So a little bit ago I was frustrated about feeling like I had no time. And I started to read a book to see if I could correct that.
Here’s the thing… I tried following the advice in the book and charting my time based on the hours in a week. And I did it for one week… and then I stopped. Because you know what it showed me… I don’t just FEEL like I have less time for myself, I really have less time for myself. So I stopped reading the book after I’d finished about 1/2 of it… I think my review of it on Goodreads sums up how I felt.
168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I feel like I never have enough time to do things in life. I liked the idea of looking at the week in terms of hours, as opposed to the days. But really, I felt like I was wasting time reading the book. It wasn’t bringing me much enjoyment and it wasn’t giving me any earth-shattering tips to improve my schedule.
Here’s the rub… I honestly don’t have time to do as much as I used to. My feeling that way wasn’t inaccurate. Since I had a baby and became a mother… more time is spent on another human being than on myself. No amount of blocking out my time or charting it will change the fact that I now have several hours a day spent on someone else that I didn’t have before. And you know what? I like my kid, so I guess it all works out!
The only way I will have more time is to carve it out. I have to cut things, and there aren’t a lot of things to cut out right now. But I can try to squeeze in a few extra bits by asking my husband to take on more responsibilities. This week I went to a book club with a bunch of gals and it was so nice to get out. We read the book The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, a book that I thought I wouldn’t be interested in, but ended up enjoying quite a bit. I felt a little bit of guilt that I left before Alex’s bed time and that I was making my husband parent on his own. And all was fine… I got to go enjoy a night out and Alex was fine.
So I dropped an hour of childcare time from my week as well as a couple of hours of work/email/reading time. It worked out. Now I just need to figure out how to find time to write all the blog posts I need to post (reviews, reviews, reviews!) and respond to the massive amounts of email I get in conjunction with this blog, all while being able to sleep less and run more without sacrificing my physical or mental health.
<RANT> For something that actually costs me money, I sure do a lot of work for other people with this site! To some extent, that’s what happens with hobbies… you spend money on them, but get satisfaction and enjoyment. And a lot of the time, I DO get that from my site. But fielding inquiries from people asking me to review their latest e-cigarettes or weight loss shakes or toning underwear… it’s exhausting. Many of these pitches are so far off what I would ever write about, I just delete them. Then I get the follow-up emails, “Did you get my email?” I don’t have time to tell every person in the world that I am not going to write about their product, especially when they send me a pitch that begins with “Ms Jill Blogger” and ends with “if you would like me to send you photos of our product”… So I do all the work to research and write something about a product I probably don’t even like the sound of and I get… photos in exchange and readers that wonder what kind of payoff I must receive for writing that content? And the random traffic that may stumble upon that post in the future will then keep leaving comments on my site for years and years with absurd statements (yes, this is a lesson I’ve learned through personal experience) which then potentially causes me more work to delete those? For a possible nickel in return from my AdSense unit on the page? No thanks… </RANT>
I hardly have a well-read blog such as you. And I went months without writing at all. Yet, I was still fielding a ridiculous amount of those emails. What the heck!