Tag Archives: Time out

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


Time Out Moment

Adults have been putting children in time out for decades, hundreds of years when you take the old Dunce chair into account.  Yet, somehow we don’t seem to realize when we should give ourselves a time out.  Everyone could use one now and again, regardless of how measured some people are overall.

The time out is intended to give the child time to get hold of their emotions – of course, particularly for a child, it should include vigorous exercise, not sitting still, to rid the body of that kinetic energy.  (Wherever do we think that energy is going to go?)  But that point is for another time.  We assume that through the various methods applied by our caregivers we have developed the skills needed to keep ourselves under control now as adults.

Too bad we can't have a time out spot like this nearby when we need it.

Too bad we can’t have a time out spot like this nearby when we need it.

But due to uncertainty, lack of sleep, low blood sugar, a chaotic event, illness, fear, want/need, or many other forces we don’t always have the control that we ought over our own responses.  We need to give ourselves a time out moment.  A step back, breathe, assess, consider, reconsider opportunity before we speak or act.

People who are more measured by nature are better able to build this need into their interactions.  Impulsive people, and all of the others in between measured and impulsive will have to practice awareness first – to identify that they are getting to a point where a time out is a good idea.  I have varying success with this recognition myself.  When I need it the most, I don’t seem to have the right access.

When I am just a bit stressed, but still aware I realize that I can rely upon my breathing to give me the best clue.  When it becomes shallow and tight, I stop whatever I am doing.  Then I get moving – this is always a good time for a restroom break – to change my blood flow, plus a change of scenery gives your mind a chance to re-channel thinking – and the physical activity will start to burn some of the psychic energy that is causing the need for a time out moment.  I focus on deeper breathing while moving.

We all have a lot on our mind, our plate – whatever – a time out moment now and then to reflect helps immensely.

© 2013 BAReed Writing | Practical Business, All rights reserved

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