Time sensitive.

4 09 2015

When did my life become so time sensitive? When? when? quick, quick, answer me!

Yeah, a bit like that. I’m going to keep this brief, because it might just cross the border and become a personal whinge. There is very little place in the world today – with all the trouble and strife, hate and hardship – for languishing in self-absorbed doldrums, but the issue of time sensitivity ranks high on societies’ ills, so I’m going to allow myself this small space to (briefly) talk about it.

You see, every task I take on these days has either to be done within a certain time scale or is pressured due to the potential worsening of outcomes tick by tock. I awake and start running (more or less) and from the opening of my eyes, everything has to be completed by a certain time or else something will be delayed and there be dragons. I eat my breakfast and drink my coffee while commuting and then there is the desperate rush to get all the days tasks done within the day. No time to dwell. No time to think, at least in any appreciably expansive way. By the time I am home, I am short on energy and frazzled due to the mental and emotional focus it takes to not make mistakes in a high-stakes poker game of a job and, by then, time is already marching on – I need to be asleep – I will be woken up soon and I need to be on my game tomorrow.

Even recreation has to fit between a predestined start and finish time, gone is the vast freedom youth and a lack of responsibility affords.

Of course, so much of this is pressure produced inside oneself. It is a response and a poor one at that. As a practitioner of mindfulness and a one time adherent of Taoism, I can sense this inexorable strangulation, the ratcheting up of pressure and expectation, but oddly, ironically, it takes time to break it down, time to breath slowly and stay in the here and now.

So, what to do, what to do….I will be honest, I have no answer. Perhaps I should stop filling the small gaps with needless things like clicking on social media. Perhaps I should learn to manage time better. Perhaps I should just suck it up buttercup, ’cause there are worse things.

Perhaps I should go ride my bike.

Who knows…

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4 responses

4 09 2015
Vik

I plan to do and do less intentionally. I sleep 8-9hrs+ a day. I try not to use an alarm clock most days so I am up when I feel like getting up. I nap 1-2hrs on many days.

I don’t get involved in the rat race on its own terms. I make my own.

I do consulting work so I am at the mercy of the people who pay me and they can get rid of me with zero hassles unlike an employee. One of the first things I told my current client who is a workaholic business owner was that I don’t value hard work, I’m not going to sit at a desk and pound the keyboard for you….what I will do is get important things done and they will be done well. I got no flack.

In my personal life I schedule 1 thing per half day. Going for a MTB ride and getting groceries is a full day. I don’t clean the house or do chores on weekends. If I can’t get it done during the week it’s just not important enough to eat up my weekend time.

Oh ya I only work 4 days a week so I have a 3 day weekend.

What this means is I have lots of time for reflection and relaxation in the space between tasks. It also means I don’t get nearly as much done as other people. I could earn more $$ or complete a much bigger “to do” list, but I don’t. Doing less costs less and as long as I don’t spend my chill time filling a shopping cart at some online store I don’t need more money.

I don’t feel like I am getting further behind my peers. In fact in a lot of ways I feel like I am getting ahead.

All this to say I think much of the frenzy of modern life is self-inflicted by the instinct to follow the herd and [typically] trying to generate the cash flow to stay them as the consume their way through life.

If I had to draw an analogy to biking I’d say it’s like letting the fast guys go at the start of a race and staying with your own tempo. Eventually you pass them all blown up at the side of the trail and you cruise into the finish still feeling strong.

4 09 2015
vertigocycles

Chin up, Jon. It’s full on, all the time and can be quite trying, especially when there are little ones in the mix. I for one am impressed at the relative frequency you’re able to get outside AND with the meals you seem to be able to prepare. I know you’re pressed but I think you three are doing a fantastic job at life and at setting priorities. Daisy will be that much better off for it.

Hey Vik, do you happen to have young children? If you do and manage to keep that schedule, write a book about how you managed to do it. You’ll be a millionaire in no time flat and will be able to remove one of those things from your daily list.

Now I’m headed off to the mountains so I have some memories to get me through the long rain ahead* 🙂

*but I’ve vacuumed the car, taken the big kid to school, shopped for groceries, loaded and unloaded the dishwasher, done two loads of laundry, responded to customer emails, talked with two vendors, packed for a weekend camp trip, prepped two bikes and read endless books to a 3 y/o today. Still have to pick up the big kid and make a decent dinner before I leave.

4 09 2015
Carl Hutchings

No answer either Jon.You are not alone.

11 09 2015
budee bee

The answer is to take inventory of your life and remove the excess and things that aren’t necessary that stop you from doing the things you want. Removing expensive un-necessities free’s up a lot of time and money. Vik is doing that above. I live a similar life style. I believe that one doesn’t need to work more than 4 hrs/day, 20 hrs/week to live a comfortable, productive and enjoyable life. It helps a lot if one is self employed or has a job that they can work when they want. This really is the key.

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