Where Does the Time Go?

Over on The Generous Husband, my theme this year is busyness and time use. I’ve chosen this topic because I think lack of margin is a major marriage problem and a contributing factor in many divorces. Of course, few folks identify being too busy as a marriage problem, and you won’t see it listed as the reason for a divorce. To me, this makes it all the more deadly because we don’t see it for what it is.

Where Does the Time Go?

I’ve heard from plenty of women with workaholic husbands, and I know that’s a real issue. But I also hear from men who say their wife is just as bad or worse. It often looks different because much or all of her work is about caring for the kids and home, and that can fly under the radar or seem unavoidable.

If you’re too busy, your husband may see that as permission to be too busy himself. If you nag him about his time use but are always busy, you have no credibility. And if you’re routinely too busy for what he wants to do, he will consider you too busy regardless of what you think about your schedule. Most of us manage to make time for what really matters to us. Making time for what matters to others generally falls away long before we sacrifice what’s most important to us.

I don’t mean to make this your fault because it’s not. In most marriages, both spouses are way too busy. One may be “worse” but if both are doing far too much calling one worse means nothing. 

If you want a good resource on this I suggest the book Margin. Author Richard Swenson, an M.D., says life happens in the margin, and without margin, we don’t have much of a life. Swenson is convinced more margin results in greater physical and mental health, better financial stability, more fulfilling relationships, and being able to do what God calls us to do. It’s a good read, and a good book to share with your husband (because I know he loves it when you ask him to read a book!).

Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I’m far less too busy now than I used to be.

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2 Comments on “Where Does the Time Go?

  1. Tim Ferriss does a really good job addressing this, he calls it the difference between business and effectiveness. Your filler activities will grow to fill whatever open time is available. We should budget time the same way that we do money, it makes sure that you are in control and you can dedicate the scarce resource to the things that matter most to you. For me that meant that filler tv watching went out the window unless i’m on the treadmill or bike trainer, ie doing something productive, it isn’t an activity that adds value to my life. Pairing activities helps a lot. My children will help me reload ammo, or they will ride their bikes while I run….that is quality time with daddy that isn’t mindlessly playing on their tablets. If you don’t direct your time, whatever emergency of the day that has to be done will fill the void.

    • @mykidsmademedoit “Your filler activities will grow to fill whatever open time is available.”
      Yeah, that’s so true!
      Dave Ramsey says to tell your money what to do. The same needs to apply to out time.
      Paul Byerly recently posted…Boxes: A Nice Place to VisitMy Profile

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