I went to the hardware store about three weeks back for some odds and ends. I am lucky to have an old fashioned local hardware store nearby. At the counter, on impulse, I bought a copy of the Old Farmer’s Almanac. I just got around to sitting down with a nice hot cup of coffee to peruse it this week. Remember I complained about time getting ahead of me? I scanned the calendar for weather lore and then came to the special feature, “Where does the time go?” by Andrea Curry. Apparently I was right, thinking I was not the only one needing a DeLorian with a flux capacitor. Synchronicity? Co-incidence? An “Amen” from the universe?
The article was packed with interesting facts. I find this true of the whole Almanac, one reason I bought it. Entertaining but informing light reading helps my coffee break become more of a pause to refresh than a diversion from what I’m working on. Diverting me from work is the cats’ job. Doing brain work you can bog down and get stuck. You can’t find the error in the code or find the right word for the translation. You might have run an idea aground or developed a writer’s block on a piece. Breaks, while frowned on in the modern world, are necessary. Fixing a cup of coffee an perusing a few brain teasers, household hints or a short article like that one on time is usually long enough to give my brain a break and get things flowing again. Can’t get sucked in and sidetracked as with a journal article, website or video. One interesting thing I learned is that we all have a chronotype. Something I suspected was confirmed, that people spend years of their lives watching television. How shall I put it? If it was consecutive hours your ten year old would have gotten no notice after eight months of age. I wonder how many in their seventies or eighties would like to get back eight or nine years? I gave up television back in the 1980s and don’t regret it in the least. Finally, something I knew got confirmed. Focus is important, so-called multitasking actually leads to distraction and inefficiency and people who are constantly checking email and messages are loosing precious time to no avail.
So I have decided the staff of servants and the astrophysicist can be done without. I will turn off the phone when I am working and only check messages and email when they don’t interrupt what’s really important. I will not feel pressured to “get things done” nor will I over-schedule my day. I will take my breaks and enjoy my cats, my coffee and my Old Farmer’s Almanac. Time will pass whether I enjoy it or not, so I have decided that doing what I enjoy is the best way to make the most of it.