time together is always well spent.
A few weeks ago we “fell back” to standard time and, we all joked, gained an hour.
In my pre-marriage/pre-child days I seized this gift of time to focus on changes I wanted to make in my life.
What would I really do if I had an extra hour each day?
Would I use that time to sleep? Read? Marathon TV-watch? Volunteer?
I’d challenge myself with the question of how I’d change my world or the world around me if I possessed those sixty extra minutes.
The past decade or so I’ve stopped asking myself that question.
We’re all busy.
Shedding the badge of busy is something we
blog chat about all the time now.
The thing is, it seems many of us struggle with giving only lip service to making a change.
I don’t know I’m doing much better than anyone else, either.
While appropriating the phrase it’s just not a priority right now has, indeed, changed my life—I fear I’ve grown too obsessed with the notion of time.
Is there enough time? Am I spending my time wisely? Have I been lulled into a false sense of thinking there is time?
I’ve beaten to death the notion of time with the Child as well.
I find frequent need to point out to her how *time* is the most precious thing we have to give.
Waste money? I may not be a fan of doing it, but if you don’t fear hard work you can, conceivably, make more.
Waste time? It’s gone. Forever. It’s finite and fleeting.
apology from an 8 year old for wasting my time.
The Sunday morning after the time change I stumbled upon a quote shared by a Facebook friend:
It’s not about having time it’s about MAKING time.
I knew what the quote alluded to (prioritizing) yet the choice of the word MAKING struck me as odd.
It was enough to drive me into a panic of sorts (coupled with the fact my Child still woke at the crack of dawn and I’ve given up coffee).
And so I made a list.
4 reminders, although I cannot make time, I can make the most of the time I have.
1. I can treasure time
This is something I think I do well. This is something I never want to stop working and focusing on. I appreciate a 15 minute skype with a friend as much as I adore an entire unplanned day with my daughter. I strive to never waste gaps of time through indecision. I allow myself to “waste” time frequently by choice.
2. I can practice structured procrastination…and regular.
I often joke to friends it’s OK if I don’t finish something today because I’m not responsible for transplanting tiny hearts into babies. My work is important to me. My work is not that of saving lives. I find structured procrastination helps me finish my to-do list in record time. I find full-on procrastination (alone or with friends) is often precisely what I need.
3. I can draw work-boundaries in Sharpie.
I once spoke to the Romance Writers of America about time management strategies. I shared how, since I worked and played in the same place, I signaled to myself/family which mode I was in (I used bandannas. Wearing one color symbolized to brain/family I was in work-mode. Another indicated work was DONE!). A decade later I’ve only gotten worse at boundary drawing (hello social media?). I need to return to creating more defined work-boundaries or consider changing what I do for work.
4. I can spend time looking inward.
Lots of busyness is born from fear. We work, check Facebook, play online games, and interact virtually as a way to distract ourselves from feelings. We’ve become chronic time-wasters, even with the awareness we can’t make more, because we are afraid to be still. We are afraid we might discover who we are and not like it. I think this is one benefit of my struggle with loneliness. Daydream! Don’t always distract.
who am I? what’s important to me?
- If you could make more time how would you choose to spend it?
- Do you “spend” time without consideration to the fact it’s a finite resource?
Coco saysNovember 16, 2015 at 4:17 am
I do know time is a precious resource, but I’m sure I don’t always spend it wisely. I need to remember that “daydreaming” time is important too.
Michele @ paleorunningmomma saysNovember 16, 2015 at 4:39 am
I actually have significant anxiety about the idea of wasting time, and guilt too. The problem for me maybe is there is no “guide” to tell you if you’re wasting your time or not. So, many time I think I waste time worrying about not using my time the way I truly want to!
Angela @ Happy Fit Mama saysNovember 16, 2015 at 5:00 am
As someone who is a procrastinator and always has a thousand browsers open, if I had more time I’d probably do the exact same thing. But like you said, I’m not putting tiny hearts in babies so there’s always tomorrow.
Allie saysNovember 16, 2015 at 5:15 am
A long time ago someone asked me why I can’t just “sit and rock.” Being still is so very hard for me and often feels like I’m wasting time. I’ve since changed my thinking on that and now can sit and “rock,” reflect, look inward. I’m proud to be able to do that, although I should probably do it more often 🙂
Christy@ My Dirt Road Anthem saysNovember 16, 2015 at 5:34 am
My daughter is the kind of person who needs a lot of interaction, I am the kind of person who is happy to sit next to each on the couch reading books. She is so high maintenance and has been since day one. She is a lesson to me every day. She is always and has always been a challenge and in demand for my time. I find if I don’t carve the time out for her to play cards, or make bracelets, or do cartwheels it only gets worse. She can’t stand me reading a book to myself (she is so like her dad in this regard) Love that girl to pieces. If I could make more time it would be for me to read a book before bed. seems I am too tired for that by the time bedtime rolls around anymore
Susie @ SuzLyfe saysNovember 16, 2015 at 5:54 am
I would probably pause time to enjoy the moment rather than make more of it. To savor the moment properly.
Nellie saysNovember 16, 2015 at 6:03 am
Busyness is absolutely created from fear and avoidance. Sometimes I find myself scrolling mindlessly because I don’t want to deal with the job ahead. It’s crazy! I’ve turned off my Facebook notifications and it’s helped a lot. Time is one of those things where we don’t know how much we have but we still have to make the best of it.
Krysten saysNovember 16, 2015 at 6:14 am
3 is so important for me! I work and play in the same space as well, so that can often be s struggle with my erratic schedule!
Maureen saysNovember 16, 2015 at 6:42 am
If I had more time, I would make it a priority to travel. Not always to some far off, exotic place, but just get in the car and drive to a destination. I feel most at peace when exploring this beautiful planet. Right now I am focusing on taking an hour or so every weekend to relax on the back patio with Gary & my dad. It’s a love/hate thing. I love just being with my family, but for someone who thrives on a “go go go” mentality, it takes work to just sit there and relax.
Kristina saysNovember 16, 2015 at 7:04 am
I am a procrastination pro… but not with the really important stuff?
I am thankful for the resource of time, and try to spend most of mine wisely – I continue to be given perspectives that keep me on track with what is important… which sometimes is the little stuff that might look like procrastination?
Leanne@crestingthehill saysNovember 16, 2015 at 7:22 am
time is a very valuable commodity – we take it for granted when we have lots of it to spare, and then it slips through our fingers when we let ourselves get too busy. I hope you find your balance again – it’s something I’ve been working on in my own life.
Pamela Hernandez saysNovember 16, 2015 at 7:48 am
The older I get the more I understand the value of time…and not just mine. I don’t like to waste it but I don’t consider “unproductive” time a waste if it makes me happy. I am willing to pay for some time back too. I just listened to the Oct WYCWYC podcast and laughed out loud when you talked about grocery delivery. I just started doing this and it’s changed my life!
With the time I “create” I get creative with work, I color and I read. 🙂
Paula Kiger (Big Green Pen) saysNovember 16, 2015 at 7:55 am
So much number 4. So much. Well said!
Rena McDaniel saysNovember 16, 2015 at 8:09 am
Great piece Carla. I have a hard time managing my time. Trying to start a new business, take care of mom, and take care of 1-year-old twins. It seems like I could get more accomplished if I managed my time better.
Cathy Chester saysNovember 16, 2015 at 8:09 am
First of all I needed time to scroll past all of your comments, Patty Popularity! 🙂 That means your words mean so much to so many, including me.
I need to make more time to do something that’s outside of myself – to volunteer (or something) for a cause that’s not my own (MS). I also would like to do something like Toastmasters to get over my FEAR of public speaking!
Thanks for the thought-provoking post, Carla. Again.
Sagan saysNovember 16, 2015 at 8:20 am
This past week, since I’ve been getting away from mindless eating, I realized how much time I was wasting… just on the opportunity to snack. I knew I was snacking a fair amount, but I didn’t realize just HOW MUCH until I was forced to look at it all mindfully.
So I’ve been thinking a lot about how I want to spend my time, and I’ve been finding that taking that quiet time for just me, in doing things like coloring, has been how I want to spend my time (probably because I haven’t been able to get my alone time as much lately!). It’s kind of like my own little form of meditation.
It’s also interesting for us bloggers when it comes to things like social media; it’s tricky to balance when we’re wasting time and when we’re using social media as a tool, for example! I find this in my work in blogging and in managing social media for clients. Just something we need to be aware of.
Kelli @ Hungry Hobby saysNovember 16, 2015 at 9:04 am
This is such a great topic! It’s so funny the other night I sat down and wrote a whole guide about organizing yourself to live a healthy life. It’s so funny to me because I think if I could make time, I’d just organize it, file and it and make it useful. I definitely view time as a finite resource and that’s okay with me because it helps me stay on track. If I looked at time as infinite, I think I’d get overwhelmed? Hello Type A! ha ha
Haralee saysNovember 16, 2015 at 9:10 am
You make such an interesting point that I never considered. Is indecision a waste of time? I have very LOW tolerance about indecisions but now I need to rethink and wonder if it is part of the time together and stop being impatient. Thanks Carla, you made a change in me!!!!
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine saysNovember 16, 2015 at 9:26 am
Time and the ticking clock is probably my biggest worry and stressor. Knowing that it ticks away and the next thing needs to be done. I never feel as though I can truly relax.
GiselleR @ Diary of an ExSloth saysNovember 16, 2015 at 9:37 am
I often treat time as an infinite resource and have procrastination down to a fine art. I should probably start working on changing that.
Jody - Fit at 57 saysNovember 16, 2015 at 10:03 am
So much to think about here. The older I get, the more I think about this time thing… I know I am not the best at using it wisely. Great post!
firstname.lastname@example.org saysNovember 16, 2015 at 10:06 am
I think about these things too Carla. To me, there is never enough time. I’m high on life and want to soak up every minute.
Lisa @ RunWiki saysNovember 16, 2015 at 11:08 am
I’ve been struggling with my health and my doctors all said the same thing, “Stress is effecting your physical health.” That was a wake up call. I could see myself dwindling down for several years and the watched myself hanging on by a thread… then the thread broke and that’s what it took for me to change… how pathetic that it took so much suffering to change– jeeze. I got myself together, made myself a priority, created a loose plan and two weeks later I am coming back to myself. It took my body years to decline and only weeks to repair itself. I feel like a ungrateful child… my body is so kind to me. I got a little off track in my thoughts, but what I’m trying to say is that for me, it is clear that I must only do the things that , “set my soul on fire.” You know when your doing something and you forget time all together? That’s what I’m talking about. I know it’s not possible to to this all day long, but it should be a priority over many other time zappers that I find myself being sucked into.
Jessica Hartman saysNovember 16, 2015 at 12:18 pm
I find that daily meditation (5 minutes, cuz who has time for more) –> reflection –> gratitude –> making time –> contentment. Time is a precious commodity, and will pass regardless of what I do with it. So I don’t just ‘prioritize’, I ‘choose’. I choose what I spend time on – and WHO I spend time on – and try really hard not to explain or apologize for those choices. To myself or others.
Jessica Hartman saysNovember 16, 2015 at 12:19 pm
Also, I want to point out – I procrastinate a whole lot! But I CHOOSE to, and am prepared for what that may bring, and am ok with it!
Jason saysNovember 16, 2015 at 1:22 pm
I believe also lose time, could do more with it.
Lisa @ Lisa the Vegetarian saysNovember 16, 2015 at 1:36 pm
It really does seem that we all fill our days with busyness without remembering that time is finite. If I had an extra hour I think I would stop all my “to dos” and just spend the extra time with my loved ones.
crabby mcslacker saysNovember 16, 2015 at 2:30 pm
The hard thing about getting older is the realization of how precious and limited time is. On the other hand, because there are so many more things I want to do than there are hours available, I pretty much never feel like I am “killing” time. As a kid, I can often remember feeling restless and bored. I can remember saying: “There’s nothing to do!” Now that’s a particular kind of angst that I haven’t felt for ages!
Heather Montgomery saysNovember 16, 2015 at 3:01 pm
If I could make time I would put more effort into cleaning my house 🙂
Dr. J saysNovember 16, 2015 at 4:28 pm
I would use the extra time to recover from what I do with the time I now have!
messymimi saysNovember 16, 2015 at 5:35 pm
There are some things i’ve given up spending time on simply because i felt i had better things to do. If i had more time, i might tackle a few projects around here that i’ve not been able to break down into the small chunks i have right now between jobs.
cherie saysNovember 16, 2015 at 6:23 pm
I have just enough time on a daily basis to get done what I want to get done. If I don’t I am happy to accomplish the task on another day. I have to put report writing/parent meetings and lessons for face to face encounters for kids I see for my work. I don’t always enjoy doing this, but I can still juggle my “want tos” with my “have tos” by getting up early and embracing the early mornings and being thankful I was given another day in which to enjoy my work, my work-outs, my hubby, my daughter, my place of living and my kitties.
Shannon @GirlsGotSole saysNovember 16, 2015 at 7:16 pm
I admit, I wonder what I would do if I had a time machine. If I had a delorean that could really “make time” happen or not happen (or happen again). I don’t know…I kind of like non-structure on a regular basis. I like not HAVING to do something at or in a particular period of time. This doesn’t happen often, but at least once a week it’s nice. I think spending more time with those I love would be at the top of my list if I had more time to spend in a given day.
Carolann saysNovember 16, 2015 at 8:01 pm
You ask some great questions here and raise some excellent points. I always get so frustrated that there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to get done all that I want to. I also can’t stand losing that hour in the spring and adore getting it back in the fall. I feel as if it were stolen from me and I have to wait a half year to get it back from the thief lol. That sign is precious …kids have the best way of making time seem infinite.
Lucie saysNovember 16, 2015 at 9:25 pm
If I could make time, I would use it to do more art, or clean the house. Two things that never seem to get done!
I do spend an awful amount of time on social media, and not in a productive way either!
Great post, you are a great thinker, you always come up with though provoking posts!
Deborah saysNovember 16, 2015 at 10:06 pm
My brother and I had ‘words’ about 18yrs ago. I’d just returned from Cambodia and we were talking about a letter I’d written him – about the way he treated our parents.
He hasn’t changed though is a bit better. He still doesn’t do anything for birthdays or Mother’s Day etc… but has been a little more helpful overall.
I’d been upset with him as mum had written to me (while I was in Phnom Penh) about how sad she’d been on Mother’s Day (1997!). I’d send a card a while before (and probably phoned though I was only allowed to call fortnightly from memory cos of the cost). And my brother didn’t call or make contact. She commented that she’d been at work watching families celebrate and shed a tear or two.
At the time my brother told me he just didn’t have time for us. His priorities were his wife and their child and his work. (And all rightly so!)
But what disturbed me was his sense that we didn’t seem to naturally occur to him or something. I know time is finite, but as you say… you ‘make’ it or you ‘take’ it.
Jennifer F saysNovember 17, 2015 at 7:08 am
There is just not enough time. My goal is to not squander it today and listen to my kids better — you know, actually looking at them instead of still focused on the screen and nodding “yup, uh huh” They are way more important than “work”
1010ParkPlace saysNovember 17, 2015 at 9:24 am
“Structured Procrastination!” Love that!
Lisa saysNovember 17, 2015 at 4:32 pm
I definitely fail at this. I am “too busy” and don’t make time for myself or for other people sometimes. I am trying to be better about this and build some flexibility into my schedule so I *CAN* do last minute things, or do something fun or just RELAX when I’m feeling overwhelmed. I need reminders to do this though. 🙁
Tom Harry saysNovember 18, 2015 at 4:07 am
Pragati // Simple Medicine saysNovember 18, 2015 at 7:38 am
If I could make more time, I would ideally spend it on self care. But I think that is easier said than done. When there’s more time, it’s time to do more! Right? It’s so American to think this way. I think the Italians have a much better work/life balance and truly, if I had more time, I would use it to figure out how to develop and nurture that mindset of balance.
Jess @hellotofit saysNovember 18, 2015 at 5:38 pm
My dad used to say, “money is only money”. Although he loathes wasting money, in the grand scheme, we can get it back. Not time though! I’m learning to make the most, like you 🙂 doesn’t always happen, but it’s a process.
Farrah saysNovember 18, 2015 at 7:47 pm
I had to work through the time change, so I had no such gained hour! x_x But I agree–wasting time is so much more detrimental than wasting money (not that I like to do either). Great list and such an important reminder!
Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home saysNovember 18, 2015 at 9:35 pm
How did I miss this post? I drove home from my job tonight, a job that is threatening to burn me out, thinking about this very thing. Time. Is this the way I want to spend the rest of my time on earth? My boys are almost grown. I want more time with them.
Time is indeed a precious resource.
Juliano Fontes saysNovember 20, 2015 at 9:43 pm
I always think like that! but i need to put that in my life… thanks for all the advices!
loved your blog!
Christine @ Love, Life, Surf saysNovember 21, 2015 at 7:38 pm
“We work, check Facebook, play online games, and interact virtually as a way to distract ourselves from feelings. We’ve become chronic time-wasters, even with the awareness we can’t make more, because we are afraid to be still. We are afraid we might discover who we are and not like it.” <– this has been sitting with me and much of what has been on my mind but haven't been able to articulate.
Shirley Corder saysNovember 23, 2015 at 10:45 pm
I’ve spent most of my life “making time” at the cost of other things I “should be doing”. Recently I hit a number of crises in my life and suddenly lost the art of “making time”. Now I waste so much this is my latest priority. FIND a balance. Good to find this blog. Shirley Corder from Write to Inspire – Encouragement and inspiration for writers and readers.