I would have to agree. Time is ALWAYS in short supply in my life. In common with many other public employees, I’m now doing a job that used to be done by at least two other people. Not all of it, of course, but enough that there is little time to stop and think, and so that anything unexpected can throw a complete spanner in the works. The ‘working hours’ in my contract (and most of my colleagues) are a joke. But that’s the way it is. We’re lucky we still have jobs – and that we’re passionate enough about what we do that it feels like time well spent.
That’s the thing about time. And wasting it. I’m very much on board with the idea that time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time. And of course, what constitutes enjoyment is highly individual: going to a football match, or booking a poolside all-inclusive holiday for me would not just be a waste of money, it would be a waste of time. I daresay I would survive, but I doubt I would be able to relax enough to consider it time well spent. Others would (and have) question the way I choose to spend leisure time: cooking and baking, travelling, reading, blogging… But it wouldn’t do if we were all the same. If God had intended us all to spend our time in the same way, he wouldn’t have created us to be so diverse in our personalities.
But all that is just a diversionary tactic – to put off writing about what I’m really supposed to be writing about. It is a small comfort to me to know that I am very far from being alone in having supreme skills in diversionary tactics! Finding something – ANYTHING – to do which will help me put off something I don’t particularly want to do.
Procrastination is one of the things I felt called to tackle during this month of Simplify 7, with the aim of trying not to waste time putting things off. A bad cold early in the month meant it didn’t get off to a very good start; I ended up struggling to get through the day at work and sitting like a zombie in the evenings. But frustrating as it was, I suppose I could put a shine on it by arguing that I didn’t waste time worrying about something that couldn’t be helped and was only temporary.
However, since then I’ve really tried to just get on with things. As I’ve said before, I find it difficult to be motivated at this time of year – I feel like I want to hibernate – but I’ve found that praying for the strength to do the things I don’t really want to do has made a big difference. I mean, I wish I could say that I suddenly had 100% more energy and I was speeding through all my various tasks like some kind of superwoman…but I can’t. What I have found, though, is that it hasn’t been quite as hard as I expected. And that’s becoming something of a theme with the challenges presented by Simplify 7. I wonder why?!
So, as a result of my attempts to end procrastination and stop wasting time, I’m moving towards the end of October with quite a number of household chores under my belt. None of them took anything like as long as I expected them to, and all of them lifted my spirits just knowing that they were done – even though they are just the silly little things of everyday life.
I’ve also started to take care of some other things which are not such quick fixes. They are too personal to write about here, but suffice to say there are things that I have been avoiding for far too long, things that have the potential to be real barriers in my continued journey with God.
When I started Simplify 7, I knew it was going to be a journey and I really wasn’t very clear about where it was going to take me. That’s quite a big deal for me: I like control – even though I also like surprises. Of themselves, the things I have done through this challenge have been small, almost insignificant. But Simplify 7 is challenging me to break down barriers in my own thinking, to get out of my comfort zone and to put much more trust in God. It’s exciting, even when it isn’t very comfortable.
I said at the beginning of the challenge it was about creating some space in my life to give God room to move and to show me how he wanted me to move. Those barriers (some of which I didn’t even know about) need to go! It feels like baby steps – but at least it’s not standing still.