There are very few of us who have as much time as we would like to spend knitting. Most of us have to juggle the demands of each day – house, family, work, friends – and have little time (or energy) left over for me-time. That’s why you need to learn how to steal time. Borrowing time is no good – if you take half an hour to knit when you should be ironing, that just means that you’ll have to pay that half hour back, when you could be knitting. But if you steal an hour, and you’re a good time thief, you will still get everything done, and have extra time to spend on knitting.
Here are some examples of where I’ve managed to steal time, to have more time with the needles:
- Audio books. Yes, I’ve plugged them before, but really, the value of a good audio book can’t be overrated. I used to spend a lot of time each day reading. Now I spend very little, maybe half an hour before bed, but I still enjoy books, just in audio form.
- Housework takes up so much time, and if you’re like me, you resent every minute of it. Unlike Quentin Crisp, I can’t turn a blind eye to mess, so I’ve invested in a cleaner instead. (NB. For this to work, you have to be very strict with yourself, and not clean up before your cleaner arrives, because you’re worrying what she’ll think of you otherwise.)
- Laundry is another time sucker, and is an unavoidable task. But our local laundromat does a service wash (where you drop off bags of laundry, they wash, dry, and fold them, and you pick them up) for a pretty reasonable cost. This one feels a bit decadent, and I haven’t quite persuaded myself into it yet, but it’s worth thinking about, especially if you work fulltime.
- Do you spend a lot of time on the phone? I hate using the phone, but I do spend quite a lot of time talking to my mother on the phone each week. Speakerphone enables me to talk and knit at the same time. I do a lot of my knitting this way!
- If you’re like me and you read lots of blogs, you might want to consider using a blog reader, such as Bloglines. This only downloads the updated posts of each blog, so it doesn’t take so long to download. You won’t save lots of time, but hey, every little helps!
- If you find you can’t knit and watch tv at the same time, have a think about how much time you waste watching tv (by that, I mean, watching it just because it’s on, and not because it’s a show you want to see). Consider giving up tv altogether, and just watching your favourite shows/movies on DVD. We did this years ago, and haven’t looked back.
- If you live in an area where you can do your grocery shopping online, give it a go. I do my weekly shopping this way, and it’s fantastic (and totally stress free!). The website remembers what I’ve bought each week, so I can do a week’s shopping in less than ten minutes. You find you spend less too, as you don’t get distracted by impulse buys.
- Most banks offer an internet banking service now, and I find it invaluable. If you set up your bills to be paid by direct debit, and your wages go directly into the bank, all you have to do is check your balance now and then, and everything else is done for you. Just think of how much time you’ve spent standing in bank queues over the years!
My apologies if some of these suggestions seem obvious – they’re just ways that I’ve been able to streamline my schedule, and may help someone. If you have found ways to steal time to spend on knitting, do tell!
PS. If only I spent all this extra time knitting, instead of spending it on Ravelry, gossiping and ogling everyone’s projects…..