I know it isn’t really much of a secret, but I have something to share. I’m from Louisiana. Big shocker there, I know! And if you don’t know much about the boot state, know that down here, the oil and natural gas industry is life. In fact, my day job I’m always rambling about? I do admin work for a chemical company that gets most of it’s business from the oil and natural gas companies. Needless to say, I know verrrry well just how big the industry is down here.
But what most people don’t realize is that the oil/natural gas industry is much bigger than just oil and natural gas. It’s plastics, synthetic fibers (like polyester and vinyl), asphalt even. Look around you. That TV? Your phone? Your favorite pair of yoga pants? Even your coffee maker?? Yeah – all thanks to the oil and natural gas industry! In fact, this whole outfit I love so much? All made from blended materials!
So you’re probably thinking “ok Cameron, what is your point?” My point is that despite the oil/natural gas industry getting a bad rep, it actually helps us do the things we do every single day and in ways we don’t even think about. Especially when it comes to saving time throughout the day so I can do all the things I enjoy! But how exactly does it do that you ask?
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My Typical Day + How I Make More Time
Each day I wake up around 9am and get a pot of coffee brewing. While my coffee maker is working its magic, I let the dogs out and feed them, then open up my computer to see just how many emails I’ll need to get through and start mentally planning out my day. I make my cup of coffee and start making my to-do list using my calendar and reminder apps on my phone and computer.
Typically, I start catching up on blog group threads and post new links to the new ones, and when I’m done with that I try and get any last-minute blog photos taken. If I don’t have any to take, I really start cracking down on my day job duties. I try to do a solid few hours of work before making lunch, and because Ethan is typically home and watching TV or something, I’ll use my noise-cancelling headphones to help me focus on my work rather than whatever he’s watching. It allows me to focus on my work without having to make him alter his own routine, so it’s a win-win!
Around 11, I’ll take a break for lunch. Because Ethan works at a restaurant and isn’t usually home for dinner, we do a big lunch. I end up cooking lunch for both myself and Ethan, then turn on my Rollibot to start cleaning the floors while we’re eating. With 2 dogs and 3 cats in the house, we have our fair share of dust bunnies and constantly have to clean our floors! Having the Rollibot going while I’m doing something else saves me all that time I would have spent sweeping or vacuuming.
I get back to work right around noon and typically work another solid few hours until 2 or 3 in the afternoon. Then I take another break, make sure my Rollibot is off and charging at its dock (sometimes it gets a little lost!), and make myself a little snack. If I’m cooking a slow-cooker meal for dinner, this is also the time I get everything going. If I’m missing anything I need, I usually run to the grocery store to pick up any last-minute ingredients. I’m generally finished by 4, and at this point I should have everything done on my to-do list, dinner cooking away, and the floors clean, which means I can sit back and relax or get last-minute blog things done!
Pretty boring day though right? But when you think of all the things I used throughout my day, there’s a lot I wouldn’t have been able to easily do without certain products, or would have taken me a lot longer to do! For instance, without my Rollibot, I would have had to spend an extra 30 minutes sweeping the house at the end of the day. Without my headphones, I would either have to make Ethan turn off the TV and change his daily routine, accept I can’t get anything done during normal working hours, or find another place to do my work. Even if you overlook the fact that without my phone and computer I wouldn’t be able to blog in the first place…communicating with my boss from home would pretty much be impossible.
So let’s actually take a closer look at the things that saved me time and are made from oil and natural gas products:
Coffee maker (aka my lifesaver)
Computer + charger
Phone + charger
My clothes + shoes for the day (yoga pants + t-shirt or stretch jeans + t-shirt)
Camera (if used)
Non-stick pans (for lunch)
Slow-cooker and liners (if used)
Printer + various office products (tape, pens, notebook covers, my stapler)
And so many more little things that we don’t think about: food wrappers, plastic grocery bags, plastic cooking utensils, YOUR CAR, plastic cups
What I Do With That Extra Time!
I generally finish by 4, which means I’m technically finishing a whole hour early each day or 5 hours each week! So what do I do with all that extra time? The first thing I do is make another pot of coffee or tea. Lately it’s been tea, so our electric kettle has been getting a lot of use. My recent favorite has been a hot cinnamon tea blend with a splash of apple juice and honey. I SWEAR it tastes just like apple pie!
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While I’m drinking my hot beverage of choice, I edit any blog photos while I catch up on TV using our Amazon Fire Stick. If I’m feeling especially energetic, I’ll grab my yoga mat and free weights and do some at-home workouts while I’m watching TV! And if I don’t have any episodes to watch or photos to edit, I like to get a good face mask session in while I read a book on my kindle. Complete with cat socks. Obviously!
At around 8pm, I like run the dishwasher for easy unloading in the morning, then hop in the shower or take a nice relaxing bath. When I’m out, I’ll get a few of those longer blog threads done, saving the small ones for the following morning. I’ll also make any final edits to blog posts if I have any going up the following day. And that pretty much does it!
So what did I use from the oil/natural gas industry?
Coffee maker or electric kettle
Dishwasher + other appliances
How You Can Make More Time In Your Day
1) Set a schedule + stick to it!
Making a schedule doesn’t do much for you if you don’t actually follow it. So whether you want to write it down or keep track of it on your computer, hold yourself accountable and stick to it!
2) Set daily goals/tasks + prioritize!
Just like with the schedule, you have to hold yourself accountable. Set goals for yourself each day or write down the tasks you need to accomplish. It’s the most satisfying thing to look at your to-do list at the end of the day and see you got everything done! I put my most important stuff at the very top of my list to make sure I get it done asap, but also make sure I don’t do anything too complicated before my coffee kicks in!
3) Multitask Whenever Possible
Set a slow-cooker before you leave for work or have your robot vacuum on a set schedule. Even planning out your day while you’re having your morning coffee is multitasking! So multitask whenever possible to save you some time – a little bit can really add up!
4) Utilize Technology
There are a ton of other things that technology can do to help us get through our day beyond just planning and keeping track of dates. Find what works for you and makes your day easier! A popular option is a productivity timer – Zapier and Be Focused for Mac users – that streamlines your breaks and work periods for you so you don’t have to keep track of it yourself. I personally love my robot vacuum so I don’t have to sweep/dust/mop the floors and my calendar/reminder apps on my phone. But again, find what works for you and can make your day easier!
Now I challenge you to think about the things you use each and every day. Especially about those things that save you a ton of time! How many are either made of or have plastic components? And don’t forget about your favorite clothing items that are made with polyester or nylon! Do you watch TV, paint your nails, listen to vinyl? If so, then you’re using products that are made from the oil and natural gas industry! Did you realize so many products you use wouldn’t exist without oil and natural gas? To learn even more about the industry, check out Look Beyond’s website and see how big of an impact the industry makes in our lives!
So how do you save yourself time each and every day? How do you like to relax?