Yesterday I had 2 appointments after a full workday. Following my own Joumor rules, I scheduled what felt like an absurd amount of time between them, which gave me 1.5 hours to get from 14th St./5th Ave to 52nd St./8th Ave. Any New Yorker knows this can be accomplished in less than a half hour with the trusty MTA (public transportation). However, in Joumor’s Rules for Time Management, not only do we multiply the estimated travel time, we also add time to accomplish things later in the day when our brains are slower from decision fatigue (tired from making thousands of decisions throughout the day).
6.35pm: I leave my appointment, get in the elevator to go one flight down, realize the elevator isn’t moving, and the door won’t open.
6.36pm: I immediately sit on the floor, which you do to prevent dangerous impact in case the elevator free falls, and also it’s comforting.
6.37pm: I press the call button, they say a technician is on his way, and hang up.
6.38pm: I text my friends, who immediately start joking with me and making me giggle.
6.52pm: I press the call button again, they again say a technician is on his way, won’t say how long it will take, and hang up.
7.01pm: I apply lipstick and put on earrings.
7.02pm: I call 311, as suggested by the sign posted. Though I don’t want to make a big deal, they transfer me to 911, (“Ma’am, you’re stuck in an elevator. That’s an emergency”) who transfers me to the fire department.
7.12pm: Fire department arrives, cuts power, clanks about.
7.17pm: The firemen set me free.
7.48pm: I arrive 12 minutes early for my next appointment.
Throughout this process I recognized my inclination to get stressed, particularly because I had an upcoming appointment. Each time I realized I still had plenty of time to get there, I calmed down. Luckily, allotting 3 times the amount of time necessary meant I could get stuck in an elevator, get rescued, and STILL be early for my next appointment!
Joumor is about setting yourself up to win. Many of our stressed and aggressive behaviors come from not giving ourselves enough time to complete our tasks, and taking out our frustration on others. Create space and time in your schedule- if the task or appointment feels tight or stressful, remove it, or give yourself more time to get there. Be kind to yourself in your scheduling, and you will set yourself up to be kind to others, no matter what happens.