Monthly Archives: April 2014

Make Time For What Is Important

I am sure that an entire book can be written on the craziness of life and how to manage the whirlwind of activity that accompanies the lives of 21st century Americans (and other similar cultures).  Hey, that’s a great book idea!  Hmmm….

Anyway, one of the frustrating things in life is that feeling of not having control over the events of our lives.  We seem to find ourselves on a roller coaster ride of appointments, parties, commitments, obligations, and other events.  In fact, I am trying to hurry up and type this blog post because we have to leave for a birthday party in…uh…3 minutes.  We wonder why we don’t spend quality time with our kids or why things around the house aren’t getting done or why we never get to just…REST!!

A big reason why this happens to us is that because we let it happen to us.  That is because many of us plan things and commit to things without taking the time to look at the big picture and asking if we really have the time to do those things or if we do have the time to do those things or what is being sacrificed when we do those things.

We rarely plan for times of rest and relaxation.  We rarely plan for a day or even an hour here or there where we are going to spend time playing with our children.  When making commitments, we tend to look at our schedule or calendar and look for formal activities or obligations.  And if there are none, well then we have time.  But what would we be doing on that free Saturday on the calendar if we did not commit to anything?  You might spend some of that time getting things done around the house, you might spend some of that time reading books or playing with your kids, you might spend some of the time on a hobby.  You might actually spend the day doing good things.  Things that are perhaps as important as or more important than the commitments you make on other Saturdays.  Why aren’t those on the calendar?

Last night my wife was lamenting that she doesn’t spend enough time with our daughter.  I suggested that she pick a time during the weekend (an hour or so) when she is going to do that.  She didn’t but that’s okay, because that is what my next resolution is going to be about.

I am going to sit down with my wife once a month and we will look at the calendar and make sure we have time for what’s important and to make sure we….

Sorry, gotta go!

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Update

Well, it’s time for an update.  Since I started addressing the small things in life, I have made three commitments or action steps:

Cleaning my side of the bed and keeping it clean

Updating the photographs on my desk at work

Cleaning the inside of my car and keeping it clean

I don’t know if it’s the accountability that this blog is providing (even though Google Analytics is confirming that nobody is looking at it), but I have accomplished all three action steps and for the steps that involved ongoing maintenance, I have kept those commitments as well.  My side of the bed is clean and with the exception of my daughter’s jacket and a New York calendar that she insists remain in the car, I have kept my car clean.  And let me tell you, it has been surprisingly easy.  I think the main motivator to do the little amount of maintenance involved in keeping these commitments is the happiness I receive from having a clean nightstand and a clean car, and also from knowing that if I start making exceptions, then laziness will overtake me and I will quickly be back in the same boat (or car) I was before.

So, what is my next action step going to be?  I will think about it for a few minutes and post my newest small happiness-inducing action resolution.

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