How Limited Time Can IMPROVE Your Productivity Part II

“If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.” Lucille Ball

I’ve always loved this quote, but only just this morning discovered that the voice behind it was:

a) a woman;

b) a mother; and

c) a woman and mother in COMEDY!

I can practically feel the fairy-dust a-spilling! (Do be careful not to trip, won’t you? I don’t have insurance on this blog.)

But now that I think about it, it seems perfectly natural that Lucille – a mother (unarguably a synonym for “busy person” if ever there was one), striving to carve out a career following her creative passion – would be the one behind it.

I just LOVE it, LOVE it, LOVE it! Namely cos it turns that whole “Boohoo! I just don’t have any tiiiimmmeeee….” thang right where it should be: on its whingey, sad, defeatist little head.

*Disclaimer: author of this post is talking to herself as much as you.

Indeed, having limited time can be our bestest little buddy in the whole wide world when it comes to getting stuff done. Because:

  • when we do have an opening of time, knowing that this may be a small window at best forces us to quit stuffing around (I mean, does it really matter whether there is such a thing as a Johnny Depp Batman doll on ebay? I mean, really?) and just pull up our socks and get into it;
  • it forces us to get organised (bearing in mind that being ‘organised’ is a continuum, so by this I mean ‘more organised than we might otherwise be if we had limitless time to squander at leisure’)
  • the simple state of being ‘busy’ with things to do, means that we are creating momentum. We are already moving! Okay, sure, that might be movement involving wiping snotty noses, wrangling snotty children or fixing snotty meals – hang on, did I just say that? – but the bottom line is that this ‘business’ can lead to a snowball that you can ride, baby! And anybody who’s ever tried to haul their butt out of a lovely, fluffy, inviting, retro, heart-shaped lounge knows, that starting any movement from zero, just ain’t easy.


Have your to-do list/goals list ready at hand so that when the moment of free time strikes, you are not wasting a moment of it scratching your head, looking heavenward and pondering the secrets of the universe.
Note that I’ve found it works better for me just to have a generic ‘to do’ list to work on as required, rather than a strict time-based schedule. i.e. if I start doing the whole “at 9am I will work on ‘blah blah’ thang”, I start pulling my hair out pretty quickly thanks to the ingenius knack of kids to turn all unpredictable on me. Seriously. I have a bald patch. I don’t like talking about it. Could we please change the subject?


I’m serious. When it comes to squeezing every last drop out of these fleeting moments of peace, you’ve gotta commit to the battle, people!  For instance, in our house, we have those rare – yet treasured – but rare, occasions, when my older kids will arrive home from school while my littlest is still sleeping. It’s around this time that I squeal for joy like a little piggy on steroids. (Silently of course, what are you, crazy? I don’t want to wake the baby!)

I then, in what can only be described as “somebody’s pressed the fast forward button on Jenny’s new show: “So you think you can guarana!”, assemble a line of snacks with a bansheed cry of “I LOVE YOOOOOOUUUUU!!!!!!” as I disappear back into my lair.

Mummy needs "ME" time.

Sure, it’ only buys me an extra 10-15 minutes at best, but in the words of Sarah Connor: “We loved a life time’s worth.”


That is all.


But enough about ME!

No, really?

Yes, really.

What about you?

*Just for the record, if there really is a Johnny Depp Batman doll – on ebay or anywhere else in this cosmos – please contact me. Not that I need it. Ehem…

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  1. June 24, 2010

    Tell me about it. This last week has been like that. It’s all about OK, if I go to the supermarket at 8am, it’s so quiet I’ll save an extra 10 minutes and I’ll buy the kind of breakfast I can eat while running around… I can exercise on my mini stepper while doing the ironing and planning out what I’m writing in my next blog post. If I work flat out all day I’ll get those submissions written which gives me all evening to tidy the house and paint (however, I need to put a background down early to give it chance to dry…)…. I’m sorry, I don’t have time to finish this comment….

    • June 25, 2010

      Oh boy do I feel you there!! I’m sure I’m not the only one who can breastfeed while changing a lightbulb. 🙂

  2. June 25, 2010

    LOL..i love the bit about the toothpaste…so true! Thank you for this great how-to…I am going to try and implement some of them and try and become more of a busy person!

    • June 25, 2010

      Hey Stacie!
      Oh dear, I feel really bad, the last thing I want to do is put pressure on you (or anybody, for that matter!) to be more busy!! All I’m trying to say is that if your time IS limited (I guess I’m specifically referring to having kids, here) that you don’t need to get down about it and feel like it means you can’t still get stuff done. Does that make sense? The LAST thing I want to do on this blog is add pressure, I just want to help explore what’s possible with kidlets!
      Take care of yourself! 🙂

  3. Claire
    June 25, 2010

    We’ve had the Slow Movement – can we start a Slow Cooker Movement? You are the only person I’ve met yet who agrees in their place in the C21st century!

  4. June 25, 2010

    You quoted Sarah Connor – I am impressed! nice!!

  5. June 25, 2010

    The Slow Cooker Movement: I’m right on that bandwagon baby! 🙂

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