I really enjoy being a part of Spark. As with other Spark Friends, I have learned SO much about many of the facets of learning how to live a healthier life style. Just as important, I have met and friended many wonderful people from all over the country as well as in other countries. I had always hoped to travel extensively and am now realizing that just might not be in the cards; however, my sadness about not getting to travel whenever and wherever I want has been relieved greatly by corresponding with all you who are my Spark Friends.
I have come so far since I joined in October 2009. I have listed or mentioned the improvements in my physical/mental/intellectual/ spiritual in previous blogs and in comments on other Spark Members Spark Pages or Personal Blogs, so I will not list them here again. That is not the purpose of this blog.
As all of you frequently state, "I just feel I can't thank everyone enough for the energy and support sent one's way when one is feeling down." I often feel the same way. How can I repay or return that same energy and support? Well, maybe, there is one way.
All of us are in the same situation of finding enough time in each day to address all the needs and wants in daily living which includes living a healthier life style. Why are we involved with Spark if not for living a healthier life style. That can mean so many different things to so many different people. Regardless of the differences. ("Long live differences!") None of us have MORE time than the other person and we all are challenged to organize our planned tasks (work, play, relaxation, family, friends, exercise, reading, etc) in a manner we can feel comfortable with at the end of each day. Particularly "sparking". If one is not careful, it can really take up more time than allotted for, we then start to no longer feel enjoyment in sparking; but, "Oh, oh, I haven't done this, or I haven't done that, I didn't make a nutritious meal for my family or myself, oh no, I didn't exercise." It goes on and on.
These are some of the time saving skills I try when I am sparking.
1) Just like exercise, I break it down into smaller segments. (Sometimes I go over my time limit - I am working on that)
2) Just like time allotted for meals, I allot time for sparking
3) Family, work, friends, exercise comes first. Hey, we are talking about real life here. I enjoy, appreciate and admire all my Spark Friends, but daily living is what we ALL have to do.
Handling Time on Web Site
1) Email notifications - I can't read it everyday, but I do save Spark educational information because it is what is made available for educational/informational reading.
2) Notifications of activity feed - I make sure I look at my own ACTIVITY FEED - I can see right there if a someone has said she/he liked something and if there is a comment.
3) Friend Feed - I look at that to get a general idea of what is happening. I USED to try to respond to EVERYTHING until I found my Spark Identity. I simply can't do it anymore, the Feed is so long that I only go in about 4 or 5 pages leaving "likes and comments" as I go a long. I just find it impossible. I do figure I will get to leave something for all my friends at least every other day. I would rather do this then do nothing or say I have to drop out - I don't want to do that.
4) I can no longer leave comments on everybody's Spark Page or everybody's Blogs. So I try to touch base on 8-10 friends pages or blogs and rotate throughout the week. Sometimes I touch base with someone who has said, "Ulp, Help,...you know...." on their status.
5) I create in-box folders for Spark emails and other incoming emails have their categories as well. I eventually delete 'notification' emails and save informational emails.
These are the basic steps I use in order to maintain my partnership with Spark and the Real World around me. Not that you people are not "real", but you can't fire me, or yell at me, or cry, or...you know what I mean. LOL.
I am sure many of you have worked out your own methods of balancing all your life needs and wants, I would love to hear what is working for other people.
I know I simply enjoy my Spark Friends so much. I love to hear what you all have to say, everyone's style of writing,...I think I said how I feel earlier in my blog.
I hope my thoughts get some of you to thinking about how to manage your time. I hate to lose friends because of time management - there is always room for improvement.
Warmest Regards, Rusty