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Archive for July 2nd, 2008

As I pointed out recently this is probably the number 1 question that I ever get asked.

The bottom line as far as I’m concerned is deciding what I want to do and sticking with it. Goal orientation. They call it “Dveikut BaMesima” (adhering to the task) in Hebrew. I will give tips further on but first I think that in order to answer the question well I should put it in perspective. Here are some random facts that will help the reader:

  • I am Orthodox Jewish so I don’t paint on Shabbat (Saturdays).
  • I have five children aged 3.5 to 15.
  • I work a nine hour day in hi-tech which plus commutes makes near on 11 hours out of the house.

So how does a normal day look?

  • 06:00 – Get up, get ready, coffee and then out to morning service “Shaharit“. (luckily the synagogue is just across the street).
  • 07:00 – Breakfast with the children, nagging and cajoling them to get ready, washing the dishes. If I’m lucky a bit of spare time.
  • 08:00 – Out of the house on foot with children 4+5, drop them at kindergarten and school and wait for my ride to work. Open the laptop and do updates on the website, search for a wireless network someone carelessly left open and do email and surfing, read.
  • 09:00-18:00 – At work. Sorry, my employer wouldn’t want me to tell about my work and I would want them to read anything not work connected that I do in this time ;-).
  • 19:00 – Get home, dinner with family, put children to bed, wash dishes etc.
  • 20:00 – Small children in bed. Start of my discretionary time :-)…
  • 23:00 – Bed

So as you see that 20:00-23:00 slot is where it all gets done, although normally it’s nearer 21:00 till I can get started and that’s apart from supermarket evening, ironing, school meetings and everything else.

The tips

  • Remember: if you want time, you will find it. There is a saying that if you want domething done, then ask a busy person. It’s true, busy people know how to find time. Be a busy person.
  • Set yourself action items and timetables to get them done – “this week I will finish this picture”.
  • Set yearly goals. This will help you keep focussed on where you’re going, but also it will give you the satisfaction of being able to chalk up another goal achieved when you get there. Remember, unwritten (and unshared) goals are not goals. Write them down and share them or you won’t be committed.
  • Schedule your week – Sunday painting, Monday shopping, Tuesday iron 1/2 hour then paint, etc. Then stick to it – it works.
  • Watch out what you do with your time. Don’t watch television, or surf idly. I don’t have a TV and I read on Saturdays when I can’t paint or write or work on the computer.
  • Use dead time for doing things. I read and work on my website on my way to and from work. That’s an hour and a half that would otherwise go wasted every day – like the total waking hours of 22 days!
  • Be mean with external commitments. If you are a busy and goal-oriented person, the chances are that you will get approached to serve on school commitees or that you will feel strongly about cleaning up your city or… Don’t do it, unless you have loads of time apart from your painting time… and I certainly don’t.
  • However… take time to be with your family. You may be wasting painting time, but time with your children will never return.

Good luck!

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