Because it’s impossible to pack more hours into each day, Busy People try to pack more activity into each hour. There are several ways we do this, none of which work.
First and foremost, Busy People SAVE STEPS. For example, we would never carry a single plastic bottle to the recycling bin or one hammer to the garage. We wait until there are half a dozen plastic bottles, a six pack of empty aluminum cans, a stack of towels, a screwdriver, a roll of electrical tape, and an eight-roll package of toilet paper all needing to be carried to the basement. Then we haul it all down the stairs—in six trips.
When we find it necessary to drag out the vacuum cleaner to clean up a large mess in the middle of the floor, we go ahead and vacuum the entire house to save lugging out the vacuum cleaner a second time in the near future. (Alternatively, we leave the mess until the rest of the floor needs vacuuming, which depending on the composition of the mess and the traffic pattern in our home, could be fairly soon.)
We know that eating directly out of the ice cream bucket not only saves dishes, it saves going back for seconds.
We buy in bulk. A 96-ounce cappuccino saves time running back and forth to the coffee shop all day. It also serves to quicken all our other steps.
We buy rolls of stamps, boxes of duct tape, and cases of paper towels. This saves us plenty of time to ransack the house later looking for them.
And we realize that even if we don’t need them today, eventually we will need more bread, cereal, shampoo, cotton balls, breath mints, and kitty litter. That’s why when we run to the store for a gallon of milk, we always come home with a hundred dollars worth of groceries.
Secondly, Busy People always do two things at once. We read while we ride the treadmill. (The speed we walk depends on how good the book is.)
We brush our teeth and comb our hair at the same time. This saves us plenty of time to clean the toothpaste off our shirts later.
We read the newspaper while we eat. This keeps us from wasting too much time talking to family members.
We drink our coffee and talk on the cell phone while we drive. This saves us enough time to wait for the accident investigation van.
And finally, Busy People look for the quickest way to do everything. If we absolutely must iron, we iron only the parts that show.
We soak our pots and pans, and if they haven’t come clean by the time we’re ready to cook the next meal, we eat out. We eat out often.
We go through the drive-through and eat in the car. This saves us enough time to run home, change clothes, and put stain remover on our shirt.
We drive really fast so that we can beat everyone else to the red light.
And finally, we know that if we leave wrinkled clothing hanging in the bathroom long enough, eventually the steam from our shower will remove the wrinkles. It’s a slow process, but it usually happens before the mildew sets in. (Dorothy Rosby is the author of three books of humorous essays including Alexa’s a Spy and Other Things to Be Ticked off About, Humorous Essays on the Hassles of Our Time. Contact [email protected])
The bad habits of very busy people