A recent post on Patrice’s blog about time management made me stop and think.

Like many in the education business, I never feel like I have enough time to do all my work. And then there’s everything else that needs to be done outside of work: paying bills, keeping the house and yard up, laundry, cooking, family time!

So I always feel guilty when I do anything fun. I admit that I enjoy computer games from time to time, particularly Pokémon Go and Minecraft. Now I console myself that playing Pokémon Go gets me some exercise and it’s also bonding time with my son. And Minecraft lets me be pretty creative.

But then pretty much every day, I do veg in front of the TV. I try to make TV time productive. I can fold laundry, go through the mail, or organize files while I watch. But sometimes, honestly, I forget to be productive because I’m just too tired!

In Defense of Relaxation

So I was pleased that Patricev was similarly skeptical of an article saying we can reclaim 2 hours of our day by getting rid of TV, gaming, social media, and inefficient meal planning. There’s nothing wrong with unwinding a bit with some mindless entertainment. Also, I find that checking in with friends on social media is not worthless. My mother used to phone people in the late afternoon. These days we check Facebook or chat online.

Self-care is important and sometimes the key to self-care is doing less, not more. So while time management is important, maybe it’s ok to schedule some downtime?

The key, of course, is not to get carried away. So we do need to be mindful of how we are using our time. Are we reaching out and being social or just going down an Internet rabbit hole? At what point have we stopped actually paying attention to the TV and are just letting it stay on because we don’t feel like going to bed yet?

One thing I have observed is that if I get myself going on projects, particularly ones that I’ve been meaning to get to for a while, I often build momentum. It gets easier and easier to move on to the next project and it feels good to have gotten things done! As I said, I often try to include some entertainment, whether it be working in front of the TV or listening to music or a podcast, as I do it!

Take a look at Patrice’s original post and the post that inspired her from Blue Zones (Free Up 2 Hours a Day with this Exercise) and see what you think. But my takeaway thus far is not too fell guilty if you want to have a bit of fun. Do be aware of how much time you spend on “nothing” though.

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