I knew we had a problem when I saw it was 1 a.m.
Prior to looking at the clock, but after I woke up, I assumed it was time to get up because so much light was coming through our bedroom window.
But glancing at the clock, I discovered it was not time for either me or the sun to rise and shine at 1 a.m.
This was early spring of 2021. Unbeknownst to us, a nearby business had installed a very, very bright light in their parking lot earlier in the day. And by night, it was shining directly into our bedroom window.
So for a couple months, Jeff and I talked about getting blackout curtains for our bedroom window to block the dreaded light. And talked about it more. And talked about it even more.
Until the trees finally grew new baby leaves, and the parking lot light was a little diffused. And then the leaves grew bigger and bigger, blocking the light more and more. Eventually the light was no longer a pressing problem, thanks to all our trees.
We stopped thinking about buying blackout curtains.
But the problem didn’t go away; it was only masked. The problem has now returned.
The trees have lost all their leaves. I wake up all through the night and wonder: Is it already morning?
We started talking again about getting blackout curtains.
But this time we did something different. On Tuesday morning we set a time to look together online for some curtains (5:30 p.m.), and a day (Thursday afternoon) to go look at curtains in person.
The days and times were only arbitrary, of course. But they were important.
Because when something can be done anytime, it sometimes doesn’t get done at all.
The artificial deadline worked. Jeff and I sat together on the couch at 5:30 last Tuesday night to search the internet for blackout curtains. It took awhile to discover what was available, what we liked, and what we wanted to spend. But by 6:30 p.m., we had ordered the curtains and all the accompanying hardware.
In less than an hour, we accomplished what we’d delayed doing for almost a whole year.
The lesson learned: for things without an obvious deadline, still assign a day and time to get them done, especially things I keep procrastinating.
Granted, I’ve tried this trick in the past with varying levels of success.
But just because something doesn’t work every time doesn’t mean I shouldn’t keep trying it some of the time.
So I’ll keep trying it.
What time management hacks do you have? Share in the comments.
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