Deb Amy’s Bad Habit Happens Like Clockwork

dali-clockI admit it. I’m a clock-watcher. I’m a deadline-oriented time-tender. In many facets of my life this serves me well. I meet deadlines, keep reservations, and schedule tasks and appointments. But this tendency also comes with bit of obsessing. Meaning, I schedule just about everything. If I’m going to shower, I’ll plan to do it—in ten minutes. And then in ten minutes, I will shower. If I’m going to the grocery store I may add it to my list and plan to leave, not when I’m ready to go, but at, let’s say, 9:00. And then at 9:00 I’ll go. I’ll start dinner at 5:30 so we can eat at 6 or 6:15, although we’ll eat whenever dinner is done, as it’s more about the start-time and than the finish-time. You see, I can ease up on time within the construct of the event, but things begin on time if I have something to say about it. If someone else is calling the shots, I don’t go all time-warden, but I do fare better if I know ahead someone is going to be late or change plans.

I think it’s an attempt at structure, so the bad habit part comes in when and if the clock-watching interferes with actually getting things done. This would be counterproductive AND counterintuitive for someone who likes to be productive and uses clocks to make this happen. It’s also a bad thing when clock watching turns into procrastinating, which it can.  Because in ten minutes can turn into in twenty minutes or even in thirty minutes very easily. Or so I’ve heard. This is also a bad habit if minute minding gets in the way in the way of having fun.  I don’t do that. I think about it. But I don’t do it.  I can do things spontaneously—and am glad to send my list and stopwatch packing to meet a friend for dinner right now or run lunch (or a term paper) over to the high school right now or run out right now before the store closes.

This is the easiest era ever in which to keep track of everything in our lives. I set my smart phone to alert me to what I have scheduled so I don’t have to even glance at the corner of my laptop, I just have to wait for my reminder. This technology, which has allowed me to loosen up a bit has also tied me tighter to my clock, because I even set reminders about my reminders.

I know.

A long time ago I decided that this habit was okay with me—even if it is a little weird—and that I wasn’t going to waste any of my precious time worrying about it.

But if I did, I think I’d start in five minutes.


9 Replies to “Deb Amy’s Bad Habit Happens Like Clockwork”

  1. Oh my, I loved this piece so much. Yet I don’t think you got this habit from me. Fabulous!!
    Love all the twists and turns of it. Funny.

  2. I feel like you’re talking a foreign language here, lol. My problem is the opposite. Clock? What clock? I’ve learned to watch it because I HAVE to in order to get on with the rest of the world. The clock at home is set twenty minutes fast and I pretend it isn’t, to help me get to work on time. If I had my way? No clocks. No time. I’d just do things when I got to them.

  3. I’m pretty anal about punctuality–but only my own. I don’t stress it when other people are late, but boy if I am, or if it looks like I’m pushing up against a deadline a little too closely…well, that’s stressful.

  4. I’m with Linda–I’m an impossibly punctual person and have always been. If anything, I err on the safe side and end up early at places but also like Linda says, I appreciate that not everyone operates this way 😉

  5. I’m like Linda and Erika here – with a little dash of Kerry. I try to be punctual, but don’t worry if others are late. That said, it’s incredibly easy for me to fall into a black hole and not realize that hours (days, occasionally) have passed and I haven’t even noticed…

    Speaking of which, what happened to lunchtime?

  6. I was just reading through the replies and it’s so funny how different we all are! I’m with you, Amy. I don’t schedule EVERTYHING, but I’m very aware of timing. Especially appointments or meeting with people. I can’t stand being late. It totally stresses me out. I’m guessing for me it comes from a combo of being raised a military brat and being a teacher (lesson timing and classes changing, etc.). Another great post! 🙂

  7. I just love this because I can relate to it totally. I do everything according to a schedule and have a fit if I’m off schedule. I abhor being late and am stressed when someone else is late. My friends tease me being a clock watcher but it surely keeps me being where I should be at the precise time I should be there. I don’t know where I acquired this habit so I can’t put blame on my parents or anyone else was a part of my formative years. Thanks for the post; it’s nice to know there are other people like me!

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