Do you know I spent approximately 17 hours a year turning my family’s socks inside out so they are the right way round due to their inability to take them off properly? Neither did I until recently. That’s 20 minutes a week of standing over the tumble dryer putting my hand inside sock after sock and pulling. Let us not mention the time sorting and matching the socks.
I also spend 13 hours 25 minutes on school and club runs a week, over an hour a week picking up items off the floor that have been left by people other than me, and 4 minutes a week fetching toilet roll for my family who have sat on the toilet without checking the roll situation first.
Random? To be honest most of you are probably going ‘yep that sounds about right’, but why did I do this and what have I learned from this?
I have always prided myself on how efficient I am with my time. I meal plan, I carry a humongous turquoise (it’s a colour that is hard to loose in a pile of papers) diary with me everywhere, telling me who needs to be where, what I need to take, and what I need to do. My children are even colour coded! I run on the concept of completing a task early as a curve ball will always hit you later on in the day if you delay. I even add things to my ‘to do’ list that I have already done, cross them off instantly, to make myself feel better.
Back last December I received an email from the very lovely and supportive Talented Ladies Club with a banner that read ‘We all have the same 24 hours in the day but some people use them more wisely’. As a mum of four, husband that sometimes works away from home and a yappy dog I often wonder why I am never getting to the end of my To-do List. So I printed off their ‘Free Time to Work Time’ form there and then. It then sat in my diary until two weeks ago alongside a note to read their piece on procrastination.
Finally I got round to completing the exercise; it took a while to get into the rhythm of writing down every 15 minutes or so. I did this every day for two weeks to truly see what I was doing in black and white. It’s a shocker and the sock turning time is one that I am still surprised by.
What have I learnt from this?
1. It is no surprise that I never complete my To Do List, unless I clone myself I need to be realistic with what I set myself.
2. I waste too much time doing what others should be doing.
3. I need to set a specific amount of time to do certain tasks like check through social media as the current fit it in between tasks wastes time not saves time.
4. To shout at my children and husband to take their socks off efficiently.
5. To buy an A3 printer that does not jam.
It will be interesting to repeat the exercise in September to see if I am more efficient with my time and if I will still be greeted with this pile to sort (image of sock pile). I might also eventually read that piece on procrastination.