Finding time to deal with the unexpected is something we’ve been writing about a lot lately. For my Cyber Monday post, I thought I’d write about a time management success that my VA shared with me recently.
One weekend morning, not long ago, she had planned several hours of on-line work that needed to be done by the following Monday. When she fired up her computer, however, she discovered that her internet connection was down. After several attempts to connect, and a call to her ISP, she learned that this was a “temporary” outage, but there was no sure timeframe as to when she’d be able to get on line.
After a deep breath, she said that she decided to view this circumstance, not as a barrier but as an opportunity.
Having made that choice, she next created a list of tasks that she could accomplish without internet access – some on the computer and others not requiring technology at all. What did she do with this found time?
She told me that she gathered her piles of handwritten notes, collected throughout the week, and consolidated and prioritized them on a new To Do list. She also organized her workspace and her e-mail in-box. Both of these tasks can be big stress relievers, as they eradicate worries about what might be getting “lost in the shuffle.” They are also tasks that we don’t always get to when time is short.
Returning to the computer, she discovered that there were quite a few tasks that she could work on without internet access, including preparing items locally for uploading to the web once she could connect to the internet again.
With a positive, proactive perspective, she was able to use the “found time” afforded by an internet outage as breathing space and a chance to get some useful and sometimes-neglected tasks done. What might have been a source of frustration and wasted time became, instead, an opportunity!
© Copyright 2009 Paula Eder, Ph.D.