The importance of taking time to appreciate time – and why filling every moment is counterproductive.

My last Saturday morning went like this:

I am very good at scheduling everything I need to do, and quite hopeless at giving myself any time to move from one task to the next, and even less helpful – allow for the fact that things will and do run late. The outcome is that I’m tired and grumpy! My last two weekends ‘to-do’ list read more like a military campaign than an ‘easy Sunday morning’ as the song goes.

My last Saturday morning went like this

  • Up at 7 am (What was I thinking?)
  • Sending a couple of patient emails I just didn’t get to on Friday, I’m cross with myself as I do this scrolling through the news in between writing.
  • A quick cuddle with my partner.
  • Walking the dog – is usually one of the most joyful things in the world. It’s my time to meditate, and feel gratitude for where I live as I meander by the river. This Saturday is time-limited though – sorry Zara I know you want at least four more ball throws.
  • Go home, managing a quick protein drink so I can dash to the gym, do my workout, get back home, quick shower, and jump in the car to drive three hours to the Midlands (inevitable delays so it took closer to four).

Reflecting on procrastinating

It wasn’t a lazy Sunday morning either. Not helped by the fact that between my dog walk and the gym I sat in front of my laptop scrolling for a further 20 minutes (not a great use of my time) and getting frustrated because I felt out of control.

Procrastinating? Not quite. I think it’s the rabbit in the headlights feeling of trying to cram in too much, trying to please everyone else, whilst also finding time to exercise, eat – look after myself. Ringing any bells? After being grumpy and promising myself I wouldn’t do this again (until last Saturday), I reflected on why I, and many of the amazing women I work with – do this.

I realise that I do not have any ‘in-between time’

And it’s no longer working very well for me. I used to pride myself on my multi-tasking.

Now I am craving peace, and to do one thing at a time. I’ve been cramming in too much, and adding a dab of self-sabotage for good measure – ‘watching’ TV on the side, scrolling through social media, fooling myself that it’s more relaxing to work this way. I’m keeping busy but my focus is poor and I feel distracted.

My plan of action for the next 4 weeks:

  • Not filling every moment.
  • Leaving a gap between tasks, even joyful ones. This is a challenge in a work environment, but completely doable in my time if I choose to.
  • Putting a time limit on tasks.
  • ‘Blocking’ my tasks together and then allowing 15 minutes to pause
  • Reminding myself that I don’t have to be busy all of the time.

Stop streaming TV whilst completing weekend tasks – that way I finish earlier and can sit and have a quality half hour with a cup of tea and TV later if I feel like it.