Posts tagged ‘management’

Metaphysics/Money Monday — Book Look: The Richest Man in Babylon

Image courtesy of Stoonn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stoonn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I just completed the book The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason for class, and it is awesome.

I love that this is an old book but could have been written today, and I enjoy the storytelling in this book. I am reminded of how effective and enjoyable stories can be. They are both fun to read and to tell. Once I grasped the focus on the book – money management – I immediately became uncomfortable. Though I have a budget and keep on top of my finances, money is a very awkward subject for me. Instead of researching and having a specific plan, I choose to be thrifty and leave the investments to others. I had a decent savings, but I’ve recently chipped away at it to complete a project. I’d really rather money didn’t exist. However, I know it is practical.

So, when I started understanding the messages from the book, I didn’t want to hear it. I had to force myself to keep reading. When I allowed myself to move past the tension, I owned that the advice was pretty decent. I decided it was time to get back on the money management wagon, to review my budget again, and to have a plan for it. It is of no use to hope that money will magically come to you. It is best to study money management, as it is best to study anything you wish to excel in. And it is best to consult those who know.

This month I intend to start practicing the 1/10 income toward savings, the 2/10 income toward debt, and the 7/10 toward daily living. I have experienced that one can live within their means, even as income changes. I would also like to start looking at what’s going on with my investments. I’d like to make an appointment with myself to get that done, and I really want to find noble investments, supporting a good company while making money.

After reading this book, I am done with hoping and wishing about money from a distance. I am ready to take charge of my financial life.

Where Do You Spend Your Time?

"Just Awake" courtesy of luigi diamanti/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“Just Awake” courtesy of luigi diamanti/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Time has been on my mind a lot this past month.  It’s something that I want desperately and also something that stresses me out immeasurably.  I know I’ve come to this Earth with many, many lessons to learn.  I have a feeling I’m not even aware of at least half of them.  Today I woke up with the intention to prioritize my time.

How do I spend the majority of my time?  By my estimation, these are the top areas:

1) Sleep  2) Metaphysics  3) Work  4) Worry  5) Facebook/E-mail/Other Internet  6) Castle/Other relaxation.  7) Cleaning

1) The greatest chunk of my day is spent on sleeping (1/3 or more), and I’m still struggling to get up early.  I’m beginning to think that I should just let myself sleep and get things done later in the day.  Since I don’t have an early morning job, my mind and body see no reason to leave happy-subconscious-land.  And so I continue to berate myself — later, having to forgive myself — for not getting up on time.  So, for this week, I’m allowing myself the extra sleep.  I still need to figure out why I don’t want to leave the bed — I know there is something that needs to be addressed there — but for this week I’m not going to fight it, and I’m going to see what happens.

2) I don’t spent tons of time on Metaphysics per say, but I know I’m getting in at least an hour every day between writing down my dreams, doing my exercises, sometimes reading a book for class, and making connections to metaphysics in my daily life.  It is a solid part of me now, and I’m glad for that consistency.

3 and 4)  These two need to go together because most of my worry is about work.  So, I’m either working or worrying about work.  This is something that I’ve been struggling with for a long time.  I thought it would go away when I left teaching full-time, and then teaching part-time.  Alas, the worries still hound me.  So, I’ve finally figured out that it’s not the job.  It’s me. I think staying in the moment could be a big help here.  Also, more time management.

5) I don’t spend as much time on the Internet as I have in the past.  I’m not on it as long.  But now I’m just checking it more frequently.  And now that I’m waiting to hear about a very exciting job opportunity, I feel I have even more of an excuse to come running back to my laptop every hour. (More on that in a future post.)  This is an area where I can definitely start looking at how I spend my time. (*I checked Facebook at least once while writing this blog.)

6) Something that Brian and I like to do together is watch a show together.  Though the shows are enjoyable, they are generally 45 minutes long, and one episode can turn into 2, or sometimes 3.  That’s 1.5 or 2ish hours gone from each day that I could be spending on creative outlets. So, this is another area I would like to explore.

7) Cleaning.  Ugh.  I do like cleaning sometimes.  In fact, I become an overly-zealous cleaner when I’m avoiding #3.  However, overall it seems to take so much time and effort, and neither Brian or I are neat-freaks, so preparing for company can be quite an ordeal.  We keep things pretty picked up for the most part, but the actual de-furring, dusting, vacuuming, and scrubbing are a struggle.  Mostly we are weekend warriors (or at least, I am) who spend half the day cleaning before a big event at our place.  This gets the job done, but, again, it’s a struggle and pretty unpleasant.  My latest cleaning project has been our new fish tank (new for us, but we got it off of Craigslist, so quite a bit of cleaning and prep has been required) that I plan on finishing after this post.  (Mind is beginning to worry about it as I type this.)

8) Yes, I know there’s no number 8.  This is the number that should be up there at the top.  It’s my creativity time.  Thankfully, I’m off to a good start today.  My tutoring lessons were cancelled for today, so I took the opportunity to write this blog, and I already feel much better for having done it.  I’m still struggling with resisting play time/creative time.  You’d think it would be easy to have fun, but I think creativity has seemed like another job/chore that I’m supposed to do each day, and that’s the mentality I’ve got to change.  Clearly playing around on the Internet and Castle are a lot easier for me to fall into, so I need to make sure my play time doesn’t resemble work time so much.

That’s my current status.  I’d like to see where I am in a week.  Also, I need to blog every day again.  I’m going to add that consistency to my daily metaphysics exercises.  I’m already in that habit, so I’m just going to pretend they go together.  So, you will be hearing from me again tomorrow. 🙂

Time’s Up


I am determined to create a new habit that I’ve never been able to form:  time limits.  When I was in Honors 5th grade, my parents had a conference with my teacher about the hours and hours I was spending every night on homework.  My teacher couldn’t believe I was spending so much time and suggested that I put a time limit on my work.  I was to give myself a specific amount of time for an activity, and when the time was up, I had to stop.  This never worked for me.  As a semi-perfectionist, I found the thought of not finishing an assignment completely appalling.

Unfortunately, this is why I procrastinate.  They say that perfectionism and procrastination go hand-in-hand, and I can attest that it is certainly true for me.  And knowing myself and that I want my work to be completely perfect, and knowing I could take forever on it, I put it off.  Thus, procrastination is my survival form of time management.  If I put something off until the night before, I know that I will have only that night to work on it.  I will have to get it done during that time, or it will not get done.

Though this system has worked for me, it is clearly not ideal.  The deadline looms in front of me, and it’s all I can think about, even as I’m working on other things.  Stress and worry are not worth the time I save by procrastinating.

So, my new plan is 1/2 hour chunks.  And to get myself to do what that fifth grade teacher attempted, so long ago.  When my 1/2 hour is finished, I am done. (with 5 minutes lee-way!)

How has this worked so far?  Well, it’s worked a little.  I have been able to keep my writing to a half hour.  It’s fairly easy to keep exercise to a half hour, too.  But, cleaning was a disaster.  Do you remember when I mentioned that I have a hard time stopping an activity at a 1/2 hour?  Wednesday I began my 1/2 chunk plan and spent a total of 5 hours cleaning.  Yes, 5 hours.  I have justified this by deciding I did not need to do any cleaning for the next five days, to free up extra time for the activities I did not get done, i.e. practicing and schoolwork.  Also, it’s Spring Break, so it’s a great time to get some housecleaning done.  The basement looks much better, the living room looks great, the kitchen area is much improved. . .  etc etc

And I think they key to this plan working is scheduling in free time.  I think that was the problem all long.  How am I going to get all of my half hours done AND free time?  I don’t know.  But, here’s the daily plan:

  • 1/2 hour practicing clarinet
  • 1/2 hour writing
  • 1/2 hour exercise
  • 1/2 hour schoolwork (grading/planning)
  • 1/2 hour cleaning
  • 1/2 hour career development
  • 1 hour free time

What am I going to do on nights that I have orchestra and band?  Not sure yet.  I’ll probably have to knock half of those out (including practicing, obviously).

Well, cleaning, writing, exercise, and free time are done for today. (Got my hair done! :-))  Time to tackle the other 3 bad boys (girls?).  Clock is ticking. . .

<p><a href=”http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=2125″>Image: photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net</a></p>

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