Sunday, May 31, 2020

Lot of time, but no time

Needless to say, there is a lot of time on hand, nowadays. But the problem that comes along with it is, something close to the Parkinson's Law -- "... work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion."

Though the British naval historian, Cyril Northcote Parkinson, wrote these words as part of the opening sentence of an essay in The Economist in 1955 on the way the civil service works, I have noticed that, in a loose sense, the law holds good in my daily routine as well.

Before the stay-indoors order came, everyday activities were all time-specific: and one transitioned to the other as if they were all pre-programmed.

Now, every activity seems to stretch to eternity ... 

I switch on the television and end up watching one programme after the other.
 
I play Scrabble or Sudoku or Solitaire and it goes on like for one hour or even more than that on weekends. 
 
No need to travel anywhere to meet up with friends. Meetups are online and they go on and on.

I found it ironic that even though I have so much time, a lot of chores are either left incomplete or not done at all.

One way out of it, I have realised, is to have a time limit for each activity. Like, if I am reading a book, I make sure I stop reading it and get on to something else after a particular time. 

Seems to be working.

Now let me end this post here, go over to Feedly and check out some blogs ...

(Image credit: Pixabay

22 comments:

  1. So true. I have heard that quote, and ever since, I have noticed that it is so very true.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hari OM
    I hear you... and imposing that self-discipline is a must for any kind of self-worth to be maintained in our constrained circumstances! It is why so many have taken to knitting, sewing, baking - or the learning of an instrument or language, as you noted in earlier posts. YAM xx

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hahaha!I could relate to this very well.I like your suggestion to fix a time limit for each activity with some plus or minus tolerance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi KP - I guess keeping a time limit is the only way out. Thanks and take care.

      Delete
  4. The main issue for me is to stay off my laptop. Earlier I used to force myself to go out on weekends. Now I am forcing myself to (only) listen to audiobooks and audio content for at least 1.5 days so that my eyes are ready for the next week.

    Destination Infinity

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rajesh - The same is the case with me too. The screen time has also increased, and when one is on the screen very easy to lose track of the time.

      Delete
  5. Hi Pradeep - rings so true doesn't it ... yes I concur! I'm forcing myself to do a few things everyday ... while I generally do what I'd normally do ... still looks like Parkinson's Law will be carrying on for a while yet - at least for those of us that have a choice, and realise the need for being careful. I'd like to get to the end of one lot of chores though, before I move on to the next ... !! Take care - Hilary

    ReplyDelete
  6. This seems to be the new way to do things ;) I will start working at my office tomorrow, so I guess "normal" life is coming back slowly.
    Take care

    ReplyDelete
  7. This post made me smile Pradeep.
    There's a saying that if you need to get something done, give it to a busy person.
    When I was working full-time and had young children, I was much more time-efficient than what I am these days.
    Then again, these free pastures of time suit my present phase perfectly:)
    Good to know you're keeping your day productive and busy.
    Stay safe.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Agree. Once you start something you seem to keep doing it. There's plenty of time and yet things don't get done. It's bizarre.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh, I've lost so many hours on card games. ~shakes head~ I finally started setting a timer, especially after a mild repetitive stress injury to my right thumb. Oops! Heh... Be well!

    ReplyDelete
  10. A time limit? But I'm having so much more fun doing things other than what I'm supposed to be doing...

    ReplyDelete
  11. Had a chuckle while reading the Parkinson's law/ saying that is so apt to the state of the matter at my end too! Has the time contracted or the work expanded or the mind is frozen, I am disillusioned by all of these thoughts invading my mind space.
    Interesting and engaging post!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Lot of time and but no time:) agree with you. At the end of the day I wonder what I actually did, some days I am stretching my time trying a new recipe and realize I have taken half day, planning, reading up and experimenting. still other days I am watching movie and 3 hours is just gone. Yesterday I tried cleaning up the kitchen and found half day is gone, today i reported to office and half day is gone...I need to get back to my list of things to do.... and put full stop as I keep accomplishing. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  13. You are absolutely correct. I have experienced that. When I have nothing planned, my mind become so undisciplined.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Yes,you are correct, Pradeep. It is a fact that when we have more time,things on our side travel through slow paths and we utilize the time with no calculation,result no time to finish our fond jobs.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Occasionally your endless activity brings you to my blog too and I'm happy. :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Your post strikes a chord with me. I had a little practice before the pandemic with filling in time as I retired in 2018. Forced lockdown takes it to another whole level!. Structure (e.g. the time limits you mention) is a good framework for grounding one in a time where days and nights run into each other without much variation.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I agree. It is very easy to stay in one activity for a long time. I try to be productive every day, but whether that means household chores, reading, writing, or running errands can change depending on the day.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Absolutely...self discipline is the key to finding time during this all-the-time-in-the world phase.

    ReplyDelete
  19. That's so true... I am not really 'doing' anything very important yet I find I have 'no time' and many things are left undone. Self discipline with respect to time is a must in these lockdown times!

    ReplyDelete