Tag Archives: Little Time

Go Fly A Kite

Hey, dudes. Barry here with thrilling stories from the Land of the Rising Sun. No, wait. That’s not it. The Land of the Setting Sun? Close, but not. . . Ah! The Sunshine State.

That’s the ticket.

My wife, our four kids and I just got back from a week-long vacation in Florida, where we went to visit family and enjoy a nice little time away from Charlotte for spring break. It was exactly what the Florida tourism board likes to order up for its commercials. It was sunny and breezy every day, with little to no rain all week long. In short: Perfect.

For some reason, the wind started talking to my kids. And what it said to them was: Go spent lots of money at Costco. Maybe Costco has a placement deal going with the wind, but whatever.

The little dudes and dudettes decided they wanted to go fly kites on the beach since we had such a fantastic, steady bit of wind most every day. I was, to put it mildly, dubious at first. But, dudes? I was wrong.

It was awesome!

We got back from Costco with the kites and then spent the next three hours learning how each of the kites caught the wind, what we could make them do and that slap fights don’t go over well when you’re trying to fly a kite with the same hand that’s doing the slapping. Although we probably should have known that last one.

The only person not having fun was my youngest, a daughter. She was having some issues getting her kite up into the air. Well, that’s not exactly true. She could get the kite up in the air, it just wouldn’t stay in the air for more than a second or two before trying to dash itself to splinters on the ground.

It was such a perfect day, though, that even that setback turned out to be a good thing. She went over and talked to her mom, who got into a nice long conversation both my daughter and the kite, and had some very nice bonding time. About ten minutes later, once the wind picked up just a bit, that kite was in the air to stay.

Eventually it was time to go back inside, but the rush wasn’t forgotten. The next day, we headed out to do some more kite flying. That got cut short, though, because we had to be at the golf course for a tournament in which all the kids and me were playing.

As we were leaving for the tournament, my oldest girl said the the kite flying would help her golf because she learned how to read the wind. Not sure if that really did pan out, but I do know she enjoyed the heck out of herself. As did all her brothers, sister and parents.

Who would of thought my kids telling me to go fly a kite would actually be a good thing?

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Brother, Can You Spare The Time?

by Richard

We’ve been talking about time management. In other words, why we’re always rushing around and screaming and tearing our hair out and all that. Mostly because we can’t manage time and there’s never enough of it.

Still, we talked about building in a little time during your day to allow you to integrate what’s been going on and reflect on what needs to happen next.

I’ve found that the best way for me to get things done is to throw all that modern stuff out the window, to defenestrate it with vigor. What I mean is that I have learned to try and singletask my work.

Multitasking might work for some people, but when I try to juggle several projects all at the same time, I find myself getting distracted from Project A, when I have a great idea for Project C, but I can’t work on it until I get unstuck on Project B and that won’t happen until I get the information I need for Project D.

Yeah, that approach might work for some folks, but not for me. I’ve found that the best way for me to approach this sort of work is to singletask, but do it with precision and with presence.

That is, I need to focus on the task at hand, give it my full attention. I need to, as much as I hate this sort of new-agey philosophical speak, be in the moment. Look at what needs to be done, then focus on doing it, without worrying about what will happen after. I make sure I’m carefully considering what my current move is, how it fits into the overall plan and if it builds on what came before, while preparing for what is to come next.

I find that sort of approach works much better for me. And I feel even better when I can spend the day physically checking off items from my to-do list. There’s something viscerally satisfying about seeing a blank box next to a list item and then flicking the pen over that box, leaving behind a check.

Give it some thought, dudes. Check you later!

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Where Did The Time Go?

by Richard

If there’s one thing we never have enough of, it’s time. There’s never enough time to get it done. There’s never enough time to do everything we want.

There’s just never enough time, is there, dudes?

No. There’s not.

Which means we need to work hard to make the most of the time we do have. I’m speaking from experience in that I’m not the most, um, shall we say?, well-organized dude in existence. I’m pretty sure that’s speaking kindly.

It used to be different. When I worked for newspapers, I was known as a well-organized dude who never let anything slip past me. That’s because I used to have a tickle file. It was a system I designed to tickle my memory to remind me to do stuff or look into stuff or get back to stuff.

That and the fact that I never threw anything out. If only the bosses could have looked inside my desk drawer, they’d have seen the lie of their praise. I got lucky there.

The problem is, when I stopped working for the newspapers, I stopped generating information every day that I could stash away and then call up when needed. I had to get along on what was around. Thank goodness for the invention of smart phones and personal digital assistants. It’s so much easier to carry around a small phone than it is the lug around a large wall calendar with the appointments for five people labeled in a different ink color.

Still, digital organizer tips won’t do it all. I still can over schedule myself or try to take on too much and then flame out. It’s happened. One of the best ways I’m learning about to overcome this is to try and build in a little nothing time into the schedule.

That is, don’t schedule appointment after appointment after appointment. Build in a little time for you to reflect on each appointment, to write out action lists, to coordinate various lists. In other words, give yourself time to breathe. Otherwise, you’re going to suffocate under the weight of your own expectations.

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