I often ponder where the time in a day goes. My alarm clock (cell phone) has two alarms scheduled to go off, the first at 5:45AM and the second at 6:00AM to remind me that it is time to start getting ready for work. I spend a significant time getting to and from work, and I do not often arrive home until it is after 6PM, sometimes even 7:00PM. By the time that I have checked my e-mails and responded to them and had a few conversations, and done a little bit of writing each day, it is time for sleeping. Where does all the time go? It is taken up in tasks. Occasionally I will try to sneak in reading while traveling, but for the most part my schedule is a pretty busy one.
I know I am not alone in this matter. There was once a story, and at least as far as I remember it, one started with a bucket and then filled it with large rocks, and then put in gravel, sand, and water to fill in the rest of the space of the bucket. The bucket seemed full with only the big rocks in it, and then with the gravel added, and then with the sand added, and it was finally completely full when the water was added to it. Some people tried to make that story out that one could always fit more into a day, but a more accurate way of putting it is that there are priorities that need to be fit in or they will simply not get done.
It is hard to budget time. For me, being a person who is a bit scatter-brained and sometimes easy to distract, and at other time relentlessly and single-mindedly focused, I tend to fit in priorities by budgeting specific time to a task so that I know it gets done. I find that if I don’t commit a certain time that there will inevitably be something else that fills it, something else that probably is not very important, no matter how urgent it might seem. On the plus side, having a great deal of activities to fill one’s time means that there is much less time for fighting and debating in my life right now, and that’s almost certainly a good thing.
For me, one of the activities that inevitably falls by the wayside is sleep. I know, intellectually, that I need a fair amount of sleep to function at my best, and I also know that I have seldom gotten enough good sleep in my life for a variety of reasons, and that like quality time, quality sleep requires a sufficient quantity of time to work well. All of this I know, but when it comes time to making sleep a priority I simply get carried away by other tasks. This does not make me happy, and I wish I could be better at making sleep a priority, but something else that seems more interesting at the time always seems to come up that distracts me from sleep. Of course, I’m going to try to go to sleep now, at least unless something shiny distracts me further.