My most productive hour and fifteen minutes of the whole day comes between 6:15, the time the alarm rings and preparation for school begins, and 7:30, when I load the children up into the truck for school.
In that magical period, I get the following done:
- Make breakfast for the children (really, it’s only pouring cereal and milk, but).
- Make lunch for the children (sandwiches, fruit, snack in a sack).
- Empty the dishwasher (if dishes are clean).
- Load dishwasher (if it’s empty and there are dishes to load).
- Make bed; sometimes, I’ll change the linens completely.
- Shave and dress.
- Start a load of laundry.
- Fold a load or two of laundry if available.
- Clean up children’s breakfast dishes.
- Get children dressed, enforce tooth brushing, get their assorted gear sorted and loaded.
- Brush teeth.
- Sometimes check a blog or two.
That’s a pretty quick moving hour and fifteen minutes, but it’s full of productive tasks, aside from the check a blog or two bit.
Yesterday, my next hour included:
- Go to the supermarket.
- Change linens on children’s beds.
- Make breakfast.
- Eat breakfast.
- Tap out a couple of blog posts.
Somehow, the day’s list of accomplishments runs downhill from there. I mean, I did some work and I checked some blogs, but sitting at my desks leads to a uniform experience where time just passes and only a few bullet points get done, not all of them salutatory (you checked Instapundit again? You played Civilization again?)
If I had the same focus as I have that, well, not first hour of the day–I’m often awake for an hour before the alarm rings, an hour unfocused because I’m “waking up,” I would be a millionaire. Or I would feel much more content with what I do every day. But.
The reason I’m so efficient in that hour is that I do it six times a week (including Sunday, where “church” replaces “school”), so I’m very efficient at it, having drilled in it for a couple of years now. The remainder of the day is much more fluid and changing, so I can’t have developed that efficiency and productivity that yield the (same daily) bullet points of accomplishment in them.
I guess I need to make a daily set of bullet points of accomplishment each day beyond those seventy-five minutes and then to work earnestly to ensure that they’re meaningful and that I recognize x hours of paying work, a single bullet point or a couple of lines on a time sheet, are valuable, too. Also, I should get some things done away from the computer to break it up and have, if not dramatic impact, at least some visible sign that I did something besides checking LinkedIn or Twitter.
Well, there’s the alarm. Time to get something done.