Tag Archives: Time management

Weekend Hours

Why, oh why do the hours of our weekends seem to dissolve so quickly into the past, depositing us once again on the cusp of Monday with so little to show for the weekend just ending?  There are the regular tasks – provisioning the household takes constant effort it seems – and the periodic tasks with a bit of time allowed for leisure of some sort.

 

If I were to list all of the things that I have done over the two days I probably would be pleased, I had productive time; why do I feel like it just wasn’t enough?  I have the constant nagging feeling that I am not making the best use of my weekend hours.  Do you?  Have that feeling, or are you better than I at making the best use of these two days?

Public clocks to keep us on track.  (photo credit: Big Ben from Wikimedia Commons)

Public clocks to keep us on track. (photo credit: Big Ben from Wikimedia Commons)

 

It wasn’t that long ago that the work week norm was considered to be 6 days with one day set aside for rest.  How did they get to everything?  How did they ever get the mental down time to recharge?  And these days there are plenty of people who juggle 2 or more part time jobs to make ends meet – I imagine their time off is measured in hours and not days.  With sleep claiming a good chunk.

 

Childhood weekends were filled with large boring chunks of time when the default activity became TV, with only a handful of channels to choose from to find something of interest.  (If you weren’t one for sports, it was slim pickings.)  I lived in suburbia which meant if I hadn’t planned my reading properly, I couldn’t get myself to the library for a refill on new books.  Chores were handed out and easily completed unless we balked for some childish reason or another.  A trip to the store with mom could be an interesting diversion or torture.  One store had baskets set up in a way that one of us could ride underneath and the world became curious from that perspective – but it wasn’t always my turn to ride.

 

Now weekends seem to often be an endless round of moving undone to-do items from an old scribbled on list to a fresh list, with the hope that the item won’t have to be moved onto future lists too.  Sometimes, but not often enough, I am good at planning in a little fun experience or two.  This puts a squeeze on my necessary tasks, but is usually worth it from a mental energy perspective.

 

Well, it’s Monday again with one weekend behind and another looming in the near distance.  Time to think work week thoughts.

 

© 2014 BAReed Writing | Practical Business, All rights reserved

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The Unintended Time Commitment

Do you know how long it takes you to do all the little things that you do through the course of a regular day?  I think that most of us would probably be surprised at the time that can accumulate when we do incidental tasks.  And the time that we spend on nothing activities while busy feeling harried and like we have no time to ourselves.

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Back in my childhood my mom would have a habit of asking my dad to stop at the store – just for a minute – when we would be on our way home from a family activity.  Groan.  Mom would ‘run in’ and we would be trapped in the car waiting.  If she ever really did come out with just the one thing that she originally went in for, I can’t recall.  What I do remember would be the agonizing moment when she would come out with 2 or 3 bags of other things she realized we could use.  She saw it as time saving, while we lost ages from our lives that we could never recover.

 

The TV is an old standby for unintended time commitments, and it has been joined by the internet.  We never have to be alone with our own thoughts now, thanks to smart phones – but this also means that we might not ever be present in the moment with the person across from us at the table.  But I digress.

 

I got the idea for this post when I had a run of mornings recently that the time on the car’s clock surprised me.  I have a set time that I want to leave the bedroom, I thought I had hit that time but then somehow lost minutes between the bedroom and pulling the car out of the garage.  What the??  In my thinking I left the bedroom, picked up my purse, put on my coat and went to the garage – about a minute of time.  But, no, I was picking up and putting away things, looking for other things – eating bits of time here and there that I didn’t mean to do.

 

Famous words, “I’m just going to… before I do…”; suddenly that unintended time commitment, which was going to be a momentary distraction or a little filler, is something much larger.  And dangerous.

 

© 2014 BAReed Writing | Practical Business, All rights reserved

Busy Season, Busy Reasons

Being busy seems to be a badge of honor on a regular day, but these last weeks of the year ratchet up the busy with all the holiday expectations.  Chasing some ideal of getting it all done and making it perfect seems to make many people hate this season.  I do get that crazy hope of achieving a blank to-do list.  But there is a heavy Sisyphean aspect to this hope, and I really don’t want to hate this season.

 

I want to enjoy the glitter of the lights as I drive down a cold, dark street and feel pleased that so many people want to decorate their homes for me and the other passersby.  The days may be shorter but festive lights offer a smile inducing alternative.

 

I want to take pleasure in the selection of gifts for the people on my list.  (Luckily I have a fairly short list.)  If I start early enough, then I can take the time to think about the person that I am shopping for, remember good moments, and hopefully pick out a gift that will be meaningful to them.

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I want to savor the aromas when I bake breads or cookies to share.  Many of the recipes that I use have been passed down and have become tradition.  The recipe cards are written in handwriting of family members no longer with us, reminding me of past kitchen moments.

 

Yes, all of our regular tasks and obligations press in, and holiday expectations pile on top not temporarily take the place of the everyday.  But it is only here briefly this time and we shouldn’t be so intent on making the season perfect for someone else that we miss out on the wonder for ourselves.

 

Hear the words of those carols playing in the stores, let them transport you to childhood wonder and delight.  Just for a minute.  Joy to the world and God bless us, everyone.

 

© 2013 BAReed Writing | Practical Business, All rights reserved

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