Do you struggle with being late? If so, I hope you’ll head over to Roo Mag and read some lessons God taught me about why being on time matters. If you are visiting for the first time after reading my article on Roo Mag, I hope you’ll stay awhile. And if you like what you see, please consider subscribing to get my blog updates.
I had some more thoughts to share about being late … or being on time. While I’m not chronically late anymore, I still struggle with time. While I’m almost always on time for an appointment or the start of an event, I still run late occasionally. Especially when it comes to errands.
For some reason, I take longer to run errands than my husband does. If he and I had the same exact list, and went into the same exact store, he would sure finish at least 15 minutes before I would. If not more. I just take longer to do everything! I stroll, consider options, compare prices, chat with someone I meet, etc.
This relaxed approach carries over to most things I do. And the other problem is I tend to be an optimist. How can being an optimist ever be a bad thing? Well, it’s good in most areas, but not when I’m trying to accurately assess how much time it takes to get something done … or show up on time. I always think I can accomplish more than I actually can. Which gets me into binds of time.
Knowing this about myself, I’ve learned to schedule less than think I can get done. Here are a few tips that help me:
1. I order my errands or tasks from highest to lowest priority. That way I can shorten my list as I’m running out of time. I’m always asking my kids and myself, “What do we HAVE to get done?” Then we do that first.
2. I add on 15-20 minutes minutes more than I think I need to do any errand or local driving trip. If I think running to the store for a few items will only take 30 minutes, I tell my husband it will take 45.
3. For getting out of the house on time, I start gathering items the day before. I have a specific spot by the front door where I put things that I’ll need.
4. I’ve started identifying one significant task a day I want to accomplish in addition to my regular duties. Then if I get that one thing accomplished, I can add on minor ones.
Even though I value timeliness, there are situations when being late is the right things to do. I never want to ignore a need or a pass up chance to show love to someone who needs it. Interestingly, when I build in extra time to my schedule … when I create margins around my responsibilities … I already have cushions of time in case God gives me a last-minute assignment.
I’m on a journey to discover what a productive, but unhurried, life looks like. I want to be fully present, but prepared for the next thing. Is that possible? I believe with God’s wisdom and some discipline on my part, it is. If this sounds appealing to you, I hope you’ll join me.
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Grace & Peace,