Time: is there ever enough?

Image: Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It’s back-to-school time here in Michigan, and my three oldest boys are brushed, washed, fed, and have been (gently) pushed out the door to the bus stop. Tomorrow my youngest boy starts preschool, and–for the first time in a few years–we’ve hired a regular sitter to come three mornings a week. Since Clara was born I’ve been patching child care together on an as-needed basis, but now that she’s a toddler whose favorite toy in the house is the toilet and all its accoutrement, I’m finding I need an extra set of helping hands more regularly.

Suddenly, I’m facing the happy prospect of having time. Blocks of unfettered hours in which I can do, well, whatever I want. Work, of course. But I could also spend some of it reading. Staring out a window. Exercising. Shopping. Eating. Mindlessly clicking. It’s my time. How do I want to use it?

Since so many of us have kids entering school–maybe for the first time–right now, I figured this would be a great opportunity to talk about TIME. How do you manage it so that it doesn’t slip away? How do you keep social media from overtaking your life? How do you fit in the things you want to do amid the things you need to do? How do you figure out the difference?

I’ve touched on all these issues a lot here at lot at The Happiest Mom. I’ve written about leisure time, making time for the things you want to do, and turning “should-do” tasks into “want-to” tasks. But this week I really want to zero in on the time issue. It’s so easy to sit down at your computer at 9 AM with big plans for what you want to accomplish, then stand back up at noon with nothing but a stiff butt and vague memories of Twitter conversations. In our day to day lives, it’s easy for your average Tuesday to just seem so ordinary. It’s hard to believe that anything special could happen today, or that it will matter much if you fritter it away. And yet, when you stop to think about it, our entire lives are made up of ordinary days just like this one.

Tomorrow Laura Vanderkam, author of 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think will be here to share her thoughts on managing time and being a happier mom.

I’d love if you’d comment here and answer one (or more!) of these questions to help kick off the discussion:

  • What are your biggest obstacles to finding or making time to do what you want?
  • How do you determine the difference between what you really need to do–and what you don’t?
  • Do you ever feel like you could get so much more done if you could just figure out how to manage your time?
  • What tools or tricks do you use to help keep on top of your time?
  • If you could somehow “find” an extra hour each day, what would you do with it?

Looking forward to your answers, and to sharing Laura Vanderkam’s thoughts with you tomorrow.

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