time management during a quarantine

We’ve all said it many times, “I would love to [fill in the blank] if only I had the time.” The busyness of today keeps pushing our best intentions farther into the future. What we “want to do” is suppressed by what we “have to do.”

Suddenly, what we “have to do” comes to a screeching halt. Schools are closed. Travel is canceled. Places of work shut their doors. And now all we have left is…time.

So what’s on your list of things you would do if only you had the time? Are your digital photos a total mess? (That’s the case for most people.) In one day, you could have it all neatly organized in searchable albums on Google Photos and have a system that would upload new photos from your phone. This blog post tells you exactly how to do it.

I run into people all the time who say, “Frank, I read your articles on time management, but I just don’t have the time to implement any of them.” Pick one and let’s get started. If it’s not organizing your photos, maybe it’s finally setting up your Tickler File. Several years ago, I was a guest on Talk of Alabama and talked about this simple tool. That episode is still available. This post gives you all the information in written form.

Maybe the problem is your entire paper filing system. You’ve been putting it off for years. Now you have the time to clean it up once and for all. Here’s help.

Is email driving you crazy? Are you one of those people whose email inbox contains every message that arrived since the day the computer came out of the box? You could be at “empty” in one morning. In a post called “How to Win the Email Battle: 52,000 to 2,” you’ll read about how one person learned the secret. You’ll find it here.

Are there things in your environment that just aren’t working? Maybe it’s a jammed stapler, an electrical plug, or a wobbly table. You’ve been saying, “I’ll get around to it…when I have the time.” Come over and read, “What’s Not Working? What Would It Take to Fix It?

What else is on your list? Here are some ideas:

  • Clean out a closet
  • Inventory the refrigerator and pantry
  • Declutter a bookcase
  • Exercise
  • Organize a cabinet drawer
  • Plant a garden
  • Catch up on reading
  • Plan
  • Teach the dog a new trick
  • Pull out that musical instrument and play a tune
  • Call a friend you haven’t talked to in far too long
  • Spend time with family
  • Get a start on your “big thing”

Two Circles

In his hallmark work The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey talked about two concentric circles. He says we all have a “Circle of Concern.” It encompasses all the things we see on Facebook and TV. It includes all our fears, all our worries, and the feeling of powerlessness we have over the present situation. Inside is a smaller circle called the “Circle of Influence.” Within this circle are all of the things we can actually do something about.

Covey said the more time people spend in the outer circle, the “Circle of Concern,” the smaller the Circle of Influence becomes. But the more time someone spends in the Circle of Influence, concentrating on those things they can do something about, the larger that circle grows.

Time is My Friend

When all you’ve got is time, the best thing to do is make time a friend. Many years ago, The Julie Andrews Hour ended each episode with this song.