In the past few weeks I’ve started to track how I spend my time. Not to the minute, but every hour or so during the day, I jot down what I’ve done during the past 60 minutes. Like many of us, I’d like to be more productive, so I thought a time tracker might be a good place to start.
I feel like I’ve learned some important lessons during this process and I want to share those with you today.
You’re welcome in advance (and I apologize for the implied profanity. But poop show doesn’t sound the same…)
1. TRY NOT TO BE A SH*T SHOW
I’m not sure if sh*t show is a technically a personality trait, but if so, that’s my strongest one, behind introversion.
Anyone who has ever witnessed me trying to leave the gym at the end of the night has seen this in person, with my five bags, one coffee mug, one blender bottle, and keys? Where are my keys?
This morning, it took me an hour to get ready for work. I work at a gym, don’t fix my hair, and I’m not really required to do anything but smell better than a sweaty gym sock. Reflecting on the hour it took me to actually get pants on (sweat pants, yes), this is what happened:
*I spent ten minutes in the shower trying to get the pump to work on the new giant bottle of shampoo. That was after I got in the shower, realized the old bottle was empty, and then got out of the shower to get the new bottle. Eventually, I gave up on getting the new pump to work and took the whole damn lid off. That’s when a quarter of the new bottle fell out into the shower. I rubbed my hands in the glob of shampoo on the floor of the tub and lathered what I could manage into my hair.
Then I reached for the razor that conveniently hangs on the shower wall, because Sheila (who is not a sh*t show). The razor fell out of my hands, still slippery from the shampoo excursion, and came apart. My hands pruned as I tried to get the razor blade back on to the razor handle, and then it fell off three more times before I finally cut myself shaving my legs.
Because of course I did.
And I still missed the spot on the back of my legs that I always miss and I now have a Rapunzel like growth of leg hair.
You’re welcome for the image.
*I plucked a gray chin hair and then freaked out because it was A GRAY CHIN HAIR.
So tip number one - don’t be like me.
2. KEEP YOUR LIDS WITH THE COFFEE MUGS
I spent another 15 minutes trying to find the lid to my Yeti mug. Yes, I have 7 other mugs in the cabinet and I could find lids to go with them. But IT HAD TO BE THE YETI MUG BECAUSE YETI.
This tip also applies to Tupperware and storage containers for food. Matching lids to containers is the bane of my existence.
Side note - when I was a kid, my mom used Country Crock bowls as Tupperware and finding the butter was a sh*t show. Maybe I learned to be a sh*t show from my mom. If you’re reading this mom, I’m sorry I said sh*t…
3. MAYBE TAKE YOUR CLOTHES OUT OF THE DRIER BEFORE YOU ACTUALLY NEED TO FIND THEM.
After my 45 minute adventure in the shower, I had to find clothes. Which I’d washed. On Sunday. And put in the drier. And that was as far as I got because my laundry cycle includes putting clothes into the washer and then into the drier and then onto my person.
Which, if you’re curious, is how I finally got pants on.
So I think my advice here is to also not be like me. Put your clothes in a drawer. Maybe fold them too.
Nah….just put them in a drawer.
Have bacon and a hair dryer ready to get your 11-year old basset hound out of the yard where he’s been eating dirt and grass in the pouring rain and is pretending that he doesn’t know his name for 25 minutes while you also periodically come out and stand in the pouring rain yelling at him.
Those are just a couple of tips that are not really tips but things you should never, ever do if you’d like to be more productive with your life.
And if you’re tempted to have me watch some Marie Kondo Netflix show, I’d offer this in all honesty:
I wrote this post so that you, reading it, will know that you’re not alone. If you walked out the door with your pants on backwards (I did this Saturday night), forgot to pack socks in your gym bag (at least once a week) or spent 20 minutes looking for the pants that you had in your hand five minutes ago (that was last Thursday for me), it’s ok.
Chances are, if organization isn’t your strong suit, there are so many other things you bring to the table. Creativity, the ability to adapt to any situation, and you probably have a lot of empathy for other people. It’s easy to feel like if we are not more organized we are wrong. That if we don’t plan more, we’re wrong. That if we don’t do things the way we are supposed to, we are wrong.
Well, as I like to tell clients who ask me if they are doing exercises wrong in my classes, my answer is the same.
You’re not doing it wrong.