“Why does it seem as if time flies?” I asked my husband during lunch today. “I really wish that there are more than 24 hours in a day.”
After I got married, I found myself short on time.
But I am always gasping for time. Even right now, I have a huge backlog of things to do!
For some reason, the days pass by quickly and before I know it, it’s already midnight and I still have to do some accounting.
Some days, I get lazy and sleep immediately after twiddling on my iPad. Other days, I just zonk myself out to sleep.
After thinking a bit about time and the challenges on how to manage time, I find that in order to be peaceful and content, you have to prioritize three things in life.
If you take on too much, you’ll be stretched too thin, stressed and exhausted.
But if you take in too little, and you’ll be bored and frustrated. That’s why we say that many people are walang magawa (have nothing to do).
Here are my list of the biggest time-munchers — feel free to add more if you think of any:
- Taking care of your spouse or if you’re single, finding a husband/wife
- Your parents – worse if they demand a lot from you
- Your siblings
- Your work/job/career
- Your child(ren)
- Your friends
- Church activities or volunteer work
- PR work or business associations (e.g., Lion’s Club, Rotary, Jaycees International, Federation, etc.)
- Yourself and your own interests
- Your studies (e.g., studying for an undergrad, masters, an advancement program, etc.)
A friend of mine complained to me once that her husband was not so happy with her.
“He wants me to help him out in the family business,” she said. “But how can I squeeze time into that? He is complaining that I am lagging in my work.”
“Well, what takes a lot of your time?” I asked.
“Well, I am helping my sibling to plan his wedding,” she answered. My friend by the way is an amazing event organizer. Even though she does it pro-bono, if my friend helps you out in your wedding, you’re pretty much in good hands.
Unfortunately, she has five siblings. Each of whom have been marrying once per year.
In addition, she is super close to her family.
A self-professed daddy’s girl, my friend cannot help but meddle in family affairs. My husband for example limits my family affairs to once a week and on special holidays or birthdays. My friend spends a lot more time than that.
Some friends find it hard to leave and cleave. But as my husband says, “If you guys want to spend a lot of time with your family, then why did you even bother to get married?”
What’s more, she has a one-year old daughter and a husband who hopes she spends more time with him.
So in terms of priority, she wants to fit the following into her schedule: 1) her husband, 2) her daughter, 3) her parents, 4) her siblings, and 5) their family business.
Her husband also wants her to take care of the household. She likes to cook and take care of the household issues so that also takes a lot of her time!
Result = Chaos and time pressure!!!
In other words, what she is doing is INSANE.
Personally, my priorities are only as follows — my husband, our business, and my mom.
In that order.
While our family business takes up most of my time — for example, I do the sourcing, pricing, balancing the books, sales and marketing — I know I should drop everything to be there for my husband.
For example, just two days ago, he wanted me to go with him to his friend’s birthday party. Even if I’ve spent the whole day going around our stores, I still mustered enough energy to go with him since I knew how important it was for him to spend a bit of time with his business associates.
The business can wait for an evening. It should survive.
As for my mom, she has been there for me ever since. So even if we are busy, I always try to spend one day per week with her, which she thankfully appreciates. She also bribes us with love, gifts and attention, which make time with her very enjoyable.
I think life will be much harder to balance once (if) I have kids. If I have kids, I would have to take out some time from the business, the hubby or my mom to take care of him/her. Thankfully, I think my mom would love to co-parent my kid with us, so there is really no conflict of interest.
But adding friends to the mix, my gosh.
Once a week or every two weeks is doable.
But if I have to spend time with a friend every day, I don’t think I can handle that anymore.
So think about your life. How do you manage your time? Do you agree that you can only do so much?
As usual, your comments below are appreciated.