I know the value of managing my time. I know how to keep a pretty good balance between work, family, domestic chores, and downtime.
I say that with my tongue firmly in cheek. It might be true in the abstract big picture universal truth sense, but the reality is sometimes very different.
This I discovered Sunday morning.
I spent a big chunk of time the latter half of this week - and part of Saturday while the kids and Andrew were out at an insectarium with the cubs - catching up on work. A combination of factors really. Starting behind the eight ball when I first started full time freelancing, a snowball effect as manuscripts started to come in all together, a weekend away in New Brunswick coupled with a heavy cold that left me fuzzy headed and unable to focus...all of them meant that I had some looming deadlines that I needed to meet.
I finished it all. It felt really good. There was just ONE thing, a quick eyeball of a final chapter finished late in the afternoon. No problem, I told myself. I'll look it over really quickly Sunday morning and send it out to the author before she leaves for her cottage at noon.
There are a whole lot of "What if's" here that might have changed the way that worked out. But the bottom line is that we were leaving the house that morning for a special funtion with the kids and we had to be there for 11am. I had the manuscript done. I ate breakfast. I got the kids dressed, hair brushed. I got dressed. Heck, I even brushed my own hair. And then I took the five minutes before we left to connect to my email and send it...and the internet was slow. It wasn't working. It was taking forever.
The kids were waiting in the car, Andrew was pacing, the clock was ticking. I HAD TO LEAVE.
If I had two extra minutes, I'd have got that out on time. As it was, it had to wait until this afternoon when I got back.
Not a big deal really. I hate missing a deadline, but it was minor as far as it goes. But to me it was like the universe just gave me a big fat wake up call.
Two minutes!! If your time is at the point where two minutes can make or break it, it's NOT well managed.
It's like that some mornings getting the kids to the bus. A frantic rush to eat, make lunches get out the door with bags, homework and shoes on the right feet. Two minutes late and I have to drive them - a 45 minute round trip.
But get up half an hour earlier and it's a nice leisurely pace. Time for a song, a dance, a laugh, a revision of homework, a chat, a jump on the trampoline. We are all much happier.
And it's the same with work. Get ahead of it and you have time for things to go wrong, time for a second look, time to have a cold and just spend a couple of days in bed.
The two minute warning bell went off.
I hope I learned from it.