Dealing With Time From A Different Perspective
I was going over our schedule with my two younger children, when “it” started – the whining, complaining, and moaning! They don’t understand the concept of time, so I thought I’d show them. And it’s not their fault! That’s when I had a light bulb moment and oh what a moment. Let me show you the discussion…
“It’s too hard!”
“It takes too long!”
“I can’t do it.”
“I won’t have any time left to play!”
“Ah HA! So that’s the problem.”
“If I prove to you that you’ll have plenty of time to play, will that make you feel better?”
“What? HOW?! Whine whine whine… How are you going to prove it to me?”
“There are 288 Five minute increments in one 24 hour day.”
“That means you have a LOT of time to get things done. Here’s how.”
“How long do you think it takes you to empty the dishwasher?”
“I’m going to time you for each chore today so you can see how much time you have left to play when you DON’T spend your play time whining about your chores.”
Believe it or not, the kids and I had a good time seeing just how long each chore took. Here’s a semi list…
* Emptying the dishwasher – approx. 5 minutes
* Loading the dishwasher – approx. 7 minutes (if there were a ton of dishes)
* Now this could go down if the kids keep up on the dishes.
* Emptying all of the small trash cans and putting in new bags – 4 minutes
* Picking up after the animal – approx. 5 minutes
I will get to the adult part of this article in a moment, but let me share with you how it ended with the children.
“So you see kids, if you would just buckle down and do your chores, you’d have over 250 Five minute increments left to play.”
“But moooom, I do have to sleep ya know. So sleeping takes up MORE of my time.”
“Oh, you’re right. Let’s see how many Five minute increments you’re using when you sleep.”
“If you sleep 8 hours, you’ll use 96 Five minute increments.”
“You will still have 192 Five minute increments.”
The reality of getting young children to understand reason and dealing with time might be difficult, but it’s a good start in teaching them how to effectively manage their time.
With all this in mind, let’s see if we can apply this to our often hectic and overwhelming days…
How are you at dealing with time? How many tasks can you think of that only take about five minutes? See if you can list them for each day, week or month, then attempt to insert those short tasks into your schedule. If you don’t have a schedule, then at least grab a sheet of paper to start writing down the five-minute tasks. In doing this you can add up how many five-minute increments you’ll need, to complete everything, and start from there.
It’s all in your perspective. If you see a lot of tiny tasks it can be overwhelming. But when you know you have about 192 five-minute increments in your entire day, you can insert small tasks and then insert the larger ones such as making dinner. I know this may sound TOO organized. But once you try it and succeed, you’ll cherish YOUR playtime and be happy you tried.
Copyright ©2003 Susie Glennan
All Rights Reserved.