Time Consuming and the Creative Process

I’m a consumer. So are you. We all are.

I’m not talking about shopping here. I’m talking about consuming time. Using it up for things that we love to do and things that we don’t love to do so much but that have to get done.

I’ve always kind of wondered where my time goes. It seems like I’m busy all the time, even when I’m not busy.

Then it hit me while I was doing eight things at once and three of those things were just happening in my brain. I hadn’t yet started to actually do them.

That thing happening in my brain? That’s the creative process.

I’m doing the family banking, organizing some files and tidying up the desk. And those are the tasks that I’m physically doing.

But all while I’m doing those things, I’m planning dinner, planning crazy hairstyles for the kids for Crazy Hair Day at school, and making a mental list of all the other physical things I have to get done before I leave for a meeting with my daughter’s teacher in the afternoon.

And time is just slipping away.

I consume it like a greasy cheeseburger from a favourite burger joint; quickly slopping into it, hunched over, eyes darting back and forth as if watching for some predator to come and steal the meat from my very hands. I lurch from one bite to the next as if starving, fully enjoying but never really savouring every bite. And then I am full. Filled with the burger that I didn’t slow down to enjoy. I’m no longer hungry, but I am not filled.

That is what time is like. Unplanned, unchecked, time slips away from us as we check off our To-Do lists and add new items to be done soon. We are never really satisfied with the consuming of time unless we can slow ourselves down to savour the time that we have.

We may enjoy checking off that endless To-Do list, but did we enjoy the task that we did? Did it fulfill us? Do we even remember doing it?

Slow down and savour each task, no matter what the task.

This will mean that there will be less time for more tasks, but there will be more space for savouring the task and therefore more understanding about what tasks should be on our To-Do lists and what tasks don’t belong there.

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