Are you a time optimist?

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Time optimism |

One of the main reasons people approach me for help is because they’re not getting around to doing all they want to do, and think that they should be able to do.

I have women who think they should be able to work full-time, go to the gym 5 days a week, cook from scratch every day, spend hours reading with their kids every day and spend an hour a day on their own hobbies.

It’s not going to happen unless they don’t need much sleep.

I’ve also just finished reading I know how she does it (that’s an affiliate link to the paperback – the Kindle version is far too expensive!), Laura Vanderkam’s new book, and either we’re doing something wrong in South Africa or ALL of the people who don’t sleep enough follow this blog, because I’m really not sure why our full-time working moms have such low sleep totals vs these high-powered American women. More on that in future posts!

A time optimist is someone who thinks they can do more in a specific period of time than a reasonable person can realistically do.

Time optimism |

I’ll confess – I’m a time optimist in my personal life.

It’s really strange since I’m usually a time realist in my work life:

– I know that things happen unexpectedly in the traffic so I need to leave extra time to get anywhere.
– I know that if I think I can run 5 errands in my lunch hour, I’ll probably only be able to do 2 or 3 because of long queues, inefficient service, etc.
– I know that when arranging meetings, etc. people will typically not all arrive on time so I may have to leave off the least important agenda item if we run out of time.

A time realist is realistic about how long things take and buffers in time when necessary.

Back to my personal time optimism though.

When I put 6 things on a list and get to do only two of them even though I know full well I have a really busy day…I’m being a time optimist.

I somehow think that doing errands with twin 6-year-olds is as quick as doing them by myself. Or just that I’m Superwoman and can do many things on my list besides the weekend routine 🙂

And yet I often tease my husband because he’s a true time optimist.

He always thinks he can get much more done on the weekends and is then disappointed when we only get to do one or two things.

Of course the time pessimist thinks there’s never enough time to do anything – read, organise, do fun things.

Time optimism |

How about a quick example for work?

You have 15 minutes before a meeting.

Time optimist – “I can probably get 10 emails done if I do them really quickly”

Time realist – “I can answer 2 long emails or about 5 quick ones”

Time pessimist – “15 minutes? No point me starting an email. I’ll just get started and have to stop”

Time optimism |

And a quick example for personal?

You have a block of 30 minutes before you have to start supper.

Time optimist – “I can probably declutter and organise all the top kitchen cabinets”

Time realist – “I can pack my cereals for the week and write out the week’s menu plan ”

Time pessimist – “30 minutes? What’s the point of starting anything? I’ll just surf Facebook or Instagram for inspiration”

So, are you a time optimist, realist, or pessimist?

Time optimism |

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