Freeing up more precious time and energy
I have a friend who swears by his revolving wardrobe. Not a fancy closet that spins around, a simple set of trousers and shirts that all co-ordinate and get paired up when they reach the front of the rack, then get washed, pressed and returned to the back.
With slightly differing numbers of tops and bottoms, the matches get varied through the cycle. As a mathematician, he could also tell you just how many potential variations his system holds.
Cue a gentle roll of my eyes. I’d prefer to be unique, thank you. I wear what my whims fancy. I pride myself on spontaneity.
But lately I’ve noticed that flying by the seat of my pants can sometimes be exhausting — a lot of time and energy spent flapping.
Particularly towards the end of last year I felt ragged. There was never enough time. I needed to claw some back and knew I had to instigate some efficiencies. My new project for 2016: making time.
I started with a time audit to see just where my hours were slipping away. Sure enough, I lose many minutes standing in front of a full closet debating what to wear (and invariably end up choosing the fat pants because deciding becomes too difficult).
Similarly, standing in front of a full fridge wondering what to eat; I sometimes spend so long trying to figure out what I feel like, I run out of time for lunch.
Being neither a chef nor a fashion plate, I’ve decided that it’s more important that I eat and actually get dressed than always find the perfect choice.
Wouldn’t reducing the guesswork free up valuable time, mental space and energy, which could be directed towards more important things?
My plan is to automate — schedule the heck out of things. This will take some serious upfront planning, but I see how it could save time (and stress) in the long run.
If I knew what I was doing beforehand, wouldn’t life run more smoothly? “Duh!” will be the response from many, but I am not naturally an organised person.
Certain people seem to have the gene. Not me. Chaos is more my go-to state: fun, frenetic, anything can happen, but also confusing, disordered, messy. Chaos is not currently serving me.
I intend to make several changes over the coming month to set up this year for greater productivity with less work — time-wasting, busy work that is.
I’m aware that changing habits is more like turning around a cruise ship than a jet ski. It will be interesting to see how I maintain the momentum. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.
This week’s challenge is to schedule time for wardrobe preselection. I’m inspired by stylist Jacqui Neath-Myrie’s trick to check the weather forecast the night before and then choose her outfit, accessories and all.
I’m attempting this on a slightly bigger scale: a whole week in advance using the ten-day forecast, cooler/warmer alternatives at the ready (fat pants as a comforting back-up).
I’ve estimated an hour-and-a-half for this prep task. I’ll let you know how it goes.
• Julia Pitt is a trained success coach and certified NLP practitioner on the team at Benedict Associates. For further information, contact Julia on 705-7488 or visit www.juliapittcoaching.com
Roland Skinner (1940-2018)
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