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No One Is Watching

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:

  • Television
  • Email
  • Reading/Writing
  • Hobbies
  • Work
  • Exercise
  • Games
  • Music
  • Socializing

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?

  1. Recliner, remote, beverage.
  2. Cuppa, computer, surf.
  3. Glass or tasse, book.
  4. Telephone.
  5. Craft, create, collect.
  6. Typing, scribbling, recording.
  7. Carafe, candles, bathtub.
  8. Email inbox…for work.
  9. Cross trainers, ear buds.
  10. 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?

Avoidance

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.

Admit It

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.

Do more than one.

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).

Transformation

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!
Then, press page two! 

In case you cannot find the button,
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59 Comments

  1. To be honest if I see something that needs doing I just get on with it, this could be simply washing the dishes and drying, siding them away into the cupboard or cleaning the tub, whatever is required and I never see these chores as anyone’s job, it is just something to be completed.

    Now once these things are finished with then relaxing can be a nice game on the PS3 a Surf on the Net, perhaps even a little reading or writing but whatever that will be, it will be more pleasurable knowing that I have fulfilled my own set of principles, and as the tasks are not on a list, oh no I don’t do lists you know, then the relaxing will be so much better. I never think of anything that has to be done around the home as anyone’s particular job, it is just another house thingy as it were 😉 lol Well that is just my own approach to housework Red and I have always been this way 🙂

    Have a lovely ‘Talk Tuesday’ now and enjoy a nice cup of coffee too, I always do, eventually 🙂

    Androgoth XXx

    Reply
    • Red

       /  March 27, 2012

      Just brewed a fresh pot. Aye, but as long as you are not keeping to one thing far too long, you are doing quite well. I know…no lists. 😉

      Reply
      • Yes I do like to have a bit of fun doing this, that and of course the other 😉 But as we are talking about recreational things then I will often do a bit of all that I have already mentioned, but only when I have done whatever was necessary beforehand 🙂

        Androgoth XXx

        Reply
        • Red

           /  March 27, 2012

          So many people fall into the trap of letting the time get away from them when they place the fun things between what they must do 😉

          Reply
  2. You know if both partners work as a team then there is so much more to be done in a day or evening that is exciting, it is just a matter of getting on with the chores first and then doing whatever takes one’s fancy 🙂 😉

    Hey I could just do with a cuppa 🙂

    Androgoth XXx

    Reply
    • Red

       /  March 27, 2012

      And then you have two minds concocting what the fun thing is for the evening! *Passes Andro a steaming cuppa*

      Reply
      • I think something colder might be better or my thoughts could easily turn into the wicked sense of the word, but hey I just know that you and I are on the same wave length, and with your Bear around, well you will have lots to enjoy 🙂

        But do the washing up
        together first and then
        you may play as much
        as you wish…

        Androgoth XXx

        Reply
        • Red

           /  March 27, 2012

          Since he finished the yard, it is he which is in need of the washing up… 😉

          Reply
          • 🙂 😉 lol
            Now tub time is always more fun…
            Right I am going now or else I may
            turn your Talk Tuesday into one of
            my more wicked postings…
            🙂

            Androgoth XXx

          • Red

             /  March 27, 2012

            LOL! You may be ready for the convo at YoYo-Dyne 😉

          • I will pop over there next,
            this could be a long night 🙂 lol

            Androgoth XXx

  3. Hey get back on topic next 🙂 lol
    Have a great rest of your evening
    and have lots of fun 😉

    I will call back in later Red 🙂

    Androgoth XXx

    Reply
  4. Red, the answer to the big time suck is to plan the complex jobs and creative thinking whilst doing mundane labour that HAS to be done. Nothing like hurrying along getting ‘ordinary’ stuff done, while building up some fire in the mind getting readyto attack a great project…delay is often a good thing in that respect ! GREAT post, RED. GREAT STUFF! ~R
    Raymond Alexander Kukkee recently posted..Political Sanctions: Punishment for Voting DemocraticallyMy Profile

    Reply
    • Red

       /  March 27, 2012

      I like the distraction of combining something completely creative in the midst of something entirely mundane. Makes the whole thing livable in my book. It is why I love the read to me feature of my tele…and all the ebooks loaded on it 😉

      Reply
  5. Ok…I was just getting in to the bath time thing…lol. I am much like the gentleman that posted before me. I usually do my chores first, so that I can enjoy my free time afterwards. I DO need to, however, plan my leisure time a little better because I am starting a full time job and will have MUCH less computer time. I find myself wasting a lot of time reading emails, and on social media sites rather than working on my WIP. 🙂

    Reply
    • Red

       /  March 27, 2012

      WIP is always a good distraction. Too, Wendy, you have to pencil in some down time. Some absolutely no obligation time. With the new job on the horizon, your time sucks will be more like industrial vacuums rather than DustBusters. Remember, as fun as WIP is, you still needs some no tax time 😉 Great to see you tonight!

      Reply
  6. authormjlogan

     /  March 27, 2012

    I think I should just hire a personal assistant or organizer. I don’t watch TV. I do all kinds of things every day. And here it is, 8:32 and I still have things left to be done. So what am I doing?

    Procrastinating on M3…

    Reply
    • Red

       /  March 27, 2012

      I think this classifies as “research”. I have loads left to do as well, but am taking a much needed giggle break with a few friends. One of the perks of working in the blogosphere. The finale of this series is beginning to look like a two-parter. It is the final how to for breaking the time suck. Meanwhile, have a cuppa and a smile. I still have gobs to finish before the curtain goes down. And I am an hour later than you;)

      Reply
      • I always enjoy a bit of a giggle Red
        and I have also enjoyed your Talk on
        Tuesday also 🙂 Alas it is time for me
        to leave for the morning / your evening
        and so a very good night to you and to
        everyone participating here tonight 🙂

        Androgoth XXx

        Reply
        • Red

           /  March 27, 2012

          Have a terrific morning, Andro. Thanks for talking back! 🙂
          Red.

          Reply
  7. I think I need Andro over here. He’d be very valuable. Perhaps I can lure him with some chocolate.
    Binky recently posted..Built-In EntertainmentMy Profile

    Reply
    • Yes I like chocolate Binky
      so no problemo on that score 🙂

      Androgoth

      Reply
    • Red

       /  March 27, 2012

      With all the flowing elixir at other spaces, he may well need the chocolate before he heads to the crypt for the morning!

      Reply
  8. Laurie

     /  March 27, 2012

    I can’t do the things that need doing. I’m on strike until people learn to do for themselves……I see this as the beginning of a vacation that lasts the rest of my life.

    Reply
    • Red

       /  March 28, 2012

      I can wholly sympathize, Laurie. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on your perspective, it is not that long-lived a vacation. Wait, are we talking about adults or children? That does make a difference.

      Reply
      • Laurie

         /  March 28, 2012

        I’m waiting on adults to learn to do for themselves, strangely my children are self sufficient enough I want to send them to their room until they decide they need me. Even the short blonde kid has decided she can get what she needs on her own………

        Reply
        • Red

           /  March 28, 2012

          They are quick about such things. Adults (read other people’s children), not so much.

          Reply
  9. Whatever needs to get to get done, I do. Usually in one felled swoop. Things are organized in such a way so I have plenty of time to goof off… because I like goofing off. LOL 🙂

    Work is an entirely different animal. Those things aren’t as easily prioritized, so it’s more of a forced effort every day right now. You go in with one agenda in mind, I call it the illusion of control, and I’m pulled all over… agh, law. Love or hate it.
    mysterycoach recently posted..~ Randomness ~ The HOW … 🙂My Profile

    Reply
    • Red

       /  March 28, 2012

      And then there is the whole part about recreation. And yes, the law is one of those living things you some days want to choke the life from…

      Reply
      • Good morning Red I just thought that I would call in for a read of your Talk Tuesday.

        I think as the day goes on there will be more people commenting on this one so I will take another peep this evening 🙂

        Have a lovely day today Red 😉

        Androgoth XXx

        Reply
        • Red

           /  March 28, 2012

          Perhaps when some discover the second page, there will be more commentary. I hope you are having a pleasant evening. 😉

          Reply
          • Ah…that there 5-10 smoke break I mentioned?…I meant 5-10 minute smoke break….lol
            Hugs to you, Red!
            xx

          • Red

             /  March 28, 2012

            Yes. I take those as well 😉 In my case, the smoke is silver! xxx

      • Oh there’s the little reply thingy … NEAT!

        OMG… yah, law is one of those things we’d like to choke the living crap out of. I could’nt agree with you more…
        mysterycoach recently posted..~ Good from Bad ~My Profile

        Reply
  10. I think your suggestions, as always, are excellent.
    But one major point is ignored: sometimes it is good (and the best therapy) to blow off the responsibilities. Yes, the dishes will get washed. But they don’t necessarily need to be done straightaway or on a particular schedule.
    Sometimes the end of the day demands veg-out time, when the only momentum is the momentum that carried you from the end of the workday to the couch (by way of the kitchen for a diet coke and bag of chips).

    Reply
    • Red

       /  March 28, 2012

      Yes, that was on page two 😉

      Reply
    • Yes and a nice bar of chocolate for afters, yes I can relate to this kind of time table too El Guapo and I hope that you are enjoying a fine day today 🙂

      Androgoth

      Reply
      • thanks, and a fine afternoon to you, Andro.
        I’m mostly enjoying not being dead from last night’s…overindulgence.

        Reply
        • Red

           /  March 28, 2012

          Good thing!

          Reply
        • Yes well one needs to enjoy things in moderation unless there is a nympho around and then you have no choices in the matter 🙂 lol

          I do hope that all of your choices involve a nympho El Guapo, well one can dream I guess? 😉 Have fun now…

          Androgoth

          Reply

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