Steinberg, longtime readers may recall, is the founder and CEO of DailyWorth, a financial newsletter and website for women. She’s raised millions in venture capital. She’s created a dozen or so jobs. She lives in Philadelphia, and we have kids about the same age, so we decided to get them together to play at Amanda’s new house. She had a project to distract the baby while we chatted and the older kids ran around playing hide and seek. This project involved my daughter shoveling dirt into little pots so Amanda could plant the flowers she got on sale for $1.
My daughter enjoyed it. It wasn’t dandelions — but add in a glass of white wine (for me) and it was a pretty relaxed way to spend a summer Tuesday evening.
Sometimes when we talk about time management, people bring certain baggage to that phrase. There’s a belief that the management of time involves planning every minute, and such planning leads to a regimented life. Then follow the moralistic statements featuring false dichotomies: Personally, I prefer a more relaxed existence. I like to slow down and ponder a clementine.
Maybe it’s the nature of what I do, but I find that I have a reasonable amount of clementine-pondering time, or its equivalent. I read from 9:30-11:30 p.m. the night before last for pleasure. I spent some time that evening playing dress-up with the kids. I cooked roast chicken with vegetables. I went for a trail run.
I also spend at least 8 hours a day working on a career I care plenty about.
I am not crazed. Neither is Amanda. Neither are many other people. The other day I interviewed a novelist who’s also got a full-time day job and a young son. She described her life. It wasn’t a crazy juggle either. 168 hours, as KJ Dell’Antonia put it in Slate, is a “playground of possibility.” She wrote it a bit tongue-in-cheek, but I like the image anyway. To me, time management is about managing life so there is space for all your dreams and down time too. You build your life so you can enjoy your own sweet time on a porch on a summer evening while little feet patter around the house and a little girl giggles and dumps dirt all over the place.
How do you create space in your schedule for your own sweet time?
In other news: I enjoyed this piece in Fast Company on scheduling your day for work, play, fit and push time.
Photo courtesy flickr user downing.amanda