The last month for me has been a pretty busy affair, particularly at work. I don’t really talk about work much on here, if at all, but it’s getting a mention here because sometimes home and work overlap. At work I have been trying to use a few those time management techniques to help me through my busiest days. And being busy at work has had a knock-on effect at home. I’ve been pressed for time here as well and I’ve found those same time management techniques spilling over into my home life. The lists, the time-vigilance, the prioritising…..and this is bad!
Five tenets of time management to avoid at home:
1. Make a list
I’ve found myself making lists for things I need to do at home. Do I need to make a list to remind myself to phone my friend, compete a sewing project or book our holiday? I’m taking this as a sign that all is not well. Spending time with a friend, going on holiday and sewing are the stuff of my daydreams, something is wrong if I haven’t space in my brain to remember them. These are the things that help me relax and I should be thinking about them, not putting them at the back of my mind, because I’m too preoccupied.
2. Don’t waste time waiting
Sometimes there are times we can’t fill efficiently. It might be while we are commuting on the train or waiting in the opticians. Time management tips suggest how we might fill these moments productively. But do you know what? I need down-time. We all need down-time. Sometimes it is just pleasant to just sit and do nothing, or at least not much. Why not watch the scenery slide past while you’re on the train? Forget planning your next meeting agenda! Why not daydream whilst waiting in the opticians? Forget the messages on your phone!
3. Don’t fall prey to time-wasters
Apparently 31% of us waste roughly 30 minutes daily at work and fill this time with activities such as net surfing, Facebook posting, texting, or making personal calls. Do I waste this amount of time at home? Of course I do! Does it matter if a spend 30 minutes of un-focussed time surfing, or slouched in front of children’s TV with Master Steely as soon as I get home from work? When we are on holiday we don’t call “lying on the beach” a time-waster, so why is unfocussed time an “enemy” the rest of the time? Besides, I can find some interesting things while surfing and children’s TV can be delightful!
I really struggle to exclude this time management behaviour at home. Making priorities in my home life is really necessary, but at the same time, I have to be careful otherwise all the tasks heading to the top of the list would be those that other people want me to do. I try to make sure that I do something I want to do everyday – it keeps me sane!
5. Introduce time management goals
Once you are on the time management treadmill, it’s hard to jump off. There is, apparently, always room for improvement. Time management websites advise changing our behaviour over time to achieve increased productivity or even decreased stress.
More targets = more stress
As far as I’m concerned, more targets generally means more stress. I have read this article though. I think I can identify myself as a “Perfectionist”. It might explain why I feel I need Hermione Granger’s time turner to get everything done. On the other hand, perhaps this is what makes me improve as a sewist?
By the way, I’ve have spotted the irony of writing this as a list! I really need to ditch the time management at home – it isn’t a recipe for contentment. Enjoy the moment and happy sewing!