I recently worked as an Assistant Director for a pantomime over in Brindle. At that point in 2011 I was bound by public transport (although I must confess I quite enjoyed my adventures via bus and on foot) and so, one wintery evening, it transpired that I had a choice of getting Bus A: which would allow me to arrive 45 minutes early, or Bus B: which would make me 15 minutes late.
Now I am known for my reliability, a fellow band member and I are founder members of the ‘North East Punctuality Club’ with our ethos being ‘lateness doesn’t lead to greatness’, so you can imagine that the lonely wait of 45 minutes of early-ness verses the shame of 15 minutes late-ness was an ethical dilemma for someone such as me. I chose early-ness, which resulted in me sitting on the floor outside the village hall staring deeply into my diary for something to do.
Whilst looking at my diary I got to thinking about time management. I pride myself on being good with time; I work a number of jobs both daytime and evening, weekends are spent at rehearsals or preparing work for classes or seeing Spot On events. I just recently bought a house so you can imagine that decorating (and this is heavy duty decorating) is an additional item on my ‘things to do’ list.
I glanced at my week on two pages diary and I had to laugh. You see I have a system; if it’s in pen it is confirmed, in pencil and it needs checking. There are scribbles out and rubbings out and big stripey lines which signify a full day event or a half day event, there are notes about how much money we won at the quiz (I’m treasurer of our team) and who I need to call that day. I am my own personal secretary because I don’t think anyone else would want the job. I wish I had a twin, because what I’d really like to do is set someone off on the task of sanding the skirting boards or organising a plasterer, calling the electrician or choosing a bathroom sink but there isn’t any time for that.
“There isn’t any time”, that’s interesting, because I pride myself on being able to manage time effectively, so how come I can’t find any more of it? My answer was simple, but I’m still not sure it’s the right solution. I bought a car. It gets me to places at the right time, it increases my ability to do things for myself and not rely on those with transport, it means I can fit more in. But I’m not sure I want to fit more in!
So I am stuck with the realisation that time is managing me. I’m sure we all feel like we’re just managing to keep up with all that we have to do, so why the incessant need to increase the number of things to do? My answer is to find some time to do absolutely nothing, a task which I know will be incredibly hard to do but very important to ensure my continued wellbeing. I will get back to you on how well I do in this experiment!