I have been thinking a lot about efficiency recently. We are constantly told by ourselves, our friends, and the media that we don’t have enough time. Is this true, or are we just deeply inefficient and distracted?
In my house, during down times, I have notices that all four of us have our “go to” strategies, none of which are very productive: I check my email and Facebook for the millionth time; Clara listens to music and plays solitaire; Audra watches TV; Dan fools around on his computer.
All electronic, all non-productive.
My girlfriend Sherri addressed this on Facebook recently. (Okay, I realize that does seem a bit ironic.) “No thank you “Yammer” I do not need an app to help me get things done FASTER. I need an app to slow things down. Oh wait, I have that! It’s called my frontal lobe! I can use it to make decisions about what is important, decide to turn off the gadgets, and tune in to my family, friends, God and nature! All with no monthly fees or penalties! Count me in!”
I have been trying, very consciously, to do two things: Sit around less and fill the small gaps in time.
Sitting around fooling around on the computer – what a waste of my life’s most valuable resource – time. Now when I truly have business to do that involves the computer, I sit at the dining room table. It turns out that our dining room chairs, which have rattan seats, really aren’t that comfortable for extended sitting and having that rattan pattern pressing uncomfortably into my thighs keeps me focused on plowing through the business that I need to attend to, rather than drifting off into the No Man’s Land that the Internet can be.
The other thing I’ve been trying to do is to fill small amounts of time. It’s like me to pace around feeling aggravated while waiting for someone to brush their teeth before we can leave. Now, I try to fill that time by doing something: wiping the kitchen counter, putting away some laundry, loading the dishwasher. I’m still by the door ready to leave, but I’m not just pacing and feeling irritable.
Yesterday it was ridiculously hot. Even in the house, I felt hot. I was sitting (just sitting) in my favorite chair feeling hot. After 15 minutes, I consciously decided that I was wasting my time, and that I could be hot and get something accomplished, or I could just be hot. I got up and got some things done. In fact, I probably cooled myself a bit because part of what I did involved wiping the kitchen counters, and the cool water felt nice.
Consciously trying to be more efficient can apply to any task you want to accomplish. Often we wait for a big block of time before we tackle a project. As Colleen has often said, decluttering a thing a day only takes 10 minutes, although frankly, I think it only has to take about 2.
What could you get done if you decided to be more efficient today?
Today’s Mini Mission
Declutter electric kitchen tools that aren’t that useful to you. Suggestions ~ Grater,food processor, blender, mixer, juicer, coffee machine, coffee grinder, can opener, pepper grinder, bread machine, ice-cream maker, donut cooker, popcorn machine, panini press… this list could go on forever. After going through my kitchen last week I have found that I have the usual suspects ~ toaster and kettle ~ plus I also have a hand blender with one accessory, a coffee grinder and a panini press. All these items are used regularly enough to be safe from decluttering for now.
Eco Tip For The Day
When buying bars of soap, by ones without wrappers or multipacks that come in a simple cardboard box. Every little bit of plastic saved from landfill counts.
It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow