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Time management is a real….

August 16, 2010

bugaboo, most of the time.

Hi, my name is Elle and I have a son who is struggling with time management.

Today was all about time management. Taking too much time to do an assignment. Not completing an assignment because of wasting time with doodling on the paper. Using time poorly and then losing time to do the things he wanted to do. It was worse for him today than Captain Hook hearing the tick tock in a crocodile’s belly.

The clock became tyranny personified and I became the poster child of Mother Time as gloomily evidenced by the increasing droop to my own countenance. Seeing the frittering and the doodling and the stargazing makes my hair stand on end. In real time.

The day’s time issues culminated in missing supper because Dad was in the car ready to go to Scouts. Good for him bananas are readily available. And portable.

I am a recovering procrastinator and Lucy come lately to the party. It took me years of self created stress before I was finally confronted with the truth that my time issues were sheer lack of self-discipline, or more bluntly put, selfishness. I saw my time as more important than others’ time so I worked at my own pace. With all rationalization and justification for such a schedule.

That friend’s straightforward but loving confrontation of my selfishness was a necessary announcement. But it couldn’t stop at only an announcement. Personal repentance and actual changing of behavior were next steps. For a bit there I swung to the other extreme becoming compulsive about time. Clocks and watches set ahead of real time. Which only works until you are good enough at the math to factor how many extra minutes you still have. Timers and multiple alarms set for alerts. Again, only beneficial if you do not hit snooze a dozen times.

What it came down to ultimately was the effort to plan ahead, to lay out clothes and pack the bag the night before, to cut out time wasters, and most of all to appreciate the other person’s time as more important than my own.

And with this son, who is tripping about in his own rabbit hole of time management woes, I need to see the importance of time it will take to train him lovingly, and straightforwardly, about how to make time a tool and not a tyrant. We are both getting up 30 minutes early tomorrow morning to begin work on things. Together. On time.

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