In another era, I would have been called a Renaissance Man (Women weren’t acknowledged much back then.), since my interests are varied, and I want to excel at them all. In fact, when I went to college a gazillion years ago, the university I attended prided itself on creating the “Whole Man.” I offer myself as Exhibit A.
There are problems, however. And mostly they deal with finding time to do all the things I want to do: become better at piano, crochet, read, write, clean house (Yes, clean house), travel, ruminate, exercise, bake, practice yoga, understand social media, meet friends for coffee, pay bills (Yes, that to.) and simply sit still.
So I’m devising a program by which to allot equal time to each of these endeavors. I call it the “Thirty Minute Plan,” and so far it’s in beta testing. I do each activity for thirty minutes, allowing that if I’m in the middle of something crucial when the timer dings I can finish it.
Did I mention the timer? It’s my boss. And even then, I must decide which activities I’m going to approach on any given day, because I have more “likes” than I have hours that I’m awake when you factor in bathing, eating, and communicating with my husband. I certainly can’t ignore those things for the sake of the timer.
What have I learned so far?
Thirty minutes is a good amount of time to focus on something without succumbing to distractions. If the phone rings when I’m practicing piano, I can ignore it and know that a response is only minutes away. If I’m not enjoying one of the activities for whatever reason, I can endure it for half an hour.
At the same time, thirty minutes isn’t very long at all. In fact, it makes for a choppy approach to the day. There are times when I could spend an entire afternoon on one thing, and the timer works against this. Still, I’m committed to trying the thirty minute approach for a while in the hope that the things I truly want to spend time on will – like cream – rise to the top. I’ll go from there.