Feeling too busy?
I’m not a fan of the question, “What’s going on?” Because it is usually followed by an assumption, “I’ll bet you are really busy.” Then some add, “Crazy busy, huh?”
No. I’m not busy.
And I’m not crazy busy.
I’m not busy. Bees are busy.
I’m just breathing. Doing my favorite things. I’m lucky that way. Privileged. (What’s my privilege in this? Peaceful mental health. Financial savings. Education. And a lot of other privileges.)
I’m not crazy busy. It doesn’t sound like fun to be either crazy or busy. I’m neither.
How I’m Not Crazy Busy.
I continually give up activities that might have become habitual, but are decreasingly rewarding.
Each time I consider giving up an activity, I first calculate how much time that activity takes. Then, I multiply it by the instances per year for a yearly calculation of time invested.
Here’s What I’ve Given Up This Year
At least, here’s what comes to mind as jettisoned activities:
- Watching Football. Calculation = 36 hours per year, based on 3 hours per game x 12 games. I’m no longer watching football, reading about football, caring about football. There’s nothing in it for me. And I don’t like the feelings I have when I watch it. Feelings include: aggression, fear (TBI), sorrow. After every football game I’ve watched, I think, “I want that time back.” Generally, I think we’d all be better off reading poetry rather than watching people intentionally run into each other.
- Television News. Calculation = 200 hours per year, based on 45 minutes watched 266 days a year. Watching the news used to feel like a civic obligation of an ethical citizen. But I was watching the news and doing nothing about it. So, now: I’m minimizing my news consumption and doing a lot of things about it. (I call on members of Congress and have helped found a new Political Action Committee “that aims to get more Ohio women elected to public office who will promote a healthy economy in which women can thrive and prosper.”)
- Packing for Trips. Calculation = 50 hours a year, based on 15 minutes per 200 trips (including cross-town). I now have bags packed for each kind of trip. My car is a rolling meeting toolkit. Grab and go.
- Shuffling email with Monica. Calculation = 100 hours a year, based on two hours per week. Monica manages my time (which is super great), but email was a bad way to do it. Now we keep a page on OneNote that we both edit throughout each day. The work gets done, but the calculated time is saved, because it’s no longer required for shuffling our correspondence.
- Cutting the Grass. Calculation = 13 hours per year, based on 40 minutes x 20 cuts. Alisa seems to like the fresh air and exercise. So, let ‘er at it.
- Going To The Gym. Calculation = 52 hours per year, based on weekly drives of 30 minutes each way. I’m still exercising, but I discovered that, if (1) I have to change my clothes and (2) I have to go somewhere to do it, I’m not going to exercise. Now I keep inexpensive exercise equipment in the places I most visit.
There’s more, I imagine. But just the above is a combined savings of 451 hours.
Dang. 451 hours! That’s like getting a month of 80-hour weeks back.
What am I doing with that time?
- Writing you now
- My work (which I love)
- Walking in the woods
Something’s Got To Give
What are you going to give up? Perhaps a habitual pastime that is passing time but not promoting your growth, your self-understanding, your relationships with others?