It Doesn't Take As Much Time As You Think

It Doesn't Take As Much Time As You Think

Abby Stone
Jan 15, 2010

Yesterday we shared some of our worst home habits. Mostly when we look at ours they have to do with procrastinating. It's not that we're lazy exactly, it's more that in our mind this particular task (opening the mail, putting away our shoes, making the bed with clean sheets after the laundry's done) can just as well be done later. Why we think we'll have the energy to do it later when we don't have it now, we don't know. But then we realized it was not really a question of energy or laziness, it was more a question of how much time we thought that task was going to take.

Putting away my shoes, opening the mail. Why those things will take hours and I don't have time to do it now. I'm too hungry. I don't have time to do the dishes, American Idol is on right now and I want to see it while it's happening before everyone starts talking about the good parts on Twitter. Hmmm, I'm seeing a pattern here. Time. So, I decided to see how long those things actually took:

Putting away shoes: 15 seconds
Opening the day's mail and sorting it: 30 seconds (that includes procrastinating while I debated on whether to accept a new credit card offer or trash it)
Washing dishes: 2 minutes (there were breakfast dishes to wash and I also whitened the sink with some Barkeeper's Friend)
Culling the magazines and tossing last month's: 30 minutes (Okay, not really. Pulling out last month's magazines took 30 seconds because I keep all my magazines in a rack so it was only a matter of looking at the spines and pulling out the December issues. The other 29 minutes and 30 seconds was spent flipping through Lucky to make sure I'd read everything, deciding I hadn't and then reading the parts I'd skipped)

Total: 3 minutes 15 seconds (obviously I'm not counting the part I discussed above).

Whaaaa??? My clock must be wrong, those things take hours. No. No they did not. And I even dawdled. Which sorta flipped my whole thinking over on its head. Maybe there is a reason to let the Tivo run through the commercial breaks instead of fast forwarding. Look what I could get done during a 2 minute commercial break!

[image via Laffy4's Flickr]

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