Friday, August 23, 2013

Using Spare Minutes Constructively

In the last post, we talked about carving out chunks of time, allowing us to focus on something of worth. Drucker talked about being able to accomplish little with "dribs and drabs" of time. Life happens, however, and often leaves our days broken into fragments. Sometimes "dribs and drabs" are the only vehicles through which we can move forward. The ability to use those spare minutes allows us to reclaim time that would otherwise be wasted, sometimes fairly large amounts of time.
time management

This post is one such example. On the day I composed it, our school system was in the midst of a professional development day. My role was to circulate from school to school and observe the training that was happening at each site. I knew ahead of time that my day would be spent sitting and watching. For that reason, I started the day by scanning my to-do list for items which could be done while I watched the various trainings. Writing a post on using spare minutes was actually one if the items. I changed the due date to move it to the top of the list where it would be easily seen. I grabbed a piece of paper, and off I went.

Everyone probably thought I was taking notes on the training being observed. I was, in fact, giving a goodly portion of my attention to the training. At the same time, I was writing this post which I completed in its entirety to later be keyed into this blog.

When life breaks those chunks into tiny fragments, choosing the right tasks can turn "dribs and drabs of time" into productive minutes. Other items I noticed as I scanned my list were phone calls which could be made quickly. I changed those due dates as well to move them to the top of the list. Between visiting schools, I was able to place these several calls from my BlackBerry while in the halls.

Reading material is always a good source for filling spare minutes. I have a section of my brief case reserved for reading materials. When magazines arrive, I throw them in there along with any book I happen to be reading at the time. When there is any chance that I will have down time, I either grab the briefcase or at least pull some of the reading material from it.

Nothing beats chunks of time. When life breaks those chunks into tiny fragments, choosing the right tasks can turn "dribs and drabs of time" into productive minutes.
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