Stressing Time Management

“The only reason for time, is so
that everything doesn’t
happen at once.”

— Albert Einstein

I’m getting some emails and calls saying, “Where ya been?”

Well, my 83 year old mom took a fall in October and, after the pain became excruciating, she had spine surgery in January.  Thankfully, she’s doing much better and I can look back now on the past few months wondering where they went.

Despite being completely overwhelmed with all the stuff that had to be done – for mom’s home and health and our own household and work – my family will attest to the fact that I stayed in reasonably good spirits.  In fact, Shanti was so impressed that she asked me just the other day how I’d managed to handle the stress.  I told her, “I do one thing at a time, and I focus on what I’m doing instead of thinking about something else I want to be doing.”

I learned this lesson from a friend several years ago.

She had two homes, one is Europe and one in the U.S.  When she was in Europe, she was sad and frustrated because she missed her home and family in the U.S. And when she was in the U.S., she was frustrated and sad because she missed her home and family in Europe.  (I mean, we should all have these problems, right?)

She really wanted to live in both places.  She didn’t want to give up  either one.  And even though she split her time between continents, it was unsatisfying.  In fact, she was miserable.  We talked about it often, nearly every time we spoke.  And finally I blurted out, “The only way you can resolve this is to be where you are.”

She understood instantly.  Enjoy where you are. And when you go somewhere else, enjoy that place.

Now don’t go thinking this is just about my restless friend with her two luxurious homes.  Check it out the next time your daily to-do list is so long it couldn’t be accomplished in a month.  Or the next time you’re at your job when you’d rather be…anywhere else.

Shanti told me she started using this lesson with her homework – She started enjoying each assignment, instead of thinking about what she would rather be doing.  And when each assignment is finished, she proclaims, “I’m done!” and moves on to the next assignment.  She told me she’s getting much more accomplished this way.  And I am too! (Just ask my mom.)


{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Kim

    February 13, 2013, 5:40 am

    wow, Susan, I feel this was written for me, I just came off a beautiful 10 day vacation in Florida, and as I start to write my very long to do list to catch up and move forward, I was wondering how I was going to get everything done, I am going to focus on one item at a time and enjoy the task, Thank you

  • bobbie Sapp

    March 7, 2013, 6:56 am

    thank you, thank you for this wise insight. as i am preparing for my long journey to india, i am constantly feeling bound up by all the to-do’s, the checklists, the question of whether or not i am ready. i am forgetting WHY i am going–to have the experience of a lifetime–and i have been letting the smallest of details get in the way of that vision. i shall look at each little task with with good intention of what it is going to bring me, and try to stay in the moment and enjoy each of them…time is so fleeting otherwise. thank you for reminding me of the gift of NOW!

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