The Time Bandit

imageI have had it with that time bandit. That sneaky varmint gets me every time.
I make my plans with very good intentions by blocking out sections of time
on my schedule. I need these blocks of time to work on my book, to work on
my blog, and to work on my quilt. That stealthy bandit is so darn
manipulative, it outwits me time and time again by sneaking bits of this and
parts of that in front of me.

Let me give you an example. Just yesterday, I’m minding my business in front
of my computer working on a post. After the post, the plan is to work on my
book. The phone rings. “This won’t take long,” I tell myself. . Next thing I
know, the sneak robs me of 45 whole minutes. Just like that.

Once off the phone, I realize I need to start my water distiller. We have
well water that is extremely hard. After looking at the crud of heavy
mineral deposits around faucets, in the toilet and in the dog’s water bowl,
I don’t want my family drinking it. We distil water, then add mineral drops
to it. There’s something ironic about that. Anyway, I rinse off the crud
from the bottom of the water boiler, fill it up with water and start a new
gallon. That only takes about five minutes, just enough time for me to
decide I will check facebook for “a second or two” to see what everyone is
up to.

I don’t really care about what someone had for breakfast or the last time
anyone got their oil changed, but I take a quick peek to make sure I don’t
miss out on anything big. Mostly, I love, love, love the wisdom, funnies
and videos people post. I especially loved a video recently called, “What if
Animals Ate Fast Food?” That one was hilarious. The leopard couldn’t get the
antelope. Their beach ball, round bellies bumped into each other then
bounced off like balloons. The alligator teeter-tottered on a fat belly when
it tried to get the bubbled flamingoes or bloated giraffes coming for a
drink. Such creativity!

An hour later, I have to get off facebook because the dogs need to go out.
While outside I check the new crocus leaves peeking through the soil. A sign
I always welcome. I walk around enjoying what I can under a
flurry of snow. Then I grab the pooper-scooper, if you know what I mean.
Later, I work a bit more on my post.

After lunch, I notice a very dusty section of floor under a knick-knack
table. It’s Thursday, tonight at 6:30 we host a weekly Bible study. I
decide to dust and straighten around the house. Halfway through, I see the
mail man stuff mail in our box and get the mail. I get lost in the great
decorating ideas and recipes in the new Coastal Magazine, though we don’t
live near the coast. I look through Kohl’s ads.

I remember the post I want to get out before the Bible study. I finish it
and post it. I am now limited to only a couple of hours of book writing
before I need to begin dinner in order to have everything cleaned up before
everyone arrives.

But first ,I just have to take a few minutes to thank the latest bloggers
who visited and liked my blog. I go to their blogs and find some
interesting stories to read. I leave a few comments and nearly jump out of
my skin when I realize the bandit slipped time from me again and I should
have started dinner a half hour ago. That vermin got me! Thankfully, I have
a hubby who is willing to pick us up something on his way home, but I know I
can’t do that very often. I put off my book writing yet another day.

The house is now clean and people will be here any minute. I ask myself,
“Exactly what did you really accomplish today? Just one blog? All day? And
lots of nothing else? Really?” It’s that good-for-nothing time klepto’s
fault! Told you, it is a manipulative rascall!

Honestly, I have struggled with time management all my life. I am plagued
with a terrible case of simplex-sidetrack-itis. It is a major symptom of
time robbed by bandits. From what I can tell, there aren’t too many
remedies for it unless you hire yourself a time sergeant to kill it out of
your life. I have read countless how-to-self-help articles on improving
this weakness, but seem to continue to fall pray to that nasty time bandit.
The how-to instructions are clear enough.

. Make a planner and stick to it.
. Make a list of doable goals.
. Make a daily schedule, block out periods of times for goals.
. Place your list where you can see it.
. Avoid procrastination.
. Reward yourself when you achieve the goals.

These work great for a few days, but then that burglar shows up uninvited
with some type of major interruption and there goes the schedule, right down
the drain. These articles never say anything about time bandits. Even when
I make a list, half the time it gets overlooked. Once, I taped a list to my
counter top. After a few days it was forgotten, covered by mail. The time
bandit uses any insignificant thing in life to steal time. That is how that
blasted time-badgering rascal rips me off. All that stolen time could easily
add up to years. I think I am finally catching on to the bandit’s schemes,
though.

For me, it comes down to things like those extra chatty minutes on the
phone. The five minutes looking through emails or facebook that turn into 45
minutes. Hours spent reading blogs and researching a subject online that
leads to another interesting subject that leads to yet another interesting
subject. That movie or two I wasn’t planning on watching. That extra web
time looking for recipes that takes me to another recipe that takes me to
another recipe. And I won’t even go into Pinterest.

I am letting the secret out. I am warning everyone out there. Don’t let the
time bandit steal from you! I will post this post about that time stealing
vermin before it tries to stop me. I aim to outsmart that bandit once and
for all one of these days! I will be diligent and stay on schedule. I will
keep a tight rein on my time and an eye on the clock. I will not let those
insignificant things get in the way of my goals. It cannot stop me now!

But then, when do I take the time to stop and smell the roses?

By ~ Elizabeth Yalian  ©2013

3 Comments

Filed under Everydayliving

3 responses to “The Time Bandit

  1. I can’t believe he visits you – I thought he lived in my house 🙂

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