Thursday, September 8, 2011

Take Care of Your Future Self – No One Else Will

This last weekend I had the opportunity to take a quick trip to visit my son, daughter-in-law, and my new grandson. Because of my time constraints with work, it was a down and back day trip. Thus a very early start, O’dark thirty. So I took the car and filled the tank. We packed what we eat for lunch. So the next morning we loaded up the family and took off. I didn’t have to stop and tank up, besides the gas station was not open yet. We were able to make our deadlines and had a great trip. One reason the trip went so well was due to some advanced preparations. My past self took care of my future self, as I like to think of it. No, I do not have a time machine; I do not control any time travel device. I’m very linier, just like the rest of us. I do try to think about what will happen later, and try to make arrangements to make things easier for myself later. I’ve made a commitment to this blog to have a tip on Thursdays. Typically, I am at work early Thursday mornings. Or I have to work late Wednesday night. Either way I do not have the opportunity to write a blog and post it Thursday. So I write the blog entry earlier in the week or, if I have time, I’ll write two or three posts, and then set them up to auto post. I meet my commitment to post weekly, and I am able to meet my other obligations. I try to do as much as I can before due dates, or put things in place for later use. I like routine where I can use routine. I change shoes and have hat, pen, and keys in the back of my car. I put them back when I am done. So when I get to work, hat, pen, shoes, and keys are ready. My old self puts things in place for my future self to use. Gas is in the car, instead of I’ll fill it tomorrow, I fill it now, so tomorrow I have a full tank. If I know I’ll have an early start the next day I try to lay out my clothes before I go to bed. I try to take care of my future self as much as I can. By doing these things, it helps me get other things done. I’ve tried to teach my children the same concept. I tell them, “Put your homework in your notebook, and put the notebook in the backpack now. Tomorrow when you are in class, you’ll open your notebook; and find the assignment is right there, ready to be turned in.” What can you do to help with your writing? Get research done, put the notes in one place. Keep your thesaurus, dictionary, and other things you need for your writing in one location. Then when you need an item, it is right there, ready for use. Take care of yourself, no one else will. If you can discipline yourself to do this, you will become more productive. With so many demands on us, anything we can do to give ourselves a bit of advantage helps. Finding the time to hammer out a few words, pages, or chapters is a challenge. So find those little things you can do to give yourself a leg up later on. You’ll find yourself thanking your past self for your foresight.


Jeff King said...

Great post... I'll try and put this into action.

Dean C. Rich said...

It has worked for me on many an occasion. It requires some advanced planning, and a lot of self discipline. However, it is so worth it when things are in place and ready to go. Saves a lot of frustration looking for things, or spending extra time that could have been better used doing something else.