The Myth of No Time

Say it Rah-shay By Feb 08, 2015 10 Comments

Nerd alert…I will be quoting Star Trek.


My sister and I were chatting on the phone and as she lamented the lack of time she has to get things done around her house , I found myself looking around *my* house and the familiar, anxious feeling of too much to do and not enough time to do it crept up on me. The house is in one of those messy states that can only come from me misplacing something that I was not bothered with putting away when I was finished with it. Oh yes, there was a stack of books that I was trying to place on a new bookcase but decided to start looking through one instead and Mt Laundry has erupted leaving folded clothes scattered. Just as I was cursing the weekend coming to an end and my time running out I begin to wonder, “WHY is it that I don’t have enough time to do things I feel like I need to do?”

I have been keeping a time log and I have been using an app called “Moment” to keep track of my time. While I may feel like I may not have time to do the things I need to do, I have found that I have plenty of time to do things I want to do. I have this feeling of being busy but my busy is more like push papers around busy instead of get it done and complete busy.

In Star Trek Generations Dr. Soran tells Picard:

“They say time is the fire in which we burn. Right now, Captain, my time is running out. We leave so many things unfinished in our lives… I know you understand.”

Dr. Soran’s words rattle through my head as a sense of obligation washes over me. The amount of screen time I indulge in is obscene, a bit impressive and but really, embarrassing. Last week I watched all of my shows as well as finish a movie I rented from the library. I know what happened with Olivia, Raylan and AnaLise. I fell in love with Matt LeBlanc’s Showtime series and subsequently feel like I know all about Beverly and Sean (characters from the show) and Hollywood writers (I don’t) and a few other binge watching practices which found me asleep on the couch with TV blaring and lights blasting well into the wee hours of the night. And my small screen phone use? Egads! I had to change the daily time limit for the Moment app THREE times to at least get through the morning without the alarm going off.

I have developed an awful habit of screen time that left little time for everything else. It was a habit that started with small changes in behavior and developed into a way of life. Instead of whining (more than I have here) I decided to use my friend Janeane’s advice to stop looking at the whole problem and tackle mini things.


My plan for gaining more time was a phrase my friend Janeane oft says: Eat the elephant one bite at a time.

Bite 1: Putting things where the belong

Instead of looking at my house and thinking, “Screw this; it’s way too much to go through” I made mini goals, sort of like the pledge drive for WHYY. When I get home from work, everything goes where it belongs. Keys on the hook, bag by the door, coat on the rack. This way there is no more of the frantic play of “Where are my keys” which I swear has wasted at least three days of my life.

Bite 2: Cutting back on TV

Instead of binge watching three episodes  (OK, an entire season) of Episodes (my newest love), I use the show as accompaniment for doing something that I can sit and do. Since My Laundry is my nemesis, I use an episode or two to catch up on the clothes. Before I start the show I start the washer or dryer. When the buzzer for either machine goes off, no matter where I am in the episode, that is my cue to TURN OFF the television instead of pausing it and doing the next step. I turn the television off because pausing gives me an excuse to watch a few more minutes instead of getting what needs to be done, done.

Bite 3: I can’t workout!

This is a tough one. I really like sitting. I know summer bodies are made in winter but winter is a good time for snuggling and working on butt grooves. I trick myself into doing some things, like crunches, squats and arm curls. I figure if I can sit for a minute, I can repeat that sit movement up and down and before I know it, I have done 25 (my magic number) of reps. I will get back to the track and to the gym eventually. For now a crunch and squat will do until it won’t do.


Bite 4: The 45 minute rule

When decluttering or organizing or cleaning I work at full steam for 45 minutes. Then I give myself 15 minutes to relax, play on my phone, whatever. It works because 45 minutes is a nice bit of time to get something done but since there is a bit of a deadline I can see the end instead of worrying about powering through. It’s also like a game…can I get this box of things put away in time? Will I get these dishes washed and dried in enough time? Some tasks are shorter and some are longer but it’s cool because it gets done. (This also works at work on those days I reserve as “prep” days and I feel like I can fool around reading picture books instead of, you know, shelving them but I digress.)

Bite 5: Do it

Sometimes all of the above is just moot. I get a case of the “Idonwannas” and not a thing gets done no matter how much I try to fool myself into thinking it will. Instead of whining about it I just grab something and do it. Bag those books to go to the library, take that trunk to Goodwill, clear the table of the miscellaneous clutter that migrates there. Just do something. It’s a little something but feels so good.

Bite 6: Throw sh!t away

It took me four years to throw a pair of televisions away. They were these old school jawns that didn’t have any way of working with modern technology yet I convinced myself that I needed to keep them. One night Effin Guy came over and helped me put them to the curb for trash. The junk man got them first and my house has two less things cluttering my space. Seeing the open space encouraged me to bag more crap and give up the dream of keeping all of those things. Books I am never going to read, yarn I won’t be using and pens…bye!

Bite 6: Give yourself a break

Yup. Just what it says. Yes, there is a ton of stuff to do and yes you are stressed but relax and take a deep breath and walk away. Get out of the house, get out of your head and stop beating yourself up.

Time is not the enemy, as a wise Picard once noted. From Star Trek: Generations he said:

Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives. But I rather believe than time is a companion who goes with us on the journey, and reminds us to cherish every moment because they’ll never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we lived. After all, Number One, we’re only mortal.

Time is a companion and using your time (mostly) wisely will allow you some freedom for when you want to veg.

Chewing and swallowing,


I am mom, daughter, sister, yarn lover, word lover, crazy cat lady and library chick. Find me with book or with hook and a hot cuppa.


  1. Shelah Moss says:

    I would guess that there a lot of people out there who feel that they do not use their time as wisely as they could. I know I am one of those people. 🙂

  2. CourtneyLynne Storms says:

    Ahhhh I use to be the best at time management pre-mommy days…. Now I really need to work on it!

  3. Melissa Matters says:

    Yes, I don't believe the I'm too busy line. If you think about it, you can workout while watching your kids or television. That's why I hate it when the day ends and I haven't taken 15 minutes to run or lift weights. Putting things where they belong is so important too. Great post.

  4. Terri says:

    I do not use my time wisely at all, technology takes up most of my time and I should be ashamed to say that but to be honest, im not 😉

  5. All excellent reminders! I know if I kept a log of my time, it would show I was wasting much of it. Probably why I'm scared to keep a log 🙂 Thanks for the suggestions of how to improve in this.

  6. Megan VW says:

    Wow! What great tips we can all starting using today. My new rule is I can't watch TV after the kids go to sleep unless I am on the elliptical, exercising, or doing laundry. LOL

    1. Rachee says:

      Megan, I LOVE that idea! It’s so easy to get caught up in hours of tv after my daughter goes to bed since I don’t have to censor.

  7. Chanity Creech says:

    I love the quote about us all having the same 24 hours in our day.. Thanks for the motivation to step my productivity up!

  8. Alana Pace-Robillard says:

    I'm bookmarking this for later and am going to refer back to it as I plan out my week. I think you nailed it when you said, I have plenty of time to do the things I want to do. Can't wait to go through this more thoroughly. Great post!

  9. Brandi says:

    I can relate to a lot of this. I do a lot of “challenges” to get stuff done, and you’ve actually encouraged me to do hang these clothes up that’ve been sitting on my bed all day right this second. Thanks, girl!

Your turn! Tell it to Rah-shay!

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