Posts Tagged ‘productive time’

Over the last 4 and a bit weeks, certain things have come to light for myself and it has changed the way I think about what I am doing.

My daughter arrived (Yes, I know – it is everything to me currently and it is not going to change) and suddenly the focus changed for Carrie and I. Our whole life and how we do things changed.

When it come to me personally, it only really affected me on a deep level when I started to do some training. Suddenly, the time was short and the opportunity to do the training was dramatically reduced. Gone are the days (for now) that I could go for a run just before dinner or when I get home from work.

I consulted my older brother (father to a dughter of 16 months at the time) because he had obviously was in the same boat. After a chat (whilst running – he did most of the talking), he gave me the insight that only the focus had really changed. It is how you use the time you have available that is now so critically important.

WOW! The value of training just went up ALOT!!

Looking back now, this had become apparent a few years back too, but I had not cognitively recognised it. I was a student full time for a long period and now had to start working. Whilst working I had to study as part of the articles I was serving with an auditing firm. This study was now part time and after hours! Same principle!

It does not matter what you have going on, time to yourself is precious. When you do use that time – there is certainly a concentration of effort in that time. This does not mean you have to work at a super fast fast or sprint the 5 km you planned, it means that when you are doing that activity – your mind is completely focused on that and nothing else.

What are you doing with that precious time?

Are you using to the full?

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Have fun!

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“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”- Theodore Roosevelt

Money is tight for most people at the moment. The economy is down. The stock markets are very fragile currently. The real estate market is very low (at least in South Africa) and has been for a while now. People are spending less on ‘the extras’ in life. Less meals out. Less holidays. Conversely, everybody is working more and harder to earn enough to ‘get by’.

all these factors are leading to an increase of complaining and moaning from people in general about not being able to ‘live life’ like they used to. Facebook and twitter updates are filled with dread and sadness and moaning about bills or month end coming up or ‘too much work’ etc. People seem to be having less fun! This to me is very sad. I can understand how the current situation can bring people down and its very easy to start moaning about your current situation.


That statement might seem complete garbage to you but it’s TRUE! It does depend on your definition of fun and that is the crucial aspect of this post. If your fun involves going to the local mall or pub / restaurant and nothing else, then I do agree fun does cost money. Read no more and close the blog post.  If not, read on.

If you are willing to explore the concept of fun being free or inexpensive then here are some tips from personal experience.

1. Go for a walk. We are blessed to be able to do this in Durban, SA. We are also blessed with the health to do this. This can be done around the neighborhood or the local park etc. We live within about 2 km of the nearest beach so from time to time we go down to the beach and walk along for a bit and turn around and return home. These walk do not have to be long but can be a lot of fun.

2. Go exploring with your camera. I was given a very nice camera last year for my birthday from my family – this has led to many photo explorations around Durban. Take your camera and go looking for an interesting place / item to photograph. You do not need to have a very fancy camera. “Point and shoots” are capable of taking some awesome shots! play with funny angles and perspectives. We have 100’s of self portraits from various places – they are very good fun to play with.

3. Turn off your TV! We, by choice, do not have TV coming into our house. We have a TV (actually borrowed from a friend) to watch DVD’s on but no live TV. It is awesome to sit around and talk to each other without the distraction of the TV. Ask yourself this: How many times do I watch TV a week? How much of that TV actually adds meaning to your life? How much of it do actually enjoy watching? How many times have you fallen asleep watching TV? How much does the 700 channels cost you monthly? Turn it off! Try it! It may be hard at first but it is well worth it!

4. Meet friends for coffee. Ah, it will cost you! NO, IT WILL NOT! Meet them at their house or have them come to you. Do not have any special extras and it will cost you nothing. Meeting friends is great fun and it can only be good. not so long ago, we met friends at the local botanic gardens for Sunday afternoon tea. The kids ran around chasing and feeding birds while we sat and chatted. The entrance was free and the cost involved was the petrol to get there and some food. Nothing special to eat, so it was mostly inexpensive. It was a great time and a repeat performance is needed!

Fun does not have to cost anything. everybody needs to have fun and it is becoming more and more necessary in today’s society. Try it! You will not regret it!

Let me know how it goes and add some of your own suggestions!

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I do not have a problem with patience – its the waiting that kills me! – Anon.

We have all been stuck in a queue or line in order to get something done. Examples include the bank, shopping checkouts and even traffic to and from your destination. It feels like you will never get to the front! So how can we make use of this time?

1. Use the time as ‘down time’. This can be a time to relax and take a break. Sometimes you will sitting in a chair – perfect to chill and relax!

2. Collect your thoughts. The time you spend in a queue can be used to collect your thoughts and even plan you life. Perhaps run through the rest of your day or the meeting you are going to.

3. People watch. The lost art of just watching people. Do not stare but watch. You can up all sorts of clues and hints as to the people around you by simply watching them. I repeat do not stare though. This does take time and practice. You also have to be quiet calm, relaxed and able to go with the flow. Try it. What emotions can you see? Are the people irritated’ upset, happy or annoyed? I was in a long line at university today and got some time to people watch. I saw a number of different people types. The impatient type: when is this going to be over aarrgh? The person, who is trying to fill in the form while in the line, The chilled person: just calmly waiting for this to move along. The ‘evangelist’: this person is talking to everybody and anybody within talking distance. Unfortunately the evangelist always has a ‘victim’ who is the person they talk to but really wishes the evangelist would just be quiet.

There is no use in getting all frustrated and upset when the line is long but rather turn this ‘waste of time, into productive time. It helps you and everybody around you. Try it and I almost guarantee you will find the time goes quicker and the end of the line will bring a productive result.

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