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Time Bandits

Some nights I go to bed wondering where the day has gone. While I start off with good intentions I seem to get sidetracked by so many other things.

Like today I set up my easel, squeezed out some paint on the palette, picked up a brush and the phone rang. Telemarketer. I hung up and went back to the easel. I picked up my brush again, looked for my cleaning rag and remembered I'd forgotten to put the laundry in the dryer. While I was in the laundry room I noticed I'm almost out of detergent. So I went to the kitchen to make a list. As I'm making my list I realized I hadn't done the breakfast dishes. Then the ding on my computer tells me I have an email to answer. I open my email, read a few, answer a few, check on social media . . . . click, click, click. Dang, now it's lunch time.

So I fixed some food and decide to catch up on my DVR while I was eating. I'd recorded a wonderful series about Pablo Picasso. After that I was inspired to head back to my easel. But the acrylic paint on my palette had dried. So I had to start all over again. Then the phone rang . . . .

Can you relate? Is your life as full of Time Bandits as mine? Have you ever said, "there's just not enough time in the day to. . . ?"

I hate to break it to you, but we all have the same 24 hours each day. Some time is more rigidly scheduled than others due to jobs and appointments. But a lot of it is used up by distractions and time sucking activities. The good news is we do have a choice about how to invest our time.

So why do I let the Time Bandits in? Am I not really committed to a project? Am I feeling resistance because I don't want to move forward. Or am I just a little scared? Creating stuff is hard. Whether it's a painting, a business plan or a blog post, sometimes it's just easier to avoid the work. Binge watching TV requires so little effort.

My personal list of time bandits are:

  • television

  • social media

  • a full email box

  • incoming phone calls

  • household chores

  • and other peoples' agendas

But list of things I really want to accomplish include:

  • creating stuff

  • build my art coaching business

  • activities with my family

  • organizing my home

  • keeping a healthy lifestyle

  • having high quality interactions with people.

So my plan tonight is to decide on at least three worthwhile goals for tomorrow. I'm going to increase my productive moments by putting those Time Bandits on notice. If the activity or interaction doesn't add value to my life then it's not worth my time.

What's your plan for tomorrow?

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