April A to Z – Time!

The idea for this post came about while I was visiting Rupali’s blog. This JRR Tolkien quote is so true…

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Yes… don’t waste the most valuable commodity we are blessed with. Use time wisely. Years ago, long before the internet and the ease of having a laptop at my fingertips, I learned to plan my day while I was doing my early morning ablutions. It’s amazing how quickly one can learn to review what tasks must be done and in what order to complete them… all while having a shower.

A 30 second review of the partly completed tasks of the day before will usually very quickly determine how to go about the present day’s work. Next step, to review project progress or where the program is at. Yes, we each have our specific tasks to complete at whatever stage of life we are. Obviously, when you’re junior, your tasks may be lesser or fewer. So, the sooner you get into the habit of daily planning and setting regular micro goals the sooner you’ll work out that your part in the process helps achieve to overall team project/ program  accomplishments.

Yes, if we decide how to use our time as best we can we may just have more free time to do the things we really love. I’m honest when I say I’ve very rarely been in the situation where I’m under time pressure. Sometimes we waste too much of the precious commodity by pursuing the 80/ 20 balance. Spending 80% of the time to achieve that 20% needed for perfection is a total waste.

The Clock Tower in Rathmines, Dublin, Ireland

You may raise an eyebrow at that statement but in life’s reality, who’s perfection are we striving for? Some may insist on XYZ whereas the more than adequate need is xyz! To illustrate… many years ago a builder friend who was heavily involved with large, affordable estate construction learned to walk away at a particular point of each build.

Those days, the final 5% retainer was only released when clients moved in and all the snags were completed. This created all sorts of problems. Clients kept calling the builders back for stupid reasons, never satisfied with the end result. I’m not saying bad workmanship or incomplete work should be excused. Remember, this was affordable, estate housing often built within tight budgets as to minimise the buying cost for the new home owner.

The resultant revisits often cost builders more than the 5% retainer. Therefore, my friend employed one man to ensure that the house was completed to the building spec before the new owner moved in. Then he didn’t bother to return after the 95% payout. Usually, the new owner soon learned that he’d moved into a suitably completed building so in the process my friend saved himself endless hours and hassles by not pandering to the whims of many new home owners.

A later spin-off was that many months later the banks would call the home owners. Many would say they’re happy and the 5% payout would arrive in my friend’s bank account. Lovely little unexpected bonus… multiply that by 20 over a year and he had his holiday money all sorted… for almost no pain.

The moral of the story? Decide on how you want to spend your time… 80% chasing the last 20% to attain someone else’s perfection or 20% to ensure the task is completed way beyond the 80% expectation of perfection!

The Phoenix CC clock... marking time?

PS – I thought the Phoenix may have significance… I’m just trying to work it out…

About aj vosse

Love life, live love... share life... share love!
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24 Responses to April A to Z – Time!

  1. Time is my second-most valuable commodity (health is first). I agree the shower is an excellent location for clear thinking. I just need to capture all that productivity on paper quickly when I get out, before I forget! I was recently introduced to bullet journaling and am finding that extremely helpful in staying on task.


    • aj vosse says:

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Yes, it makes sense to go jot things down… especially as I’m now getting closer to the big six zero… the memory only wants to retain useful information! 😉

      On 24 April 2016 at 16:47, Ouch!! My back hurts!! wrote:



  2. I’ve always felt frustrated by my inability to use time wisely. I’m a busy person and am fairly productive but still want to do more. I also need a lot of time in which to just dream so it’s a constant challenge.

    Meet My Imaginary Friends


    • aj vosse says:

      Dreaming is good… dreaming while doing something else is the trick! I joke that I have the occupants of a small family saloon living in the bone-box attached to my neck so I believe even while I’m busy with thing X the others are dreaming away… or plotting something new!
      However, I’m with you… it is frustrating when we perceive we could have used a given period of time better! Thanks again for your contribution… it’s appreciated! 😉


  3. pempispalace says:

    Yes an interesting post today – I’m glad I found you on the A-Z Challenge. Trying not to waste time is very sensible although not always easy to achieve so all helpful hints gratefully accepted. Not long to go now 🙂
    Stormy’s Sidekicks
    Special Teaching at Pempi’s Palace


  4. RuthsArc says:

    Cool clock photos to go with your interesting post. I like the idea of letting the last five percent go on occasion.


  5. Rupali says:

    Thank you for mentioning my blog. I am so happy that you noticed it and wrote such a great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post. We learned the lesson years ago. We realised that we could carry on burning ourselves out with our business, or we could enjoy a comfortable, simpler lifestyle with what we had. We’ve never regretted that decision and I wouldn’t swap my travel experiences for all the ferraris in the world!

    Susan A Eames from
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    Liked by 1 person

    • aj vosse says:

      Sorry… no Ferrari’s here either but the unemployment lark is getting the better of me! However, I’ve never got the rat race! I can’t be bothered to climb the corporate ladder by stepping on others… well, maybe I’m too honest and direct! 😉


  7. HesterLeyNel says:

    Well said! Unfortunately (for me) I’m also the pain-in-the-neck kind of perfectionist that will keep at it until the task is 100% completed. My daughter is the same and I’m always saying to her “You have to know when your painting is finished”. Her standard reply? Look who’s talking!


    • aj vosse says:

      Perfectionism is a killer! Not only does the stress get you but those around you want to stick in the knives in!
      Verf jou dogter? Wys my prentjies aseblief!! Nou… vergeet al daai 100% bollie en gaan druk jou toon in die water… of braai ‘n snoek… of whatever! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • HesterLeyNel says:

        Die wind waai *sug* My dogter het jare laas enigiets geverf met ‘n kwas – deesdae ontwerp sy websites en steek haar ma in die werk om dit te bou. Sy hou daarvan om die ontwerp te doen en so elke nou en dan verander sy van plan oor hoe die prentjies / inligting die beste gaan vertoon, wat beteken ek moet ook my deel van die werk oordoen. Die “skildery” is dus op die internet.

        Liked by 1 person

        • aj vosse says:

          Om die waarheid te sê… ek kan myself insien met website ontwerp. Ek so lekker daarby inpas as ek by die huis kan sit en geld maak… well, genoeg verdien om so nou en dan af te stap en ‘n toon of tien in die water te steek! *Sug* Lyk my ma doen selfs goed!! 😉


          • HesterLeyNel says:

            Ja dis baie interessant maar nogals harde werk. Die voordeel is dat ons meesal ons eie ure kan kies, maar nie altyd nie. Ons doen “hosting” ook, wat beteken dat ons soms middernagtelik opdaterings en nuwe installerings moet doen om nie die kliënte se besigheid te ontwrig nie.


  8. Christina B says:

    You’re right. Admittedly I’m one of those people who spend too much of my time chasing the perfection (as I see it). It’s a hard habit to break but I know how much of my time it takes (and wastes).

    Liked by 1 person

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