Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Domestic Dance of Time Management

My husband and I operate very differently. I am the task master - forever planning, scheduling, and trying to squeeze the most out of any free moment. He is the procrastinator - industrious yet forgetful, and seemingly always putting things off. Yet despite my satisfaction in checking things off my list, I'm the one who is stressed, while he is calm. This is what my friend calls the domestic dance of time management. And funny enough, it seems that most couples share in this yin/yang relationship where opposites somehow attract.

Well, I may just have figured out the simple truth of this relationship conundrum. It boils down to our sense of urgency for getting things done. I live my life with a high sense of urgency, always thinking “What can I get done today?” My husband on the other hand, operates with a low sense of urgency, and carries the mindset of “What must I get done today?” A subtle yet profound difference – Can vs Must - which affects our levels of stress, and our ability to relate to one another.

Realizing this simple difference has liberated me. I now have the context for creating change without feeling guilty or pressured. I can choose to give myself a “must” day and take it easy. Or I can simply realize that what I can get done, and must get done, are not the same. Similarly, I better understand my husband’s relationship with time. So if I’m feeling overwhelmed, I now know to define what “must” get done so that he feels ready to help me without nagging or reminders. With this knowledge we may finally have bridged our time management differences.

While the battle of the sexes will wage on, I hope sharing my new awareness will help you to take one step further in creating peace in your world too.

Best of Luck,

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