Adapting to Change

We have a new dog.  His name is Alfie.  We adopted him three months ago, shortly before his 7th birthday. We were told he was a Havanese.  If you are not familiar with this breed, just think “cute little white fuzzball”.

Of course I had him DNA-tested, because that’s just the kind of person I am.  We learned that he is only 50% Havanese, and 25% Maltese.  (If you are not familiar with that breed, you can once again think “cute little white fuzzball”.)  The other 25% of his genetic makeup is not clear.

Alfie on his 7th birthday

The first time we added a dog to our family four years ago, I wrote how my routine had changed as a result (see Time is a Zero Sum Game.)   Sadly, our beloved Taffy passed away earlier this year (Love, Loss, and Organizing).  While circumstances prevented us from adding a new four-legged family member for six long months, we knew that a new pet was in our future.

Surprisingly, six months was long enough for me to readapt to not having a dog.  I got out of the routine of incorporating dog-walking time into my schedule before I left for an appointment.  As a result, I am often late.

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Capturing Contact Information

It always surprises me when someone asks me for my address even though this person has been to my house before.  Everyone has a way of capturing contact information, don’t they?   It may be in electronic form, or it may be in a physical address book.  So why would someone have to ask me for my address again?

I think it’s because it is just not a habit for most people to retain contact information beyond its initial usefulness.  But it’s really worth it, as it will save time later.

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Procrastination vs. Rewards

Overcoming procrastination is one of my most popular topics when teaching clients about time management.  It appears to be something that everyone struggles with — including me.

When faced with a task we’d rather avoid, we can be very creative in coming up with other things to keep us occupied.  I’ve written previously about my struggle to overcome the lure of on-line Sudoku (see In Praise of Deadlines).  Your particular stalling tactic might be watching TV, surfing Facebook, or obsessively playing a game on your handheld device.  We tell ourselves that we work hard and we’ve earned this particular reward.  “Just one more game”, we promise ourselves, “and I’ll get to those taxes.”  But we don’t.

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Planning for Contingencies

When I advise clients on Time Management, I always explain the importance of leaving time in your schedule for the unexpected to occur.

This value of this advice was brought home to me a few days ago when I was going to a client appointment.   I was on my way to the catch the crosstown bus to take me from the Upper East Side of Manhattan, where I live, across Central Park to the Upper West Side, where my client lives.  I could see the bus arriving at my stop, but I was still on the other side of 86th Street, a busy two-way street.  As soon as the light changed, I tore across the street, running to make sure that I would be on that bus and get to my appointment on time.

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Preventing Chronic Lateness

Are you chronically late?  Do you start out each morning with the vow that today you’re going to arrive everywhere on time, only to let yourself down, day after day?

Here are some thoughts that might help.

Chronic lateness is generally caused by two errors of judgment.  One is not knowing how much time it’s going to take you to get ready.  The other is not prioritizing your time prior to leaving.

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