Do You Have the Time?

13 10 2010



When she was a toddler, my niece talked all the time.  When asked why she was never quiet, she responded innocently, “If I don’t talk, I can’t breathe.”  She was convinced that exhaling had to be accompanied by sound.  I see a corollary behavior in many of my friends – we “can’t live” without our “to-do” list. We go from appointment to task to appointment without much thought and, if there is a little unplanned time between, it is just dead air – doesn’t count if it’s not on the schedule.

How many times do you check your appointment calendar in a day?  It is habit to most of us, so much so, that we have unconsciously expanded that time and task management protocol to other aspects of our lives.  Modern life requires that we compartmentalize, organize, prioritize.  While it makes us efficient, it detracts from effective living.  We have become our schedules.  The message is the medium; the PDA is the person. 

Stop it.

Even though the technology permits us to log every moment of our waking hours onto a calendar, it does not mean we should.  Let’s break away from the minute-by-minute living style most of us have adopted. Schedule only those things that really must be done at a certain time and date.  Leave some blank spaces in that planner to force ourselves to think and react, instead of just to following the steps.

I am as unhealthily dependent on my “to do” list as anyone else I know, but I am going to kick the habit.  It dulls my senses and robs me of choice.  There will be less “to do” and more “what do I want to do” starting NOW  .  .  .  I have marked my calendar.

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4 responses

13 10 2010
HG

Though my ego might lead me to believe that this might have been, in part, sent in my direction…I spent two Saturday’s ago planning my travel per quarter, leaving holes, long weeks followed by local weeks, in an attempt to comfort my mind enough to not feel guilty about being a better husband, son, and friend!! Only the future will show whether I have been successful…and yes…the first place I read this post was on my Crackberry!! 🙂 Baby steps!!!

14 10 2010
wlg5011

Until recently, I never kept a to-do list, or even noted things (other than a few far off appointments) on a calendar. My life was simple enough that I could remember what needed done and when. Now that I’m teaching at a different school everyday, I have to keep an appointment calendar or I would never remember where I’m supposed to be and when. While I must admit that I feel more organized than I ever have been, I also feel that I’ve lost a bit of the spontaneity that I used to have. Sometimes, taking a walk in nature is far better for the spirit than keeping rigidly to that schedule. Thanks for the reminder!

14 10 2010
Jean Van Brederode

You are so right! I have this quote taped to my computer –

“So you see, imagination needs moodling – long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling and puttering.”
Brenda Ueland

My happiest and most creative time is when I am “Moodling!”

17 10 2010
Tammy Estep

As I sit in the airport of the Turks + Caicos waiting to board my flight home I’m on my crackberry. It’s not always bad:) but….You are so right Paula! The week here was an eye opener. Cell phones lined one of the top 10 beaches in the world. Some with ringtones so high it sounded like the alarm at Three Mile Island. Dinner in the evening consisted of table after table of beautiful men + women ignoring each other while hypnotized by their Iphones. You have to ask yourself what the hell is wrong with these people? I’m signing off now. I’m signing off now to enjoy the splendor of it all??

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