Monday, July 22, 2013

Project 2013 Update. Score: 171 to 24

Image courtesy of Marcus /
Way back when, at the end of 2012, I told you about a little reading project I had designed for 2013. You can read that post here. August is just around the corner, and I thought an update was in order.

To date, I have or listened to ... drum roll, please ... a whopping 24 Young Adult/Kid Lit books. Check out the link here. Obviously, I was overly optimistic. What was thinking, announcing I would read 171 YA books this year? Clearly, this is a case of my Ideal Reality crashing into my Real Reality. I have a life, family, part-time job. Even if I didn't have those luxuries, no one spends every waking minute of every day reading. Do they?

In addition to these 24 books, I've also tackled eight grown up books. Visit my More Books! page for that list.

But, discouraged I am not. After all, I'm reading again! And reading a lot! Which is something I love to do and something that makes me happy. At any given time, I'm reading or listening to 3 or 4 books and having a blast!

Wherever you are, whatever you're doing ... Keep It Real.

Monday, July 15, 2013

My List of 100 (ok ... 45) Dreams

In my last post, I wrote about the time management book, 168Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam. She encourages readers to create a List of 100 Dreams to help them determine their core competencies and possibly reveal how they would like to spend more of their time. It’s a motivational tool designed to get people thinking about what they would like to do more of, less of and accomplish in their lifetime.

Have you ever done something like this? I tried it. And … I’m stuck at 45. It’s a much tougher task than I anticipated. I created an interesting concoction of dreams I could accomplish now if I put my mind to them, dreams I could knock out in the short term, and dreams require a longer span to accomplish (some people call these “pipe” dreams. I prefer ‘long-term” dreams. It’s more optimistic.).

I also created two others lists naming activities I could tackle in either 30 minutes or 10 minutes or less. It’s really amazing the tasks you can knock down by chunking them this way. The activity helped me discover ways to productively fill small pockets of time with something other than Facebook, television or fribbling.

Perhaps I’ll publish my List of 100 Dreams when it’s complete. Would anyone be interested? Here’s the other tricky thing about this quest: it’s ever-evolving. Tastes and interests change and dreams either morph, find fulfillment or fade.

I’d love to read your List of 100 Dreams. Or 10 Dreams. Even 5. Share, please?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Time IS On My Side - All 168 Hours of It

Image courtesy of digitalart /
I think it's fair to say that most people feel as if there aren't enough hours in the day to do what they have to do as well as what they want to do.

This feeling of never having enough time, of feeling harried and rushed most of my days, of feeling that all that I ever do are the things I have to do led me to the book, 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam.

It's a time management book about discovering how to find more time to do what you enjoy by a process of research and reflection (aka a time log). It offers advice for both home and work.

I totally geek out on schedules, research, tracking and documentation, so even if I choose to do nothing with my time log results, I get the joy of just recording my activities on a spreadsheet. Love getting my geek on!

It's been a little tough to admit that I might need some guidance in this area. I used to be the Queen of Time Management. The Prima Donna of Productivity. But for the longest while, I've been letting myself become so overwhelmed by the day-to-day stuff that I don't do anything. I hate that.

I've already charted one week, with some interesting finds about how I spend my time. I  started a second time log today. You can bet I'll be more mindful of how I spend my time over the next seven days.

Here's what I've learned so far, and I haven't even finished the book. My Ideal Reality of having more time can quickly, and fairly easily, become my Real Reality, if I choose to make some changes. While I may not always agree with her methods or advice, Vanderkam is certainly right about one thing: I do have more time than I think.

What about you? Are you in a constant time crunch? Or have you found a balance that works for you? I'd love to hear about it.

If you're looking for some good reads (or listens), be sure to check out my Project 2013 and More Books! pages.

Wherever you are, whatever you're doing ... Keep It Real.