What do you do with your “between” minutes?

Sue went off to England for 2 weeks in early July, she got back on Monday and life is returning to normal again. I had planned to go with her, but between making arrangements for the care of our animals, keeping the business going and the farm, it was just too complicated so I stayed behind.

Last Sunday, I set myself a long list of tasks that needed doing before Sue got home. Included in this list were; mowing the lawn, laundry, vacuuming the house, grocery shopping, (all normally handled efficently by Sue) wood cutting and splitting, mowing the horse pasture, barn work and several others.

Instead of enjoying an extra hour of sleep on Sunday as we normally do, I got up at 6: 00 am, got started with the first load of laundry, had breakfast, saddled up one of the horses and went for a ride around the field. I was back in the house to do the second load of laundry and hang the first on the line before 8:30.

Then I tackled the next task and kept at it until the list was completed.

The most important lesson I learned on Sunday was that it’s not just making a plan for the day and doing each task that gets things done, it’s what you do in between each task that makes the difference between accomplishing everything on your list or only getting part of it done.

To elaborate, because I only work on my business in the evening on Sundays, I tend to adopt a more relaxed approach to the non-business tasks during the day. I will often take a few minutes between each activity to have a cup of coffee, spend a few minutes with the newspaper or get distracted by something that is not on my list.

Last Sunday was a revelation in how much can be accomplished by using those “between” minutes constructively.

It made me realise that although I believe that I do have a more disciplined approach to my business than my “chores”, I do sometimes waste time between tasks and projects, particularly after working on projects that require a high level of concentration.

I am not suggesting that we should not take breaks during the day, breaks and a change of pace are important. Sunday’s results showed me how much time can be wasted between tasks if we let those breaks take us off track.

Wishing you success in all your endeavours.

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  1 comment for “What do you do with your “between” minutes?

  1. Janet
    July 23, 2010 at 5:07 am

    Peter, I think the best part of your blog today is knowing how much you appreciate Sue. Often we take people for granted when we know they will always be there, I’m happy to know that you don’t, at home and at the farm.
    Have a good day.
    PS: I agree on how many minutes are lost on distractions. I am on my biggest distraction at this very moment!

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