Where Does Time Go?
By Rosalia Davi
I recently read a NY Times article called The Busy Person’s Lies, sent to me by my best friend and fellow working mother. (Who amazingly finds the time to read the newspaper and follow important current events!) My immediate thought when she texted me the link to the article was “How does she find the time to read the NY Times?!” After reading it myself (yes, I too was able to find the time!) I realized that I am guilty of falling into the “there’s not enough time” trap. According to the article, and to the lives of many busy working moms, apparently…
There is enough time to do all the things
you need to do and even the things you want to do,
it’s just a matter of perspective.
Ironically, I write this as my son is very clearly awake in his crib, yet I’m choosing to continue typing my thoughts (albeit, a bit frantically). Like money, time is a finite resource that needs to be effectively managed. We even use the same verb to describe what we do with both—“spend.”
Laura Vanderkam, the author of the article and the book I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time, tracks how she spends her time over the course of one year. The result is that the story she often tells herself, and the one many of us tell—of being busy and not having enough time—is actually not true. It’s not to say that she wasn’t busy and she didn’t feel like there wasn’t enough time to go around, but looking at an objective breakdown of how her time was spent challenged this oft-stated belief.
All of this made me think about the many things I could be doing if I didn’t tell myself there wasn’t enough time.
For example, pre-baby, I went to yoga once or twice a week—totaling at most 3 hours. It’s one of the things I now talk about wistfully, lamenting on how I “used” to do yoga in my pre-mommyhood days. If I were to track my time over the course of just one week, I am certain I’d find that the amount of time spent on the couch watching TV would far surpass the three hours I’d need to go to a yoga class. The moral of this story isn’t that TV is the enemy (although it is arguably a time-suck), but rather how we think and talk about our time.
While the idea of logging what I do with my waking hours is a bit scary (much like with finances), it’s an interesting concept and perhaps a first step towards reclaiming a part of myself that I’ve let go since becoming a mom. I all too quickly bought into the “busy working mom” narrative, allowing it to get to the point where I’d given up on many things that were important to me.
Truth be told, if my best friend can find time to read a newspaper and my sister (a mom of three!) can find time to exercise, then surely I can find time for some “ommm.”
Leave a Comment: How do you make time for things that are important to you? What creative solutions have helped you balance work and personal time more effectively? What do you wish you could make time for?
Rosalia Davi is a first time mom who also works at a state university in New York. She is learning how to maximize peace of mind and productivity, and can be seen pondering the elusive work/life balance while exploring her home base of Long Island, NY. Rosalia has a dual Masters degree in Gender and Cultural Studies and Communications Management, and incorporates her passion for gender and all diversity throughout her career and personal life. She loves spending time with her family, reading, and building community both inside and outside of the workplace.