Historically I have loved reading time management and productivity books. However, lately they just make me roll my eyes.
The reason I read books like that is because I am lazy. I am not naturally a productive, get things done, workaholic. I can spend an epic amount of time playing games on my computer, watching netflix or just staring at the walls. I really like it when I am productive, get in my runs, write a great blog post, contact clients, write contracts, organize a closet, make a great meal, read a book to my daughter, etc but honestly, if those things aren’t staring at me my natural inclination is not to make them happen, it is to sit my butt down and let the world pass me by. I am constantly fighting the urge to de-evolve.
For some reason the last few years the only people writing on this topic, and I presume publishers feel the only people reading on this topic, are high achieving, executive, workaholics. People who are in non-stop work mode and need to learn to manage their time better so they don’t work as much and burn out. So they write books and articles with titles like, “Do Less” and “How to say ‘No'”.
Seriously. I cannot relate.
I am not this person. I have plenty of margin in my life, I am not afraid to stop and take care of myself and I generally would rather spend time with my family and allow them to define me than a career. One might think I lead a perfectly balanced and productive life. Except maybe I have tipped the scale a little too far. Maybe my value of relaxation and presence in the daily of my life has gotten a little out of hand. Maybe the 3 hours a night my husband and I have spent binge watching a 13 season show for the past month is becoming problematic to our ability to engage in parenting, finish building the desk area we started or sell the car we stashed in my parents garage for the winter before they return from Florida. Maybe. And probably the over 600 games of candy crush I have finished while waiting for John to come home and watch netflix with me is a little excessive. Probably.
I just really believe there are other people like me out there. Maybe they just aren’t writing blogs and books but I think they are out there and can relate to what I am saying here.
I do try to take the ideas from the workaholic guides and incorporate them. I have a few overlapping issues. I do get a lot of emails and information I need can get lost under 50 emails I don’t need pretty quickly. So I am working on creating folders for relevant information. Step two will be remembering I put stuff in that folder and looking there when I need it. Also, I am a master of the google calendar (not really a master, don’t ask me any questions about it, but I rely on it greatly and like to tell myself I am the master of anything I use on a daily basis.) And, I have a to-do list so if I were to turn off netflix I know which projects I might think about working on.
And, truth is there are so many things in those books I am already good at. I am very aware of my need to take care of myself and although I am not great at doing it all the time I am not afraid to admit defeat and take a day off. I try to be available to my clients 24/7 but am not afraid to tell them I have an appointment and can’t meet them even if that appointment is to see the latest Marvel movie with my family.
But while I am not perfect and don’t even want to become perfect, I do like to have new ideas to incorporate into my life, I like to improve, I like the option of becoming more productive and knowing what steps I can take to do that. Specifically with today’s technology.
One thing I could do if I learned to manage my time better would be to write a little more and actually post here more than twice a year…I have a lot of thoughts beyond, “productivity books suck” on this topic of managing my time and have been doing a lot of thought on the topic of work and how God calls us to work. And by work I don’t necessarily mean a job/employment/making money, although that could certainly be a big part of it for many people, but work, getting things done, not spending every free moment on your butt. God values work. And there is plenty to do if you are willing to get off the couch and do it.
I am seriously considering heeding that call from God and getting off the couch…Once we finish this stupid long series…I did delete the candy crush app from my phone.