Time and time again when I mention that I have three boys in hockey, the comment that always comes back is this:
“Wow, that’s busy” or some variation of the theme.
Sometimes I just have to mention that I have three boys to get the comment. And it’s not offensive, there is no malice behind it. But if I’m being honest, it kind of baffles me. Because to me, any parent is busy. Frankly, any person is busy. There is always something to do, someone to take care of. A never ending to-do list.
I would like to point out here that someone far smarter than me once said “If you want something done, ask a busy person”. (Benjamin Franklin for those of you that don’t have the time to look up the quote).
Now, I’m not going to lie, having three kids in any sport makes for a level of batcrap crazy I never knew I could handle. Even now, in the midst of off season, the calendar is still littered with activities and appointments. It just never ends.
We will have just caught our breath and I’ll be signing them up for the next season. Our brains will just shift into slower gear and they’ll be in hockey camp so the gear will all have to come out of storage.
If I’m being really honest, I miss hockey when in the off season. I miss the hectic go-go-go. There is a structure to my weekends, even when the schedule is all over the map. So the next question, logically, would be this:
Why in the world would you miss the insanity of the schedule?
Let me tell you, it is the best time management hack I have:
First of all, of all the options, of every hobby or activity I do, there isn’t one that holds more appeal to me than sitting in those stands watching my boys do something that puts the largest smile on their face. There is no where else I would rather be when it comes down to it. I will ruthlessly prioritize my time and activities in order to maximize my ability to be there, in that rink, for those boys. Sometimes I forget about that in the middle of the chaos.
Second, as it turns out, being busy is really good for me. In the last two years, I haven’t had time to worry if my seasonal affective disorder is going to be worse or better this year. There hasn’t been enough time to sink too far into the dark places. There is just do. Luckily for me, my case is fairly mild and exercise and a full schedule is enough to hold things at bay. Not everyone is that lucky. We’re also at a point where the boys are old enough that I can take 30 minutes on the treadmill for my sanity without them totally destroying my house or each other.
Finally as touched on above, a busy schedule forces me to be very picky about how I spend my time both in and out of the rink. It forces me to be efficient. When half of my weekend is spent in a skating rink, I need to maximize the time I have at home and be as productive as possible. Even if the most productive thing I have planned is to read my book. A busy schedule forces me to prioritize what is important.
So yeah, three kids in sports is really, incredibly busy. It is also the best time management hack I know. But there will come a day when I don’t have hockey gear stored away. At some point, I won’t have a kid to drive to an arena. There won’t be anyone looking for me in the stands. So while they are little, while they still want me there, that’s where you can find me. What can’t get done in the time I have outside of hockey can wait until off season.
See you at the rink.
My Lib says
This hack forces you to be much more realistic about what you’re going to get done, as you’ll need to set the time you’ll spend on each task. It helps overcome what’s known as Planning Fallacy, where people repeatedly underestimate how long it will take to finish a task. So, no more trying to analyse quarterly spend against budget, reconcile the data from the New York office and handle calls from your Travel Management Company at the same time!
Exactly. You are forced, also, to focus on what you’re doing in order to get it done in the little time you have. It forces efficiency and discourages procrastination.