Saving Minutes, Spending Hours

As the sun sets over another weekend, I look back on the last 48 hours and wonder where the time has gone. Sure, I’ve been spending a bit of it on work that I didn’t have time to accomplish at the office, and additional time getting healthy and lounging around in my boyfriend’s arms finishing off the second season of Mad Men and the latest episode of Dexter. Still, I’d like to feel like my weekend was filled with all the excitement that working 60 hours a week pays for, and it just never is.

By the time the weekend roles around, I’m exhausted and haven’t gotten through 50% of the projects that need to be finished for the week. That has to change. For the next five weeks, I’m going to focus on closely examining where my time is going, in order to be more productive and ultimately have time that I feel I’ve earned to not just relax, but to live life.

There is a definite gap between the way I live my life now and the way I want my life to be. The route to happiness starts with simplifying my home life (ie getting rid of stuff) and making sure I have a reasonable plan for the week so I can get all of my projects done, competently and/or better, before Friday evening rolls around.

Travel for work has taken a toll on me. I like traveling to conferences because I know that directly equates to bringing in leads of people that might ultimately buy our product. That said, there are a lot of other competing priorities, and when I travel it just drains me entirely, spending the day attending panels and sitting behind a booth to drum up business, returning to my hotel room with a thousand other things to do and staying up all night to get them done. No wonder I ended up sick with a bad cold.

Ultimately professional success depends on being on top of everything and producing quality work. Much of it is a manner of perception, and being at the office helps in that perception despite that I end up working even more hours when I am away. Regardless, I’m going to stop traveling quite so much going forward — at least until my book deal comes through, and when that book gets published, and I’ll be on the hook for promoting it so it has a chance at being successful. For now, I have a long list of projects that I need to get done — and every day out of the office on a plane or at a conference puts me further behind schedule — and then I get to the weekend, and I have to spend the entire time working, or sleeping, or both.

I’m “tired” of feeling exhausted, drained and stressed all the time — I have a thousand things to get done, and I know I can do them, if I just silence the insecure voice in my head, say no to travel for the time being, and get to work an hour or two early when everything is quiet to get the harder projects done before the day kicks into gear and I lose track of time.

Do you have any recommendations for how to be more productive and organize time better to get more things done each day?

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One thought on “Saving Minutes, Spending Hours”

  1. I'm battling the same problem, although mine comes in the form of hobbies instead of work. One of the comments on my post simply pointed out that I can't do everything – I've been trying to say no more often, which has helped A LOT. Is it an option for you to delegate or shift some of the work? If you're working weekends, maybe you're just expected to do too much for one person.

    Good luck.

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