A few friends and I are reading this book together. Each week we are reading one chapter. On Fridays, I am posting my comments, then giving them the opportunity to add their thoughts as well. If you would like to join us or simply find out more about the book, you can read about it here.)
Chapter 9: "Margin in Time"
- I don't feel this chapter was stuffed with profound, new truths. I felt like much of it was just a good reminder. However, by reading it and writing this post ahead of time (due to having a measure of time margin!) I feel I was able to think a little more and get a little deeper than just the surface. As always- I look forward to reading your takeaways!
- I appreciated his thoughts on the importance of discretionary time. I think we often see it as not important, or at least, less important than working time. We would not dispute quiet time with God, but I think we often look negatively at other types of discretionary time. Maybe it is because so many misuse discretionary time, and we don't want to be like them.
- I liked: "Where are the noises that tell us to slow down?" (Page 112)
- It is interesting to try imagine yourself without the constraints/demands of minutes and hours- where time is looked at in terms of days (or possibly sections divided by mealtimes!) As I think about it, I think my Dad's routine may not be too far off that. He has a few things he does at certain times, but he approaches his day with what he needs to get done, then he works on it.
- I think the clock and the light can be helpers, but I do see that I let them negatively affect me. The light is probably the worst. I stay up later at night than I should and as a consequence, I lose both physcial (via rest) and time margin.
- What decides what is a full week of work for us? This question came to mind when reading about the American workweek. Americans typically consider 40 hours a full week. Have we adopted that without thinking it through? Do we let that be our standard because of what men may think? It seems I remember preachers being challenged to work at least 40 hours, if not more, so that the men he ministers to will not see him as lazy. My argument is not for or against 40 hours being our standard. It just hit me that I have adopted that in my mind as the pattern without thinking things through. Maybe there could be a preacher who works only 30 hours, but then has more time to simply spend with God.
- "If we sit back and do nothing about it, next year at this time we'll have less time margin than we have right now." (Page 116) Time margin will not happen without purposeful decisions.
- He mentioned about multi-tasking invading our leisure time. I have found the tendency for this myself. Best example: trying to email while watching a ballgame. Usually, I get more focused on the work and don't enjoy the leisure time. In short, I lose enjoyment when I multitask.
- In talking about productivity in the workplace, he seemed to somewhat minimize the laziness of the workers. I think there is more to it than he gave credit for. My experience in the secular workplace has not been that people are diligent workers for the time they are supposed to be there. Usually, they were trying to get the minimum done without getting in trouble.
- I learned that "Everything takes longer than it does" (page 121) shortly after we were married and I was responsible to fix things around the house.
- He suggested turning off the tv. I doubt that is the biggest time waster among us. So what is it? For me, it would probably be checking email or looking up something on the internet. Any confessions?
- I like the idea of disconnecting from all electronic devices (except maybe the Kindle) sometime when we take a couple of days off. Any of you done that?
- He talked about having long-term vision. I think if we have this, it will greatly aid something else he talked about: saying "No." With a plan it is easier to see if an activity fits within that plan or if it will distract from them.
- I agree that busyness robs the pleasure of anticipation.
- His "prescriptions" were all good reminders, but I think the most practical for me is to create the buffer zones. I don't want to "waste" time being somewhere too early, so I keep working until ... I'm nearly running late. (Viola's the same. In this area, we are not good for each other!) That buffer will add quality to the activities before and after the buffer.
- Next chapter will be good for one of the fellows. (He's about to fork out a bunch of money and lose some of his financial margin!)
I've had my say, what say you?
Discussion on Chapter 8
Discussion on Chapter 10