Wednesday, 26 August 2009

About Time

I've been thinking about time lately. As it seems have plenty of other people. Maybe it's the imminent change of seasons, or the looming end of the summer holidays (how fast has that gone?). I've also been re-reading this book which is pretty much guaranteed to make you think about time - in an altogether different way.

Mostly I'm wondering where my time goes. Usually when people complain about having no time there is some wise and oh so sage person who will pipe up with the "we all have the same amount of time, its how we choose to use it that's important" line. How true and how truly annoying that is.

Lets think about this logically then. There might even be some maths involved!

In one week there are 168 hours.

Of those 168 hours I spend:

56 of them sleeping

7 of them getting the kids and myself up and dressing in the morning

7 of them getting the kids undressed, bathed and put to bed in the evening

10.5 of them cooking and eating dinner

22 of them at work

5 of them driving to and from work

2.5 of them at the supermarket in the week

3 of them at the supermarket at the weekend

4 of them getting Grace to and waiting for Grace at dancing classes

4 of them at my ILs (on a Sunday)

5 of them cleaning (on a Friday)

14 of them watching TV

7 of them reading

6 of them entertaining the kids on Saturday

6 of entertaining the kids on Sunday

4 of them at the gym

That's 163 hours accounted for. I'm not entirely sure where the other 5 go - driving places? Phaffing about getting read to go places? Cooking? Changing nappies? Washing clothes? Unpacking groceries? Probably all of these things, and others.

Is it any wonder I struggle to find time to do the things I love to do? Finding time for crafty stuff in the day is increasingly difficult for me these days - as illustrated by the (mostly) lack of anything crafty around here lately.

I guess it boils down to this. If I want to do more crafty things, then something else has got to give, but what?

I can't work less (they wouldn't pay me)

I can't drive to work less (I can't magic our house any nearer or drive faster without a speeding fine!)

I can't sleep less (I already have broken nights with the kids so I'm running on empty in that regard most of the time anyway and less sleep makes me a grumpy mummy)

I can't clean less (the house is already a pigsty, if I did less than I do now we'd be drowned under a sea of dust bunnies and laundry within a week!)

I can't cook less (we need to eat)

I can't eat for less (I need to eat)

I can't shop less (we need to eat)

I can't stop taking Grace to dancing (she needs to expend her energy)

I can't spend less time entertaining the kids at the weekend (we work all week so that's our family time)

I can't get them up less or put them to bed less (they need to sleep and they need to wake up)

I can't go to the gym less (I'd be a bigger fatter heffer than I am now)

So, that pretty much leaves the reading and the TV. I'm not sure I could bare to part with my reading time. I do so love books.

Based on this analysis. The TV has got to go. Do you think the kids would notice?

There's a great post over at Shimelle's blog today all about time, and how she finds the time to do what she does. The answer it seems is simple. The woman doesn't even own a TV. My mind is still boggling at how that is even possible. I love the TV. Maybe an experiment is in order? Is it possible for me to survive without the TV for a week? Could I claw back those 14 hours and actually accomplish something with them?

Lets look at the current "To Do List" shall we:

1. Seaside swap secret item #1 (sorry, I can't disclose the exact nature of this item - it's a surprise :)

2. Seaside swap secret item #2 (ditto)

3. Seaside swap secret item #2 (can you ditto a ditto?)

4. Altering a bodice for my SIL for a fancy dress costume

5. Making a Kinder doll for a friend of a friend's baby

6. Knitting a new monkee for a certain little duck man

7. Starting the Learn Something New Everyday Class on 1st September

You know, I'm beginning to think this might be a feasible experiment. Beginning next Monday. No evening TV for me for a week. Well, I can't possibly start before then….Thursday is Private Practice, and Friday is Criminal Minds and Sunday is new House (maybe I'm a hopeless cause??).

So, that's the time sorted out. Now, the energy and the inspiration???……… that's a whole other post……maybe even two!!



dottycookie said...

One thing that made a huge difference for me was eliminating trips to the supermarket. I do online grocery shopping now - about 45 minutes planning the menu/making the list, then about half an hour ordering the stuff. Admittedly the first few orders take longer but once you have your usual items squirrelled away on the sites it gets much faster.

I still don't feel like I have enough hours in the day though!

Rachel said...

Can you squeeze some crafting or reading time in while you are waiting for Grace at dance classes? We've had "TV free days" in the past (for the kids, mostly) but it's surprising how little we missed it. Good luck!
R :)

April said...

I know what you mean, time just flies by - I thought I would have more time through not having Governor stuff to do in the summer holidays but that has been eaten up!

Now that Caitie is older and not going to bed til 8 I feel I've lost most of my evenings and am watching less TV - partly because a lot of the stuff I like has finished but new series are just round the corner... thank god for Sky+

I couldn't give up reading either - but I do read in the bath

April xx

kim said...

Love the time evaluation--that is totally something I would do :)

I thought you craft while watching TV. But I'm sure you will be more productive only doing one at a time. And its true--the most creative, interesting people I've ever known have been non-TV watchers (although I do know plenty of creative, interesting TV watchers, they just aren't quite "THE MOST". I think they just have more time to explore other things and they tend to remember a lot--maybe TV really does rot your brain.

Clair said...

Found your blog by way of Shimelle. I'm so looking forward to starting the class, but I'm also in the process of starting a business so I understand the time issue.

One tip for you though - I watch all of my favourite programmes on the computer via 'on demand' services. That way I can treat myself to a whole evening of all my favourites, rather than several evenings of favourites follwed by rubbish.

And dottiecookie's right - shopping on-line = freedom!!!

humel said...

Hi there, just dropped by from Shimelle's :-) Thought-provoking post... And I _love_ the look of your blog! Mine's still a bit 'set-template' (, I'm still a novice at this blogging business!

See you in class ;-)

Sarah C said...

I've hopped over from humel's blog list thanks to us all doing LSNED!

You are so right about the hours people spend doing things. When I eventually manage to move out of shared accom, I'll be without a TV (won't be able to afford that and the internet together). I'm in the process of starting to only watching on TV what I'd really push myself to watch on-line.

I hope you manage to find the hours you need in amongst everything else xx

Anonymous said...

Hi. Visiting from Shimelle`s. Interesting theme. I unplugged the TV four years ago and discovered that I had a lot of time to craft. Good luck testing.