Tag: Time management

Time Wasters or Stress Relief?

You were warned!
You were warned!

Candy Crush Saga, Angry Birds, Bejeweled, Words With Friends, Farmville…and the list goes on. You know what I’m talking about: those free games for Facebook. To really snare you, they make the app free to download on your phone or tablet.

A year ago, I purged a slew of these games from my phone and iPad. I decided to keep two of them and to allow only check on them at certain times. All notifications were turned OFF.

Then someone (who shall remain nameless) begged me to get Candy Crush Saga so I could help them reach higher levels. This is the noose these game inventors use.

I’m a nice person *shrugs* so I downloaded the game on my iPad. It seemed harmless enough. I didn’t see where any help was needed. Oh, right, because you have to connect it to Facebook for that option to appear.

At that time, I didn’t have a Facebook page. Do you see where this is headed? I’m morally opposed to story plots that are obvious. Shouldn’t I feel similarly about my life?

Anyway, the day came when I succumbed to the demand of social media. I want to build my author brand. Facebook is essential for platform building.

With a simple click, suddenly all my games were linked with my Facebook friends. I had a dozen games of Words going simultaneously. Candy Crush Saga reached the point where I begged others to help me “unlock” the next episode. High scores listed on Bejeweled mocked my lame attempts to demonstrate mastery.

Obviously, my competitive spirit jumped to attention and took control of my body. Possessed by this manic gamer, the era of time wasting mowed me down again. Sure, it was only four small games.

Playing these helps me relax *nods vigorously.*

It’s only a few minutes after breakfast and lunch.

When I stand up to refill my water glass, I’ll just check to see if anyone played a word.

Bathroom break – another opportunity to check and see if the three “tickets” I need have arrived so I can reach the next level and crush more candy.

“I hate this level.” My son’s response: “Then why are you playing the game.”

He doesn’t believe me when I say it’s therapeutic. For some reason, screaming at my tablet and pounding my fist on the counter don’t seem like signs of relieved stress.

Kids! What do they know?

In the end, I have had to schedule time for these games. I might check Words often, but I don’t get to spend more than 5 minutes at any one time on it. The others have allotted times during the day – times when I’m NOT on my writing clock.

Do you believe these games are time wasters? Do you think they help relieve stress? Sell me on their advantages so I can lift my personal restrictions. *Shoves game demon back into locked cabinet.*

Summer Means Household Chores

Image courtesy of bentbutnotbroken.org

For over fifteen years now, the advent of summer signals several things:

  1. A family vacation (plenty of years it was just camping in a tent)
  2. No alarm clock
  3. A long list of household projects to complete

Even with all the hoopla, this summer is no different. The vacation (“Not with the whole family, though,” my youngest son whines) has come and gone. My alarm clock remains silent (but not my husband’s).

The list stretches off the page this year. That could be because I listed every item to be done in every room of the house. Or it could be that three years in college have caused my house to deteriorate into a state of chaotic uncleanliness.

My husband talks about putting the house on the market. The real reason behind the mammoth list emerges.

At this point, both of my sons are living in their childhood bedrooms. My youngest is working several “events” over the summer and will be home sporadically. My oldest is taking a break supposedly job hunting.

Every Tuesday will be a lucky day for all three of us. It begins with the downstairs. The kitchen cabinets might be haunted. The plastic lids have spontaneously reproduced. What is even on those top shelves that require a stool to reach?

I have a schedule. As much as I’d like it to be concrete, I know I’ll need to be flexible. The fact that I believe they’ll be awake at 10am shows my penchant for wishful thinking.

The goal is to unclutter every room before holding a garage sale at the beginning of August.

Most years, the list contains predominantly outside chores: painting, staining the porch, replanting flower beds, spreading bark dust and the like. Of course, what would a cleaning list be without washing walls and knocking down cobwebs?

What’s on your “to do” list this summer?