Have you ever wondered what it must be like to be so single-minded and focussed on your goals that you actually achieve them all, one by one, consistently? Or do you go about things in a half-baked manner wondering where all your time has gone, forgetting half of what you should have done?

I sometimes feel like one person attempting to kick two dozen footballs through a marshy field of tacklers while trying to get all those tiny balls into that one big net at the same time. It is my crazy belief that this will somehow clear the field and make it grow into a beautifully productive park land with a profusion of ripe-for-the-picking, succulent fruits and vegetables.

Oh what a world that would be!

Back to reality!

Distractions are all around us - I just need to look out the window and see a glimmer of sunshine to feel compelled to leave the computer and go out to 'play'... I am fortunate that I can retreat to Frugaldom to wrk on what will, one day, reap what I sow; IF I ever get around to sowing it!

Frugal living means spending as much productive time as possible getting things done so why is it so difficult to achieve? The washing is done... back in 5 minutes, I'm going to hang it on the line while the sun is shining! OK, I'm back, but it took a bit longer than expected because I decided to put a loaf on to bake when I saw we had no bread. Now I have just realised that it is past lunchtime and need to eat. Oh, and the duck pond needs cleaned, hens need fed and the ponies have produced enough manure overnight to power a small factory unit, if only this stuff would burn!

DISTRACTED!

How to make a really cheap loaf of bread.

Buy a large bag of bread mix that's gone past its 'Best Before End' date - 3.5kg cost me 99p from Approved Food and this is sufficient to bake 7 loaves - 14p per loaf. (Affiliate link alert!)

Buy some really cheap yeast, doesn't matter if it is past its 'Best Before End' date as it keeps OK as long as it's sealed. I got 4 boxes for £1.00 then was given a tin of the stuff by someone who wouldn't use it after it's BBE date. It does the job and there's no point wasting it.

Bread mix doesn't normally need yeast added but I like to add a little extra to give it added lift in my shady, cold kitchen. So, there's 14p for bread mix and 2p for yeast. That's 16p in ingredients for a loaf of homemade bread plus whatever energy you use to bake it.

Must go and make lunch before I forget completely!


How to make your own chalk boardHow to avoid becoming distracted while working from home

  1. Make a list of things you need to do and keep it up to date
  2. Make a visible space for pinning or writing your lists so you can't miss it. This is important - I bought chalkboard paint and now have boards everywhere - this one's on the end of the cupboard unit in the caravan
  3. Don't click irrelevant links when reading general emails or updates
  4. Remove all traces of hobbies and entertainment from sight so you focus on work
  5. Allocate set times for specific jobs - housework, admin, main work, meals, phone calls, visitors, the actual job that pays your income.
  6. Reduce your Facebook timeline to the barest minimum by unfollowing all others unless you need to know what they are doing at all times. If they happen to be friends who are compelled to post every aspect of their day then stop and work out why you are compelled to know such trivial details. Are you a stalker?
  7. Take set refreshments breaks and if friends MUST call, then make sure they know when you are available and that they are not interfering with your work schedule
  8. Eat when you are hungry and let other household members cook and clear up for themselves if they are responsible enough to do so
  9. Likewise with all other household chores - delegate, share or dump the job completely if it's non-essential
  10. Focus attention on getting each specific job done before progressing onto the next one
  11. Break main jobs down into smaller jobs so you feel like you know when you have achieved each stage
  12. Keep checking the list - again, this is very important.
  13. Take a short walk outdoors, even if it's a quick dash in the rain to focus your concentration on why you should be inside doing items a to z on the dratted list!
  14. Tick things off the list before adding anything new - important!
  15. Use a timer - especially when cooking!
  16. Use a second alarm system to remind you to acknowledged the first one
  17. Use timing switches wherever possible when cooking or working with electrical appliances
  18. Don't look on distractions as distractions - treat them as small jobs needing done within the larger ones, add them to your list and tick them off accordingly
  19. Write an email, letter or other message to yourself to remind you what you should have achieving by a set time
  20. Learn basic time management - I'll write a post about that.
  21. Multi-task wherever and whenever possible without getting scatterbrained
  22. Give yourself a reward for each and every achievement, even if it's just a tick on your chalk board
  23. Ensure your own comfort and well-being throughout your day - comfortable clothing and footwear are essential
  24. Work in a comfortable and happy environment - ambient temperature should not cause counter-productivity
  25. Look at the ergonomics of your work space - no point pursuing goals if you ache after an hour of sitting or standing in a particular position

Procrastination is not a simple distraction - it can steal control of our thoughts, actions and will power at any given moment in time! Embrace it, make it an item on your list and allocate fair time within your working day to address it in the way it deserves to be addressed. It arrives for a reason, alerting us to other suff that's whirring away inside our brains, hidden beneath the surface, lurking in our sub-conscious minds and ready to pounce at any monent. Be aware of it's devastating effects on all aspects of your waking life as it comes in many guises, masking negative emotions, stress and anxiety. Procrastination is often laughed off in a jovial way but its delaying tactics only add to the problem of time management. Take a break when a break is scheduled and set aside extra time for doing the things you like most. 

Now I really do need to focus on the above and follow my own advice because there's a tonne of washing to be done, two caravans to prepare for holidaymakers, a garden needing dug, five ponies to be attended to and I have a work meeting this afternoon to discuss a deadline. Hopefully I'll be organised by Monday! 

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