I recently finished working on a month-long project that had me leaving home at 7:00 a.m. and not returning until 9:30 p.m. every night. Although it would be easy to complain about working such long hours, there were plenty of positive outcomes from my experience:

•I got to work on an interesting and fulfilling project and meet a lot of wonderful people.

•By taking the train, I was able to let someone else do the driving, rather than follow my usual routine of spending several hours a day in the car. I used that time to read 3 books, which is about 3 more than I usually read in a year (ok, I “cheat” and listen to books on CD while I’m in the car, but I don’t think that counts as reading).

•I was able to walk from the train to the worksite, which allowed me to exercise in a new way, see parts of Chicago I hadn’t explored on foot before, and enjoy some beautiful weather. I even enjoyed walking in the rain – what a great way to awaken the senses and practice my agility by dodging puddles and the splashing cars zooming through them.

•With limited hours at home, I had to fine-tune my time management skills. I improved my ability to prioritize tasks – delaying those I could (happily, dusting was one of these) and being focused and purposeful with those that needed more immediate attention (e.g., processing email and voice mail). As I plowed through my emails, I asked of each one, “What’s the next action I need to take on this?” and then did it – no leaving it for later, no peeking to see if the next email was more interesting or easier to handle. I just dealt with each one as I read it and amazed myself at how efficiently a little determination and decisiveness allowed me get through them.

•Probably the most important outcome of my experience was that it confirmed what I already knew – I love what I do. Whether my workday is long or short, I’m blessed to be able to help people live more fulfilling and meaningful lives. And no matter what your typical day is like, I hope you’re able to take time to appreciate the people in your life, do what you love, and splash through a few of life’s puddles.

Wishing you simplicity, harmony and freedom.

Author's Bio: 

Internationally known professional organizer, author, and speaker Sue Becker is the founder and owner of From Piles to Smiles®. She enjoys helping people from around the world live better lives by creating customized systems to overcome their overwhelming paperwork, clutter, and schedules. She specializes in helping people who are chronically disorganized - those for whom disorganization has been a lifelong struggle that negatively impacts every aspect of their life, especially people with AD/HD. Her hands-on help, as well as her presentations, have helped thousands of individuals create substantial change in their lives.

Sue is Illinois’ first Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization. She co-authored the book Conversations on Success, and has appeared as an organizational expert on NBC News and the national TV show, Starting Over. A CPA, Sue has an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management.