Gandhi famously said that we all have the same 24 hours in the day.
What he forgot to mention was that we all don’t have the same things to fit into those 24 hours!
As I sit here typing, I’m [really-not-so-blissfully] ignoring the pile of washing and ironing, the dishes in the sink that need to move past the ‘soaking’ cycle and the school notes that I should have already read, completed and returned.
The two-year-old shoulder high pile of magazines that really need to be raped and pillaged for fantastic quick dinner ideas, is sure to fall on my dog … again … soon. And then there’s the clean-up after my daughter’s slumber party that should have been done three days ago – ahhh, closed doors are a joyous thing.
But I’m not alone. There are thousands of us struggling with the same thing – too many things and not enough time to do them.
Do you reminisce about when you did have the time? I sure do.
Can you remember what it felt like to sit alone in a quiet room [yes, even the toilet] and have the time, space and confidence to think? Is there a new career or project you’re dreaming of, or do you just want to find time to jot down your thoughts?
You can do it
I’m NOT about to tell you to set a schedule and stick to it.
Personally I’m sick to death of reading books, articles and posts about juggling, setting goals and fitting things in around your time constraints and everyone else. Getting up one hour earlier is for the birds, let alone staying up an hour later – I’ve got sheep to count.
There are just two important things to remember:
- This is your life too – once and once only [that you’ll know about] – so make sure you’ve lived the width of it as well as the length.
- Time is the one irreplaceable resource in your life. Use it well.
If there’s something that means the most to you, find the time to do it.
It’s time to do *your* stuff – no matter what.
Become a time-thief
Perceptions are often misleading.
Officially I may be a freelance copywriter, but I still struggle to find/make/steal/borrow time to write … even though it’s my living. I’ve found integrating something that stretches me into places I yet want to inhabit in myself – in my case writing – and motherhood, has been tough. I’m not sure I’ll ever win the battle [to my satisfaction].
But I decided not to choose one over the other; I found an alternative.
I became an outlaw – a bandit – and I chose my bootie with care.
From anyone and anywhere I could …
I stole time.
No one was safe
I was ruthless; plundering and stealing time from wherever I could find it.
Once I set out thieving, I was amazed where I stole it from, and how it found me. It was often in the most unexpected places.
I stole time from my BFF, my mother, my friends, my husband – it all added up to extra time for me to feed my spark of madness.
Some willingly made a contribution to my bootie. Others, not so … but they didn’t realise until after it was gone from their time-bank and deposited in mine.
Even my kids weren’t spared.
When I asked my kids to make sure their clothes were ‘right way out’ when they went in the dirty pile, it saved me about 4 seconds per item, times an average of 5 items per day – 20 seconds per day. Seven days a week, that’s 140 seconds a week or 560 seconds a month – 9 minutes per month, times 2 children = 18 minutes extra per month.
I stole back 3.5 hours each year, for me, with just one tiny theft from each child.
Save your friends
Each of us has their own treasure they’re seeking – time to think, cook, read, write, shop, relax, create or be alone. And let’s face it: it’s insanely hard to do it all, especially on your own. We all need help.
Look around. Ask around.
Perhaps there’s another Mum you know who’s trying to find time to do the work that means the most to her. Do you have something – time/space/connections – that could bring her closer to living her dream?
Work out what you’ve got to offer and consider contributing. That way they won’t have to steal and become a ruthless outlaw, like I did. Instead, give them joy.
Give what you can.
Life’s too short not to share your bounty.
What can you share?
How do you find the time you need to do what you love? Have you stolen from your friends and family? Please leave your thoughts in the comments….