Focus, time management, being present, keeping my job, spending quality time with my family, having time to myself, having creative time for growth, cleaning the house, doing laundry, paying bills, maintaining friendships, feeding the kids three decent meals a day … Why does it feel so impossible to keep up? The short answer is we are doing a lot, but also wasting a lot of time.
“The trouble is you think you have time.” I keep seeing that annoying but true quote from Buddha on Instagram. When I sit down in the morning after my kids go to school, I think I’m just going to go over emails and scroll my socials for a few minutes, but it always turns into a half hour before I even know it.
According to statista.com, the national average for time wasted on social media is 145 minutes a day. That doesn’t include emails, phone calls or texts, so the number of wasted minutes could be even more staggering. When I think of what I can do with an extra two hours, the kind of mom I could be, the muscles I could have, the skills I could learn, it makes me so sad, and yet I still get distracted daily.
The Bible says in Psalm 90:12, “Teach me, Lord, to number my days.” Numbering something reminds us that it is not infinite; time can run out. I started taking this wisdom into my daily life, numbering my minutes … in all daily tasks.
If I have a task to do like cleaning the floors, I set a timer for 20 minutes. Knowing I’m on a schedule, I get the job done in 15! What else can I do this with? I’ve put off organizing my two-year-old’s closet for months. Could I possibly do it in an hour? I start going and want to beat the clock. Forty minutes and it’s done. I’m astounded. I can clean the floor and organize the closet in the same time I would normally spend thinking about it and scrolling through pictures of other people’s organized houses.
I’ve mentioned before that kids need 15 minutes of quality time a day. I find it comforting that I can still be a good mom when I don’t have hours to dedicate to play. While time blocking my chores, I thought what if I timed all of my daily responsibilities, and at the end of the day, I wouldn’t need a 15 minute time slot for my babies. I could leave that block open-ended.
This may be my little key to productivity; number the minutes and hours spent on responsibility, turn off the clock to things that really set your soul on fire. Let’s stop giving our precious time to scrolling through other people’s lives and other useless distractions. The small stuff adds up and ten minutes here or there ends up being that book you’ve been wanting to write, the language you have been wanting to learn or, in my case, picking up that old guitar and taking lessons.
Cheers to always growing, always learning and saving more time!
Katelyn Young is a local mom of three (her #crumblycrew) who shares real moments of motherhood as it relates to fashion, food and fun! Follow her on Instagram @_katelynyoung_ or follow her blog at thebejuledlife.com.