment, standing in the grocery line, etc. Now think about what you could do in those time pockets, can you use these off times to check in on Facebook instead of using valuable desk time to do it? Can you make copies or stamp some letters or write a Thank You note while your lunch is cooking? Try and look at these time pockets as gifts that allow you to get those niggling things out of the way so you can use your time blocks more effectively.
Finally, I'm not suggesting that you cram every minute of everyday with "productive" activity. I'm also a proponent of using the larger pockets of time for more enjoyable activities - the time in your car on the way to an appointment is a perfect time to belt out your favorite tunes to increase your energy before your meeting. If you manage to get yourself on the treadmill reward yourself with a book on tape or a recording of your favorite tv program and I get a lot of reading done waiting in the doctor's office.
It is true that time is our most valuable resource so make sure you use it wisely because you won't get it back.