I meant to write this post a couple weeks ago, but time got in the way. At least that’s how we’re conditioned to look at it — when we don’t get to things or do things, it’s a matter of time.
“I don’t have the time,” has become our mantra…and our prayer is, “What I wouldn’t give for another hour or two in this day…”
I meant to post and discuss these links:
- From The Atlantic — Why Only Yuppies Feel Busy: An Economic Theory.
- From The New York Times Opinionator blog — The “Busy” Trap.
- I was going to talk about this wonderful Louis C.K. interview in which he talks about shutting down parts of his brain in an effort to stay focused and get things done.
There were other things I planned to share and discuss, but I never got around to it because, “I didn’t have the time.”
The funny thing? I did have the time.
I just chose to do other things with it…
“Busy” vs. Busy
I’ve worked with people who aren’t the most productive people at work — people who choose to spend their time at day jobs gossiping, paying their bills, and making sure to respond to Facebook updates immediately. They are the people who find it strange that I have no push notifications set on my iPhone and that most times you send me a text message, it goes hours without being answered. They talk about all the TV shows they watch, and they boast about the overtime they work. (They usually have to work overtime because they spend a good part of their days not actually working.) Every aspect of their lives is “busy” with an all caps “WHEW!”
I’m friends with some genuinely busy people. There’s a very good friend whose job, church, and two young daughters keep him busy…yet if I called him and said, “Wanna play tennis sometime this week?” the answer would be “Yes, of course!” I’m friends with entrepreneurs in start-up mode and videographers running all over the place who still find time for their hobbies and seeing friends. I have friends who are always traveling and rushing about who still slow down for the things that matter most to them.
Mean Ol’ Father Time!
Time is not a bully. It’s up to us to decide what to do with it. Sure, there are some people who truly don’t have time — but most of us do. If we watch more than an hour of TV a day, stay connected to social media, argue about politics on Facebook, play Words with Friends, or know more about the day’s gossip at work than the tasks we’re paid to do…we have time!
Very rarely do I not have time, despite how busy I may claim to be. Most times I claim to be too busy to do things, it’s my own fault for not managing my time better or because I chose to do other things.
So it’s really not a question of having time — more a question of what you’re doing with the time you have? Answer that and your world just might change for the better.
Cynthia Griffith says
I admit that, although I do have a few issues with time (especially random things popping up that make me realize I should put it off until tomorrow), the past week or so I’ve just not been working. Yeah, I wish I had a dedicated sewing room because hauling things out that I need (sometimes it feels like everything) is a real pain and does suck up a lot of time, especially when you have a spontaneous schedule and insist on having everything put away when you’re finished…. but I’ve just not been doing as much as I should. Because I’m a little frustrated with a sewing project. I’m still new, I don’t exactly drape by the rules, and I’m having to guess how this particular garment goes together. I don’t like wasting fabric, even if it was sitting in my stash, and I have a guilty feeling of knowing I should be working on other projects instead.
So I definitely end up not working on things because I just don’t for various reasons. It nags at me, but I’ve also learned (from past and present experience) that sometimes pushing yourself to do it before you’re ready isn’t always a good idea. Of course, I wish it were as easy to edit and fix things with sewing as it was with writing, because then I might be more likely to use my time more wisely!
But wow, when things are clicking and your confidence is high, it does sometimes feel like you don’t have enough time…. “what do you mean I have to stop so I can eat/run errands/go to sleep?” I kind of miss the days when I felt better (darn fibro) and could stay up until 3 am sewing, simply to see how much more I could get finished. 😀
Christopher Gronlund says
Cynthia: Yeah, there are definitely those times when time seems to fly by. You get in a groove, you get a lot done, but when you look up…the clock seems to have raced round and around.
Most times I feel like there’s no time, I can trace it back to myself. I let something slide, or I took on too much. I let things pile up. But when I do all I’m supposed to do — or better yet, say NO! to a fair amount of things that come my way — time is there.
It’s the start of a new work week, and I could look at what I didn’t get done. Or…I could look back and see that I have a draft of a novella ready for beta readers and that I added most comments from a beta reader to something much bigger than the novella. And…I got to hang out with ya! 😉
I definitely would have loved another day this weekend, but time was spent wisely, and I don’t dread a new week one bit!