It is time for Talk Tuesday. If you have been playing along, we have been talking about time suction. You know about all of those things which we plan an hour to do, but four hours later we are either not finished or want to do for another four hours. Not you? Want to place a wager on that?
When we are left to our own devices, we find all manner of things to occupy ourselves:
Let’s stop the suction, shall we?
You have been home for three hours. When you drove up in the driveway, you knew you needed to put away the clean dishes, feed the animals, sweep the bathroom floor, return two telephone calls and make a grocery list. So far, none of that is done. What happened?
This is the topic of Talk Tuesday. You may join the conversation at any point. Feel free to jump between this post and yesterday’s (about the “have to do it” time suck). The floor is open all day. Those who normally join us after the 2000 digest is delivered will come to a discussion in progress. If you can return for our discussion tonight, please do.
Time for a Break
When we first arrive home, we are glad to be away from the pressures and obligations of (work, friends, tasks)…all of the things we have to do. Our first reaction is engaging the freedom of not being obligated. We strive to do nothing. Often we are successful. Which one is you?
- Recliner, remote, beverage.
- Cuppa, computer, surf.
- Glass or tasse, book.
- Craft, create, collect.
- Typing, scribbling, recording.
- Carafe, candles, bathtub.
- Email inbox…for work.
- Cross trainers, ear buds.
- Elements in a different configuration
The subconscious reward mechanism is actually a good thing. Then again, cheesecake is a good thing. We all know in what too much of a good thing can result.
The tendency and desire to do nothing or something self-rewarding is a natural mechanism of your brain. You spent your day taxing it, and it wants a cognac and a cigar and to put its feet up. You naturally gravitate toward things you find relaxing or enjoyable to rebut the stress and hectic run of the day. Are you accomplishing it?
Your to-do list at the beginning of the day had 14 things on it. You managed eight. Better than 50% is a victory. You came back to the domestic castle to find the five things on the list to-do for home. Are you retreating to your relaxing spot to avoid the domestic pressure of homework?
If you answered yes, you are creating a time suck. No one is holding you accountable…including yourself.
Instead of riding the momentum of your stress-inducing day to knock out the chores, you are rewarding yourself for completing the “work” phase of the day. Initially, there is nothing in this behavior to find fault. Do any of these apply?
- I hate doing it.
- If I wait long enough, Mate will do it.
- I have gotten away with not doing this far.
- The world will not end if I do not do it.
While it is true you can eat from clean dishes off the drain board, return the personal calls another day (or never), walk on grit in the bathroom and wing it in the grocery, chances are good your pets will protest or move out if you neglect them. So, what is the solution?
I do not multitask.
Sure, you do. Bring the pad to the recliner and make your list whilst you watch television. You are not watching the commercials anyway. Or let them help you remember things you need on the list: detergent, drain cleaner, wrenches, pet food.
Put in your earbuds and keep time with the music by dancing with the broom. This constitutes musical appreciation, hygiene and exercise…a three-fer.
Talk on the telephone while you put away the dishes and feed (Rover, Fluffy, Iggy).
Now, you have incorporated something you enjoy into something you really needed to do. This diverted the suction. Be careful.
Once your homework is complete, you have time which is completely tax free. No outside demands exist from (boss, Mate, pets). What are your demands? How are you going to deliver?
With no finite boundaries, the sand slips through the hourglass unchecked, literally. No one is looking over your shoulder to see when you are going to be finished. Time to set some of that playtime into a schedule.
Before we get to the answers for specific time sucks, can you name some suggestions? Talk back!
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