Thursday, 18 July 2013

Getting Time to Grow

Today's post  is about cultivating a little bit more of  one of the most precious commodities that we have. Yes, I know that we only have a finite 86,400 seconds  per day and  not one more or less can be added into the sum.  But, if I say so myself, I'm pretty good at packing a  lot into each and every day even though I'm a full-time working single mum.  How I make time for the stuff that has meaning  is by ruthlessly cutting back on the stuff that I view as superfluous.  That list may vary from individual to individual but here's my list of those time wasting activities that I try and keep in check.

  • Preening: Marian Bartoli is my new heroine. There are greater goals than physical beauty although seemingly John Inverdale thinks its more appropriate for a tennis player to focus on her looks rather than winning enough matches to secure a Wimbledon victory. I'm clean,neat and tidy but don't obsess over my appearance.
  • Cleaning:  There's a balance to be had between squalid and pristine which I think I've achieved. Perhaps others should err on the side of slovenly if you don't, like me, have  a small house.  
  • Travelling: I'm not advocating a reduction in those enriching journeys of discover but rather cutting back on the more soul destroying type. Cutting tedious commutes and trips to places where a similar experience can be had much closer to home are both on my radar.  I shop online as much as possible to save fuel and time .  Car journey have more than one purpose if at all possible.
  • Cooking:  I love it but don't want to spend hours every day in the kitchen. Chilled and frozen leftovers feature heavily in my regime so I'm not a slave to the hot stove.
  • Screen Time:   Cut down on TV, phone and laptop use.  Voila! Time for more meaningful stuff.  If I had my way the telly might possibly be hoiked out of the house altogether.  Alas,  goggle-eyed Louis won't allow it.
  • Sleeping:   For some strange reason my need for massive amounts of shut-eye time has diminished and I now have an extra couple of hours a day to do exactly what I want.  Yay!  I didn't make any special effort to do this.  It just happened.   Here's an article that makes a few suggestions for reducing sleep hours if you think that you spend too much time in the Land of Nod. 
  • Meetings:  Yuk!  Avoid! Avoid!  Okay they can't always be shirked but see if you can get other attendees to agree to an agenda and a timescale. Make sure that something concrete comes out of those roundtable discussions as well.
  • Queuing:  Inevitable sometimes but picking ones time and online booking can help.
  • Waiting:  Similar to the point above and sometimes inescapable.  I carry something with me to do to cut down on empty time.
  • Shopping as an activity in its own right:  Aimlessly wandering around shops and acquiring possessions does not make for a fulfilling life.  Go purposefully and get it over with!

1 comment:

  1. I think this is a great post. All we have is ourselves and the same 24 hours each (plus a few seconds, the boffins would say). What we do with that 24 hours is largely up to us. Sure, we have to work, but after that I think we can all be a bit more flexible than we might imagine. And keep work in it's place. I do 148 flexible hours a month. And that's it! No staying later or taking work home. I just make the most of my working hours and then head home to live my life. My boss would love me to work more hours for no more money, but my life is worth more to me, especially as I get older.
    So, my big tips: keep work in it's place, and don't spend your lunchtime wandering round the shops. Eat lunch and relax whenever possible.
    Just at the moment I have the opposite problem - time on my hands but I am restricted in what I do. I have a foot injury and am non-weight bearing for one week, possibly two! I am going a bit mad. I am reading, commenting on blogs, watching the Tour de France on tv. I am confined to my lounge - help!! Any moral support welcome. Please!! Talk to me! I will text a friend later but I'm a bit wary about crashing into time that she would prefer to spend with her other half. Hope a text isn't as intrusive as a phone call. Hope to hear from you. On my blog if you prefer: