Time Management for Workaholics in Challenging Times

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

People always ask me: how do you do it? I have to confess that sometimes I don’t know how do I do it: believe it or not, I work full-time for a non profit with an inspiring team of good heart and skilled people, I am part of the training/curriculum development committee at a well known humanitarian organization, also volunteer for them as Emergency Preparedness and First Aid trainer, volunteer for the local Food Action Coalition, I’m part of the leadership for a transition group in Surrey, BC, administer  their websites and blog for both of them, will soon start blogging for O.U.R. Ecovillage and the Vancouver Observer, write a monthly column for the Canadian Immigrant Magazine, study at two institutions to obtain a PIDP on Adult Education and a Certificate in Sustainability, volunteer for advisory committees at VCC and now at ASTTBC, try my best at growing some vegetables, herbs and nice flowers at home, engage in activism when I have time (LOL), cook all my family meals from scratch, don’t have a dishwasher, clean my own house (every other year, LOL), have a wonderful family of four (an extremely supportive husband and two crazy boys: an almost teen and a teenager!), two lovely old cats and a crazy little chatty female dog…

I manage to read books (always more than one at a time), I’m an A-straight student (although either always too late or too early for my assignments) and occasionally make bread, cakes, dehydrate veggies and fruits or relax watching a movie.

What are my “tricks”?

Let’s see:

  • I don’t watch TV – ever
  • I don’t engage in chit-chat. Don’t see the point. Rather deep and interesting conversations
  • I hate the phone. Use it when there is no other choice
  • I read, take action and answer all and every one of my work and personal emails, that prevents they accumulate
  • I had a tablet, but don’t make my life depend on it
  • I cut Facebook use to less than 5%
  • I choose the links I read and the blogs or articles I follow
  • I don’t engage in gossip
  • I don’t shop. I shop for groceries and twice a year for school supplies and clothes for my children. I don’t recall when I shopped for shoes or clothes for myself (last year? Two years ago?)
  • I don’t drive (use the public transportation time for reading, writing and organizing my thoughts)
  • I rarely go to parties (again, prefer one-on-one or small meetings where people engage in deeper exchange of ideas, feelings, etc)
  • I don’t take breaks (I know I should, but I use them to read/answer emails, write/read blogs, articles, etc)
  • I take work seriously: I am one of those strange people who actually work when they are at work…isn’t work for…work?
  • I choose my battles – I became a bit bitter when people try to engage in eternal non-sense looking for conflict or how we say in Spanish: the fifth left of the cat
  • I keep “to do lists” and actually go over them
  • I have real need to be doing something all the time…
  • I have a real need to be alone at least once a week: love silence and quietness around me
  • I always know how to relax: usually my garden or the bus does it for me, but sometimes I just stop everything and disappear for a few hours. Then I come back with the batteries re-charged
  • I love all the things I do and believe they are worth my time and energy. I am very resistant to do things I don’t like or don’t align with my values
  • I’m crazy: I have a bit of bi-polarism and I’m 80% of the time on the “high”. You have to be a bit nuts to believe you can do things that regular people tell you you can’t: like an immigrant ESL like me writing blogs and articles for others, or a shy and a bit of Asperger personality like me would be able to stand in front of crowds and deliver workshops and presentations…


Let your life lightly dance on the edges of
Time like dew on the tip of a leaf
~  Rabindranath Tagore

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