It looked like yesterday was going to be “one of those days” — running from appointment to appointment, squeezing in an errand or two here and there, hoping to feel like I accomplished something by the time I collapsed into bed. I knew I had a lot on my plate so I made a point to get up a half hour earlier than usual to shower and dress so I could hit the ground running as soon as I dropped the kids off at school. I had two business meetings, a personal appointment and a school-related meeting that evening, a long list of phone calls to return, a daunting list of errands tackle and the usual carpool and dinner activities. The whole family was to be home for dinner which means I had the challenge of cooking something everyone liked – not gonna happen! I’m thinking that if I can accomplish half of what is on my list then I’ll be doing pretty good.
I made my way to the kitchen, poured a cup of coffee, put in a load of laundry and started making lunches. Then, my already overpacked, tightly scheduled day began to unravel. My younger daughter came down the steps to announce that she tweaked her back and needed to go the to chiropractor — if possible, before school! And so it began, the daily routine of rearranging, compromising, balancing and juggling daily family life — nothing ever goes as planned and this day would be no different. I made the call and got her in to see the doctor before school. Now we all needed to kick it up a notch to get out the door. I’m was praying that I could get the girls to school and myself to my first appointment on time.
We made it in and out of the doctor in record time and found that we had a few extra minutes to stop at Starbucks — serenity in a cup! We each grabbed a coffee and were off to school with time to spare. So far so good! As I pulled out of the carpool lane, I received a message that the colleague I was to meet for my first appointment was ill and needed to reschedule. Suddenly, I found myself with an extra 90 minutes I was not counting on having – a gift that should not be wasted! I took a minute to make a plan in my head. It was only 8:00AM so I was limited in the errands I could do at this hour. I hit the post office, dropped off the dry-cleaning and a bag of donations at Goodwill. I made a quick deposit at the bank and ran through the grocery store to grab lunch and dinner items for the rest of the week. I dropped off the groceries at home, put the laundry in the dryer, answered a quick email, confirmed a couple of meetings for next week and I was back out the door. It is now 9:15. I placed a quick order at the printing shop, ran by the office supply store, bought a birthday gift and by 10:30 had completed NINE tasks on my to do list — feeling like a PRODUCTIVITY GODDESS!!
I headed to my lunch meeting and tackled a few calls on the way. The meeting went great. As long as I was riding my productivity high, I figured I deserved reward so I stopped at the mall for a quick dose of retail therapy before my next appointment. Afterwards, I headed home to check emails, make a few calls, prepare a few things for dinner and then I was off to pick up my daughter from practice. When I returned home the family was all there and we quickly pull dinner together. I put another load in the washer, visit with my hubby and I’m off to school for another meeting. I returned home about 8:45 to find my girls finishing their homework. We watch a quick show on the DVR and I head to bed by 10:00PM. WHAT A DAY!
Days don’t fall into place that way very often so it is important to relish in those “perfectly productive” moments. Take advantage of those little gifts of time — they can make all the difference in how effectively you manage your day and how productive you can be. You might surprise yourself with what you can accomplish!