Time: spend it well

Time. The lack, or mismanagement of it, is what holds us back from doing the things we really want to do. On technology and other surveys conducted in my district, time is always mentioned on the questions like, What’s the biggest obstacle to implementing X?  or What else do you need to do X? I don’t have time to check out every single tech tool that I’m interested in, because:

  1. I’m interested in so many, that it is literally impossible
  2. I am unwilling to upset the balance on time spent in other enjoyable pursuits

I’ve spent nearly 100 hours on this blog since last April, when I started it. (98 hours, according to the blog logs I keep in Google Sheets, so I can get credit from Lake Erie College). There’s one thing I do, that I get flack for doing, that gives me some extra hours to be able to write. If you want more time, and you can swing this thing, do it! Don’t worry about the naysayers, it’s your life.

Hire cleaners.

This morning, on my first day of Christmas break, instead of feeling obligated to clean my house (as I only would have time to truly scrub and tidy all rooms on days when I am off work, and at home instead of instead of in Cleveland with my fiance Igor), I was able to go into the woods, for over an hour of wandering and restoring my sense of peace.

A photo posted by Giovanna Orlando (@gorland2) on

On my way home, I stopped at the library and found a book that my sister recommended, and a new one in a series I started reading last year. I love reading, and have to put off reading anything too good before bed on school nights, or else I don’t go to sleep at a reasonable hour.


This afternoon, I started the 3 hour process of replicating my mom’s homemade sauce and meatballs, to share with my soon-to-be in-laws on Christmas Eve. It is simmering on the stove now. I’ve had to get up to stir it at least 3 times since starting this post.

All of these things, I was able to do guilt-free in part because the house is already clean. Yesterday when I mentioned the cleaners at our staff Christmas party, one lady was surprised and said, “But your house is so little!” and “I feel bad for Igor.” Yes, I have a small house, but to clean it well takes me over 3 hours. I don’t get a sense of accomplishment from it. I want it done, but I don’t want to do it myself. And as for the comment about Igor, well, he has all 4 limbs and a brain just like I do, so he’s perfectly capable of cleaning just as well as I am. Or paying for cleaning. He and I, we’re alike in that we like a clean space, and do fine with maintaining cleanliness, but we’d rather spend our time in ways other than doing deep cleaning.

Look at how you are spending your time, and evaluate if that aligns with what you truly value. (Like, I played Farmville when I was in college and that was a black hole that I realized I needed to escape after a few weeks. I avoid Pinterest for the same reason). If you find that you spend too much time doing things that aren’t making you happy or don’t make you feel productive, figure out what you can do to get yourself doing things you really love or want to be doing. Outsource the rest. Don’t feel bad about it. Think of it as a gift to yourself (and your family/colleagues/students/etc.) Merry Christmas!!

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