Sunday, July 8, 2012

Killing Time Or Living In The Moment?


Zen Habits delivered some inspiration into my inbox a few days back, titled, 'Why Killing Time Is Not A Sin'.

How is it that every post of his is relevant to me at the exact moment it hits my inbox?

Images from the Gallery Of Modern Art, Brisbane

It's school holidays. I want to chill out with my boys... so I tip-toed around my work duties last week, feeling guilty about not feeling like being productive.. feeling guilty about wanting time out from work.... despite my beckoning inbox.... customers needing invoices and shipping quotes and stock availability info. I wanted to go slower... but you know what it's like when you work for yourself.... no time is down time... there is always something 'productive' you could be doing.


Why is that so? As 'Mr Zen' suggested, "there is a tendency among productive people to try to make the best of every single minute. Every minute counts, because time's a-wasting". If you're not doing work, then you should be enriching your life in some other way... making every second count. If you have time to kill before a meeting, write a to do list, catch up on emails. Hanging out with your family in front of the TV?... answer emails, get started on tomorrow's plans.... ra, ra.


He asks, "is this what our lives are to be? .. a non stop stream of productive tasks?... a life-long work day? .... a computer program optimized for productivity and efficiency?"

What about joy? .... making connections with people, without purpose or goals?.... having freedom from feeling the need to 'improve yourself' every minute? ....


.... freedom to ask oneself, 'how can I best enjoy this moment'? ....permission to relax, to do nothing, to actually be 'unproductive'.


Happiness is in noticing the details, savouring the journey at a slower pace, taking time away from work and the drive for eternal productivity.


I have 'savoured the journey' over the last few days and delighted in my boys company. We've chatted, we've wandered, we've shared deep thoughts, we've learnt new things, we've pondered, we've consumed milkshakes. .... and it wasn't 'killing time'.... it was living in the moment ... and making memories.... ones that matter.


And when they went to bed, I worked! Balancing this stuff is an art-form I am still trying to master!

Do you slow down to smell the roses?..  often?... or do you struggle with 'productivity guilt' like me?
Washing, ironing, cooking, cleaning, working, planning, mothering... there's always something to do.

Happy Sunday! I'm takin' it easy today!
Photobucket

26 comments:

  1. Yes I can absolutely relate! The constant juggle & guilt is something I struggle with every day. I am having a day outside with the boys today, planting veggies & kicking the footy. The work can wait until tomorrow. xx

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    1. If I lived in your beautiful spot I'd be forever in the garden and kicking a footy! I reckon my blood pressure would be lower too! Enjoy! Xx

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  2. Thank you for posting this. I think these concepts apply to alot of people. Mxx

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  3. Hello beautiful A-M, everybody needs time to just chill, reflect and spend time with loved ones.I love the picture of the reindeer in bubbles, what a beautiful piece of art work.
    Always here, reading your blog and supporting you along this incredible journey.
    Mrs B xxx

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    1. Mrs B, I think of you often! I am in Melbourne next Thurs and Friday...wanna have coffee? A-M xx

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    2. I have wiped my calendar clean of any event that I may of had! Yes please, I cant wait to catch up again...so much to talk about, isnt that what us girls do best hehe

      Mrs B xxx

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    3. Hooray Mrs B, get your people to call my people and we'll have a date for coffee and calories and chatter. A-M xx

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  4. You posted this at the right time, I need this. I don't enough time out for one on one with my kids as I feel I could always be doing something else around the house. I know it's ok to have a "slack" day, it's just a matter of accepting that it's ok :)

    Thank you A-M, have a great week :)

    V x

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    1. I know Vicki....it's so important to take the time, especially on school holidays. A-M xx

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  5. Agree, agree, agree - times a million! I, too, went through a short period of guilt as I dodged some paperwork and other semi-important work 'catch-up' tasks. I "wagged" to go to the Egyptian Mummy exhibition with my darlings and when we came home, we played an Egyptian archaeology game - mess with clay and all!

    The following day, we enjoyed the Qld Theatre Company's performance of 'Treasure Island'. We stayed on and did heaps of pirate-related craft, then went home and made cookies.

    When I look back on these school holidays (with my paperwork safely caught up on), this is what I'll remember. I'll stay up late to get my work done for a few days (who needs sleep?!?!), but I'll revisit the photos of our days and laugh at what we got up to.

    This morning, when Daddy was at golf, we snuggled under the covers and continued reading 'The Hobbit'. Nothing better on a cool winter Sunday morning! Enjoy Term 3 and vive la 'living in the moment'! xx

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    1. Sounds wonderful I-R, what a fabulous time you have had! A-M xx

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  6. LOVE this post A-M! I can so relate to feeling the need to be 'productive' every minute of the day. Although I have started scheduling in time weekly for friends and family and really enjoying that precious time. You're so right, the time with your boys will be the life time memories that count. Work will be waiting for you when they're back at school. Enjoy your darlings. xx

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    1. That need is strong when you work for yourself Thea, I hear you! A-M xx

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  7. My last post was all about this - taking time out is what keeps me human, and somehow the world still turns without me...

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    1. Yep it keeps turning without all of us Trish! xx

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  8. Oh A-M you must. The thing about working for yourself is that absolutely noone else is looking out for you and you have to make those calls yourself. Self employment is a constant journey to find balance - day by day! It is so easy to look at the to do list and end up living a week or two in advance and missing the now :(. Guilty as charged. I've said No a whole lot more this year. Liberating. Just start that after my list please ;)

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    1. Yes, I have said no a lot this year and it feels good. Finding that balance is a constant journey! A-M xx

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  9. 30 years from now no one will remember whether your house was clean these holidays or if you took an extra couple of days to return an email but your boys will remember the time you spent with them and the memories you made and they are what is important. They are gorgeous by the way.

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  10. HI AM, O and I have had a lot of unproductive time these holidays as it has been so bitter and cold down here. I think it is a gift to give our kids for them to learn that they don't have to be busy every second of the day. We have cooked, baked cakes, talked, watched movies together and spent hours going through O's keep sake boxed we have kept since he was born - such lovely memories to have. Talking to our kids and spending time with our kids is the best. Love the photo of K reading. Good luck to the boys for Term 3. We have one more week of holidays down here. Love Nataliexx

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    1. Sounds so lovely Nat. We have one more week of holidays too. In our first week of term, big one is on Outdoor Education for a whole week... translated?... a godforsaken camp in the wilderness with rations and no comforts... 'the making of men' apparently. xx

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  11. Unless I'm busy, I can't relax - that's a bit sad isn't it!
    :)

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  12. There is never enough time to smell the roses A-M... but I do try... from time to time... :) xv

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  13. I kind of do both and I am grateful for this post because this very topic has been on my mind a lot lately! x

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Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave me a comment. I love hearing from you. A-M xx