I have come to the conclusion that as efficient as I try (and often claim) to be....I really waste quite a bit of time that could be spent doing fun, creative activities that I want to do. The problem is that I have somehow managed to camouflage this wasted time as being productive: surfing the internet for the "perfect" classroom lesson; reading one more (which turns into 10 more) blogs in the hopes of finding the "perfect" book to read next. While I enjoy these activities, I quickly lose track of time and before I know it, I have spent 2 or 3 hours on the computer rather than using those same hours actually reading that perfect book, or pursuing that creative outlet.
Because I have deceived myself into thinking these are "required" activities for school, or blogging, or personal advancement, I begin to resent my life. I feel as though I have no time to do anything "fun" --- I become burnt out. This is not good for me, nor those who are around me.
What I have "discovered" in this time of reflection - and don't laugh - is that we all have 24 hours in a day. Every one of us. And while many of our hours are dictated by life's routine (we must sleep - we must eat - we must go to work), we all have several minutes a day (often hours) that we can use as we see fit. My problem is that I have not purposefully used these minutes. I have allowed time to fly by me as I sit staring at the computer screen, and that is no one's fault but my own.
So I have decided that I need to be a good steward of these free minutes. Just like we are taught to budget our money and pay attention how it is spent; or we are taught to budget our calorie intake and pay attention to what we are really eating; I need to budget my time and make conscientious decisions how I use each minute.
What this means, unfortunately, is that I will have to actually set a limit on how much time I spend reading blogs, especially on the days that I teach. If I want to exercise, take time to write daily, and have time to leisurely read, then I must say no to other activities that are taking up that time. Since I am a routine fanatic --- I will probably work on creating a schedule of each day of the week. I will attempt to account for each hour of the day, being sure that I limit computer time and increase "fun" time. That is the goal. I am hopeful that by doing this little bit of planning, my life will become more balanced, and I, in turn, will become more satisfied and peaceful. Life is too short to live otherwise.