Time is money. Time is freedom. But there are never enough hours in a day…
One of the primary reasons I’ve struggled so much with my job is that it takes up so much time, it seems like there’s nothing left.
But is that true?
A recent Times article called “The Busy Person’s Lies” examines the myth of “always busy.” Yes, there is always so much to do you couldn’t possibly fit it into one day. But what if there were a few extra hours, hidden and tucked away under the veil of “busy-ness?” Not a lot, but just enough time to shift your life from overwhelming to satisfying?
Laura Vanderkam, author of the piece, cites evidence that people overestimate the amount of time they spend working, and are likely to remember exceptionally busy times as the norm. Thinking back, I know I am guilty of this. I usually work 8-10 hour days, but the weeks of putting in 12 to 13 hours daily are the ones that stand out most in my mind. However, those draining weeks when I barely saw daylight are the exception. Additionally, I don’t take work home (usually) and very rarely do work on weekends. I regularly have long stretches of evening and weekend to do as I please, unhindered by work.
Vanderkam suggests starting a time log to track the way you truly spend time. She tracked each half hour of her life rigorously for a year, and was astounded by how much free time she actually had when she took the time to look for it. I’m planning to do something similar–maybe not so rigorous, but at least do a daily accounting of time spent. Time is precious, and learning more about how I spend my time will (hopefully!) help me make better choices and inch my way closer to the life I want to live.