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Managing multitasks by not multitasking

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photo from Flickr by AshtonPal
A friend asked, "Ion, how do you manage your time? You have a stressful daytime job, you have 5 blogs, you are freelancing, you have a lot of communities, church, you attend events and trainings, and you are schooling? And, you have a family with a very cute little baby. How do you get all these things done?"

I replied, "I don't have problems finishing them, challenge is how to get started. I make sure the family with a very cute little baby is always on top of the list, time-wise. Then it makes it easy to get other things started. And oh, I don't do these at the same time huh. I break the tasks into smaller chunks and I work on them SLOWLY yet STEADILY. Don't ask me about the daytime job though :-) "

A lesson from the hare and the tortoise story, I'd rather work slow yet consistent, than fast but discreet. Working slowly and steadily promises better results than trying to do things in a rush.

My typical day (and night):
  1. I get up between 4-4:30am. Every waking-up in the morning starts with a prayer, thankful for another day, for God's blessings, and another opportunity to live. This establishes my strength for the tough day ahead.
    • Yes, I get up too early. I don't want to rush in the morning. I want to prepare my things properly, have a big, decent breakfast and at times read some inspirations for the day.
    • Many times, I do my blogs in the morning as well, when the mind is fresh and free from stress.
  2. I leave home at 6am, reaches office at 7 / 7:30
  3. Stretched out at work til 4pm
  4. I reach home by 5pm.
    • Before reaching home, I make sure that my bag doesn't bring all the stress and pressures from work. What happens in the office, remains in the office. It has become easier now that the mom and the baby welcomes me with cheers.
  5. From 5, I spend time with the wife and the baby until about 9pm (sleeping time). Playing, watching Disney, playing and playing and playing. I also does some meaningful conversations with the wife, almost every time.
  6. When they're asleep, I get up around 10pm to do my other stuffs. Only from 10? Yes indeed, because when I start, I don't want a momentum breaker. 
  7. I sleep around 12 - 1230am.
My typical weekends:
  1. Our weekend starts Thursday nights with a household prayer gathering with my Couples for Christ group - a great way to launch the weekend in fact.
  2. Fridays (daytime) are exclusive for my family and household.  We either stay at home or go somewhere. At home, we switch looking out for the baby and doing the house chores.
  3. At times, lately, I get to play basketball in the morning with my CFC brothers - to keep up and try to stay fit.
  4. Then I start doing my other stuffs at night until Saturday.
Notice how I address it: My family and my OTHER STUFFS.

It's not easy at the beginning to keep up with my kind of day. But since I got the pace, it's rhythmic. Lovely! Having too much of things on my plate is a good problem I'd always take. As my friend, Emsie says, it's a blessing to be busy. I love life!

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We don't respect security guards... and that's the problem

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Problem with the society today is we don't respect authorities anymore - police officers, traffic enforcers  and even the security guards.

The job of security guards can be said as "thankless" yet their responsibilities are serious, and they are among the underpaid ones.  They are often taken for granted until only something significant happens. Especially in the Philippines, security guards at the malls and at the metro rail stations are known mainly for searching our bags for some 'unidentified' objects.  But we are forgetting, in times of emergencies, they are one of the firsts to respond. Guards also have the power to arrest suspects, detain them until police comes.

But they get no respect.

One of my favorite Filipino authors of recent, Alex Lacson, said in his book 12 Little Things Every Filipino Can Do to Help Our Country, "Respect your traffic officer, policeman, soldier and other public servants."

Respect is a mark of most profound education. Respect is intellectual. Respect is more than just being kind to the person. Respect gives a positive feeling of regard.  It empowers and makes the recipient proud. It gives honor to them and to the work they do.

If you are educated, you don't just berate security officers, regardless of who started the fire.

One Guarded Moment

While I meant respect, I'm also aware that some of them commits mistake and at times doing their jobs wrong - just like any of us as well.

Back in high school, I was accused of shoplifting by a security guard - and he humiliated me publicly at the center of SM Southmall.

I went to National Bookstore to look for a song book. I was carrying my guitar. I tried to leave it at the baggage deposit counter but the attendant asked me to just take it with me inside the store because it's too bulky for the baggage racks.

I spent some time looking for the right song book but I found none. I decided to leave National Bookstore and look somewhere else. As I walked past about 2 minutes, a security guard of National Bookstore approached me, asking me where I hid and kept the songbook I "stole" from the store.

What a freak! And he's speaking in a high voice. He grab my guitar, sneak into the hole and shook it because he suspected that I put the songbook inside. People are looking at us. Imagine the humiliation? The mall security guard inspecting your guitar and your pockets in the middle of the crowd...

Foul! I said why the hell he suspected me, and he religiously followed me until I reach Storyland. Apparently, he was keenly watching me from the time I entered National Bookstore til I left. Of all people, suspecting me? National B.S.

He asked me to go back to National Bookstore to discuss his accusation further with the management. He kept on shaking my guitar and my waist for a suspected stolen songbook. Before we reach, he was convinced that no songbook was stolen. He just left and let me go.

I was upset. I did no Amalayer. I was just an innocent 15 that time.

I told my parents about it (who's also at the mall). We checked on the guard at National Bookstore and call the management. My dad confronted them civilly, saying what the guard did was totally wrong and unacceptable at all. All the management and the guard said... Amasorry.

This and other minor incidents with security guards contribute to how I regard them.  But just like us, they also commit mistakes. But that doesn't mean we have to be rude at them too. What's the point? As what writer Eric Hoffer said, "rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength."

And I say, no rude man lessen stupidity, no matter how wrong or right he is.

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