Bedtime: the fantasy vs the reality

Nope. Not that kind of fantasy. There's definitely no time for that when you've got dishwashers to empty, bins to take out, and other people's photos of novelty cocktails and pool inflatables to stare at absently on Instagram. And then since I'm on my phone already, I might as well just check my bank account in case someone has mysteriously deposited a six-figure sum in there. And my emails, just in case I've finally been invited to dance on Strictly. And Rightmove, to look at some houses I can't afford. Then I might as well have a quick look on Facebook and Twitter too, since I don't quite hate myself enough yet...

My biggest wastes of time

As I watered the upstairs plants this morning, and dutifully poured some over the Mother In Law's Tongue that sits on a chest of drawers in our bedroom and has been dead for probably the last 5 months, it struck me as a bit of a waste of time. I must spend about 1 minute a week watering it (which probably explains why it's dead), so if I were to live for another 50 years, that's almost 2 full days of time. That's loads! Enough for a nice mini break somewhere, or to do some painting, or spend time in the garden planting more plants I can later kill.

As someone who likes to make the most of my time on Earth, I got to thinking about all the other ways I waste time, in the hope of clawing some of those hours back to spend on more worthwhile endeavours.

Again, assuming I live another 50 years, here's how much time I can save by not doing pointless things:

Watering dead plants - 2600 minutes
Moving clean washing onto the bed to remind me to put it away, then putting it back on the floor when I go to bed - 5200 minutes
Setting 5am alarms with the aim of exercising before work, then changing them when I come to my senses - 6083 minutes
Writing reminders to do things I don't want to do instead of just doing them - 91,250 minutes
Checking things are still in my pocket when I know they are - 9125 minutes
Making the cushions look tidy then sitting down and messing them up - 12,166 minutes
Writing my name at the end of emails - 10,000 minutes
Making stupid pie charts - 78,000 minutes
Worrying that I'm wasting time - 200,000 minutes

Total = 396,424 minutes
= 6,907 hours

= 288 days

Wow. Almost a whole extra year of time to find new, more fun ways to waste.

biggest wastes of time

Housework

My parents came to stay last weekend. Actually, that's a lie, they came to stay four weeks ago, but this blog post has been on my to-do list ever since then.

Anyway, in anticipation of their arrival , I blocked out two hours on the Saturday in my iPhone calendar to clean the house upstairs, then two hours on the Sunday to clean the house downstairs. I did this so I wouldn't end up frantically running around on Thursday morning trying to get it all done and end up being late to meet them, as usually happens.

Of course Saturday came and went and no cleaning got done, so I moved the blocks to Sunday and Monday. And then on Sunday I decided to start watching Line of Duty, so no cleaning happened then either. So I moved the blocks to Monday and Tuesday. Then Tuesday and Wednesday. Then on Tuesday I didn't have time so I changed Wednesday's allotted time to four hours so I could do it all in one go (the exact thing I'd been trying to avoid). Then Wednesday was really busy, so what did I end up doing? Frantically cleaning upstairs until gone midnight, then getting up early on Thursday morning to finish it off before dashing to meet my parents at the station. 

Not sure what the moral of this story is but I'm pretty sure that in the time it took me to make those cleaning events in my calendar, move them around endlessly, write this blog post, and make this pie chart, that I could have got a heck of a lot of cleaning done.

housework pie chart

Will I ever learn?

As I found myself trying to ram a towel into the already very full washing machine the other morning, just so I didn't have to leave it looking messy on the kitchen floor, it struck me that I regularly do a lot of things that I go on to regret. Take, for instance, all the times I've opened the fridge door to find just the tiniest drop of milk, but somehow convinced myself that it will be ok, because the magic milk fairy will come and top it up for me so I don't have to walk the ten minutes down to the shop. But then fast forward a couple of hours when I'm gagging for a cup of tea, I go to the fridge and can't believe I've been so foolish as to let it run out. Or when it's late at night and I go to put something in the already very full bin, and I think 'I really should probably change that bin bag now' but then I think 'naaaaaaaaa' and push it all down to make room, knowing full well that I'll be cursing myself when I go to change it the next day and my nice clean jeans get covered in bin juice,

things I always regret doing but still do anyway

A guide to faffing

I consider myself an expert faffer, so I wanted to share my finely honed faffing skills with some of you wannabe faffers out there. I've come to find that rather than being a utterly pointless waste of time and energy, a good faff is an essential part of my creative process, and rather than getting angry at myself for fannying about, I've chosen henceforth to embrace the joy of faffing, as well as the side helping of existential terror it brings.