Life gets busy, sometimes it gets noisy with pretense of busyness. Either way, it gets busy.
Busyness sometimes means that one is productive, but how much productivity becomes cancerous to the soul? I found myself wondering this weekend when I was writing down all the things that I needed to achieve by the end of the weekend. Even when I wasn’t being ambitious, it felt like I was about to climb a sizeable mountain, and without the right equipment at that!
For a number of years, perhaps since the start of my career, I’ve found that there are seldom times where I can just relax all weekend knowing that there’s nothing that demands my attention. I can’t remember the feeling of leaving work at the end of the day, knowing that I don’t need to do any work until I switch on my laptop again the following day.
I’ll admit that I’ve been affected by the negativity of deadlines that require extra work at night from home, such that whenever I turn on my work laptop, I feel a bit of depression. This happens even when I’m not turning the laptop on to do work.
I’ve just come off the back of a 1-month off-work vacation. I didn’t do much travelling cos money, so I ended up working on projects for half the time, and relatively relaxing for the other half of my time. So one can say that I’m rested, but then why am I feeling exhausting if I’m well rested?
As I paused to catch a thought, I noticed an increment to a minute. Stare at the clock for a bit longer, and I would have noticed a few more increments. Thing is that when I take a breather, time doesn’t take one with me.
This brings me to the first problem that I encounter: I feel that I lack the ability to manage my time well. Everything has its time, but lately I feel like everything wants all my time.
Clearly the solution here is to learn to make more time so I can allocate the time to everything that needs it, or is it?
We can all agree that each man on the universe has 24 hours in a day, none have more, and none have less. So time is not a relative thing, at least that’s what the above would lead me to conclude.
If time is absolute, how come is it that some of us can’t use it as well as other people.
I remember a while ago when I was considering getting into a relationship with a girl I liked, but I would have a tough time with taking a few evenings off to see her. She told me that we make time for the things and people we care about. I also once read somewhere that if Barrack Obama can make time for his wife, then I’ve got no excuse … (Or something along those lines).
True then, we all have equal time, so then why am I failing to use it to the best of my ability, or to use to to serve my purpose (spirit, soul, body).
- Why do I keep saying that I can’t join gym because it will take time that I already don’t have?
- Why have I not learn to play the guitar that I bought 4 years ago?
- Why can’t I make enough time to read, play chess, go watch cricket, go on picnics, etc?
I am coming to believe that the reason why I can’t do all the above is because of how I view time.
If I considered a minute important, and took care of it, the minutes would take care of the hours, and so on.
Yes, this is the same as “take care of the cents, and the cents will take care of the Rands” [or whatever currency].
What I long for
I really long for that feeling where I don’t have anything in my backlog of TODOs, or a deadline that I’m chasing. Is it such a hard thing to want?
I don’t think it’s a hard thing to want, but it is something I can work on. After all, most things are often in our control to influence. This does not mean that working on what I long for would be easy, but I’m willing to try my hand at it once again.
I’ve heard a number of times people talking about temporal vs. eternal pleasure/joy/happiness. This is mostly ingrained in my religion, that as Christians we “fight the good fight”, we labour in the Earth looking forward to the day when our joy is complete.
The opposite is very evident, such that whether or not one is of a certain religion, we could agree that we can label the above as a principle. Take varsity for example, a lazy student who enjoys the pleasures of the present moment often comes to regret it when they don’t complete with good grades. Another example is someone who doesn’t save up enough for retirement.
What can one do?
My longing is probably something that other people who’ve made themselves very occupied share. I don’t want to share this longing anymore though, so I’m resolving to work on either attaining it.
I’m going to continue with my backlog of every single thing that I need to do, and tackle it as long as the day is “Today”.
Some ideas that I’ve been considering are:
- Start allocating my time better, and stick to the allocations. For example, when I’m home in the evening, I make sure that 20:00 – ~21:30 is my reading and prayer time.
- Look for things that I can complete in a short period of time, and use some of my idle time in working on them.
- Work harder on making more efficient tools for myself. I am a part-time software developer, and I can sometimes benefit from spending 3 nights writing a tool that will make me save a few weeks’ worth of work. (AUTOMATE ALL THE THINGS?).
- Plan activities that I want to do, block time out for them, and work harder before them so that I don’t feel guilty with taking the time off.
- Take better care of my body? Easier said than done, but it shall be done.
I think like every odd overly ambitious person in their working life, I suffer from the cycle of dissatisfaction. In this instance my dissatisfaction is with my working most of the time not resting. I think though that in this instance I might have to work harder so I can relax.
I know it’s quite odd, and I’m probably not making much sense, but I felt like writing down what was on my mind before I get back to work 🙁