The Timekeeper’s Daughter

Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it? A novel perhaps about the offspring of an old clockmaker? Nah, too boring. Hm, maybe something about the keeper of a time capsule which held doomsday information. Nah, too predictable. How about the daughter of a man who used to be an efficiency expert for a living? That sounds just right!

I would be that timekeeper’s daughter. I was surprised to learn that years ago, my dad did just this for a living. He worked in a machine shop and his job was to measure and record how long it took to do all the different parts of fabrication. My guess is the information was used for quoting jobs as well as measuring employee’s performance. The goal was increased efficiency.

So I’ve started timing myself occasionally as I do a task. I can literally work myself into a frenzy when I’m having company or have a lot going on. Mind you, I didn’t say actually work. I’m not talking about actually doing the task. Just thinking about it. In recent years, I’ve learned that stuff will get done. It always gets done. But it makes sense to me to know how much time I need to actually do certain tasks. Perhaps I should tackle the cleaning first when I’m having people over, but that never happens; I’m all about the food first. Knowing I can “company” clean the bathroom, kitchen (including floors) and livingroom in about an hour and a half takes some pressure off.

I’m admittedly not a good time manager. I can easily fret an hour away and then panic about what I didn’t do. But being conscious about the minutes that make up those hours, and knowing how long it takes to do certain things really helps. Who knows, maybe someday I’ll hang out a shingle – “efficiency expert”!


3 thoughts on “The Timekeeper’s Daughter

  1. So could I grill you with questions about how long it takes to do stuff? Like, how long to unload the dishwasher? How long to mow the lawn? How long to clean a closet?!

  2. Oh, I absolutely hear you! I spend more time worrying about a task, or “mentally preparing” for a task or thinking about a task than actually doing it. If I could just do the job and move on, I bet I’d be amazed at how fast I can be. 🙂

    Also, very cool to learn that about your dad!

  3. I totally agree. Nothing like company coming over to motivate me; maybe I should have company over more often. Or not.

    Thanks for the link to your MLE post; she could pack a lot to think about into a little bit of space, couldn’t she?

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