Time in a Bottle

glass bottles

glass bottles (Photo credit: eselques0)

In the song alluded to in the title, Jim Croce writes:

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do once you find them

These words seem to be nearly universally true. It’s much more common to hear someone bemoan the lack of enough time than it is to hear people complain about having too much of the stuff. And unlike money, it can’t be shared or given away. No matter who we are, we all have the same 168 hours each week.

In my last post, I wrote about how one view of time management pairs the concept of time with money, using similar verbs and principles to discuss the management of both. While this model is a popular one, it seems that it can lead to frustration and regrets. Not all budgets work out as planned. It’s hard enough to have budget challenges in one area of life without having it in both. I suspect that in reality, whether one has a stronger desire for an orderly ledger sheet or a streamlined environment is more about personality and personal preference than about the actual methods one uses to manage time.

I get more excited about an orderly kitchen, rows of books neatly lined up on shelves, and colorful fabric stacked in open shelving. That kind of breathing room makes me smile because the space is comfortable and inviting. I like the idea that open space means I can add something beautiful that comes into my life, like a beautiful vase or a woven basket, without it getting lost in endless clutter.

I like to think of time in terms of space. If I have a set of boxes or baskets, I know how much I can fit into those containers. If I try to put too much into it, it will overflow, or look cluttered. My sense of aesthetics is helpful in this regard. I can SEE when things look too messy, too disorganized,

Imagine a calendar page that has a sense of space. That something could be added without the whole thing coming apart. This model of time management appeals to me. Tasks can be seen as physical items that fit into containers of time. The containers can be in different sizes: a day, an hour, a week, ten minutes. I can schedule my tasks into these containers of time. Leave some containers open for the unexpected things that come along. Room to breathe.

With that kind of model, maybe I can move toward arranging the time for the things I want to do once I find them. For now, I’m happy to take the time to find the things that I most want to fit into my containers of time.

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