I don’t know if I’m the only one who does this – or there is a certain breed of personalities that get caught in the trap of over committing their time?
I have to admit I am a shocker! From the simplest thing like getting ready to go to town. I could decide I’d like to leave the house by 8:30am – the few things I need to do to “be” ready –doesn’t actually take that much time. I can be up at 6am and still be late!
I get caught in the other menial tasks I set myself which I think should be done before I go. Tidy the kitchen, put some washing on, wipe the fridge out (nothing at all that contributes to me actually getting to town and all stuff that can wait until later when I have no other commitments) but still, I scurrage around until 8.25am then in that last 5 minutes try to get dressed, get the kids dressed, change nappies, pack lunches/drink bottles, handbag, list, phone, toys whatever and then try to juggle all these things out the door to the car!
Getting frustrated, tense and anxious in the meantime; it’s not a very nice last 5 minutes! Finally (being approx half an hour behind schedule) I’m in the car and on my way –cursing myself at being so hopelessly dis-organised ALL the time (you probably think I’m crazy!). This is a habit my husband can’t stand and reminds me of all the time. So as much as I think I’m trying to be better at it, reality is, I keep repeating the same old patterns – over committing my time. Now in attempt to impress my husband (after 7 years of marriage!), I’ve decided to take a good hard look at when and why I do this and how I can enduringly improve.
A little investigation led me to realise that it’s an adrenaline addiction. If I’m not flat-out busy, I don’t feel worthy. In other words being early or sitting around with time to spare is never an option for me. If things are running smoothly, I rough it up. If something is simple, I complicate it. Sounds a bit crazy I know. This is me!
So with other commitments –like work and family, I seem to carry over these same traits. Filling up every second of every minute of every hour and sometimes resulting in getting NOTHING done and EVERYTHING half started and being physically and mentally drained.
I tend to do a whole lot of nothing, then I try to multi-task a whole lot of everything at once which is very rarely successful!
Ok, so I take a look at my schedule – I’m not THAT busy. How does the day get away so wasted?
For some reason I decide all these things that need to be done- then expect that they should all be done at ONCE and everything should be perfect and whatever else pops up can go away or wait or tag along at the bottom of my list. I am a list person. I always jot down what I need to get in town, what I need to do today, what needs to be done around the house, things I’d like to buy, places we can go, people we can see, things we can do. I feel the need to write all these things down. Then the “list” gets lost/buried somewhere and I carry on creating more lists. Not knowing where to start or how I will ever finish everything on the list. Still sounding a bit crazy I know. This is me!
Back in the days of growing up, I remember we used to get bored. In general, people had time to spare. Time to waste. Time to be creative, use our imagination. Time to reflect on memories with family and friends. Now we all have a diary. We schedule in meetings. We constantly play phone tag or email ping-pong or text relays. Everyone is sooooo busy. Have we overcommitted because of the “want it all NOW” society we are becoming? I don’t really know. I’ll never know all the answers to my questions but I feel it is very imperative that we ask ourselves “does it really matter?” Is what you are doing right now contributing in some way to the quality of your life? Is there something else you could be doing? I know I quite often have to remind myself to focus on the task at hand. With so much else floating around in my mind, my attention is often distracted to the next task or another list. I have to bring myself back to the moment. Be where I am right now. Get on with the job and steadily move onto the next thing. I’ve learnt multi-tasking doesn’t work.
If you’re going to commit your time to a task COMMIT TO IT wholly. It’s the only way.