Thursday, July 24, 2008

Over-Scheduling Has Become the Norm

"I don't make my own schedule - it's constructed around my sons' school schedules." ~ Jane Haddam

It took me lifetime to become over-scheduled. Nowadays, it seems kids are over-scheduled from the very beginning.

In my youth, it seemed I had time to do everything I wanted. There was always free time after school and on weekends, even after homework and extracurricular activities.

Early in my career, we could easily get our work done during an 8 hour work day. In addition, we had the flexibility to use 10-20% of our time on "new idea" projects. I always had time for personal activities and vacations. I even once asked for days off with out pay, because I started working too late to get any vacation.

In my last assignments, my schedule was completely determined by others, in particular colleagues and organizations with whom I worked. Sometimes, I would have every minute of the official work day scheduled, with little time for other matters. As a result, other important work needed to be done before or after the official work day, cutting into my personal time.

Nowadays, I've notice that full schedules are trickling into the lives of kids. From an early age, children seemed to be over scheduled with school, enrichment activities and sports, which all seem to require more focused commitment nowadays than before. For example, in sports, qualifying for a school team often requires practicing in the off season or playing for other competitive teams.

I miss the time when play was ad hoc, a sport was only a commitment during the season, and ample free time was available. After all, we're only kids once and there is a lifetime ahead of being an over-scheduled adult.

For more on Crossing Generations, check back every Thursday for a new segment.

This is not financial or time management advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2008 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

1 comment:

Father Sez said...

You are right. Keeping up with the Joneses also extends to punishing our kids with schedules that are ridiculous.

Piano, swimming, karate, drama, and God knows what else on top of school. Even adults might find tough to cope with this.