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View From The Marina: Taking On The To-Do List (BLOG)

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Like many people in this fast-paced world, it seems that I always have too much to do and not enough time to do it. I've been looking for ways to save time so I searched "save time" on the Internet. It was a big waste of, well, time.

Oh, there are a zillion links that tell us why we need to keep a to-do list and how to rank our tasks. Heck, I keep a to-do list. The problem is that it's longer at the end of the day than it was at the start. Then I add another “to-do” list and so it goes.

For years my Dad would tell me, "Barb, Time marches on. Take time to smell the roses."

I tried. Dad passed away some years ago, but I still hear his words in my head. Alas, I'm still working on the smell-the-roses dictum.

Part of my problem is that I love my work managing our charter fleet, boating school and yacht brokerage in Cape Coral, Florida. I also love working around the house, even pulling weeds or dust-sweeping up those ubiquitous dog and cat hairs.

After more than 30 years in business and marriage and I still haven’t gotten to the bottom of that nagging to-do list.

I wag my finger and preach to people to make time to go cruising. But, I confess to you, brothers and sisters that I have failed to live by the gospel of relaxation myself. I confess that my work ethic alter ego has sometimes planted a not-kindly thought in my mind: How come they get to go on a cruise and I have to work?

Mea Culpa.

I know, what I have to do is learn from my customers. They know how to manage their time rather than the other way around. They learned how to reward themselves for jobs well done rather than weigh themselves down with blame for jobs undone.

Dad was right. Time marches on. It can't give us more of itself. It flows regularly and inescapably forward. There is no turning back the clock or the calendar. Time and tide wait for no man. Nor this woman.

So I am hereby making some mid-course corrections.

One is I am going to let my to-do list get longer and from now on, in my mind, longer is better. I'll sleep at night knowing that it's all written down.

Another correction is rather than blame myself for jobs not done; I'll congratulate myself for doing important jobs well.

And the last is that I will now add fun things to the list just to, you know, smell the roses. Thanks, Dad.

Barb Hansen manages Southwest Florida Yachts, yacht charters, and Florida Sailing & Cruising School. Email, phone 1-800-262-7939 or visit