Gaining time

Do you ever feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day? As you close your eyes at night, do you wonder where your day went and why you didn’t achieve more?

As my life moved forward in early 2015, I was asking myself these questions. Something was wrong. The balance in my life was out of kilter and needed fixing. I did a stock take of the activities that made up my life.

Work was getting enough time. I was keeping on top of it and it was not stealing more time than it should.

Internet and Social Media were getting time each day, but this seemed okay and not excessive.

Writing, reading, walking and socializing were getting short changed. I’d become lazy, not ensuring they were given enough time.

Picture1Painting is another passion, but it had been shelved for years as I built the business and moved into writing. This was a tradeoff I could live with, but for not too much longer. I made a promise to start painting again before the end of 2015.

So where was my time going?

Television! I’d become a TV junkie.

Initially watching TV was just a relaxing pastime, a way to fill in an hour before sleep, but earlier this year my viewing habits changed.  The box was on more than it was off, stealing hours from every day and night. It had become my procrastination buddy. Reading, writing, walking, socializing and painting all had to wait, so I could watch a rerun of a CSI (Crime Scene Investigation) rerun that I’d seen three times before. I was wasting time I could never reclaim. Habits had to change.

My solution was to stop viewing completely. I contemplated cutting the plug off the television, but this seemed a bit drastic as I like to watch the occasional DVD.

In early May, 2015, I stopped watching cable and commercial television and regained hours daily. There were no withdrawal symptoms, just a sense of relief that I had taken control. And all those extra hours gave me time to devote to writing, reading, walking and socializing. Painting is still waiting, not so patiently, but the studio is set up and ready to go. I will start today.

rina and Steve walkingExcept to watch a hand full of DVDs, the television has not been on for the past seven months. It has not been missed. In that time I’ve read 40 books, taken Rina on daily walks, nearly finished writing Rina’s memoir, Two Poofs and a Poodle, and had more fun socializing with both old and new friends. My sense of achievement has soared.Steve foto

What’s stealing your time? Do you need to stock take the components of your life? Are you ready to get the balance right?

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