Mike’s Musings: What’s with time management and autumn?

Why do I suddenly feel the weight of all of my self-inflicted responsibilities in October/November?

I’m not sure why, but I feel like I’m always in a hurry this time of year.

I mean, I know why I always feel a bit rushed (hint: it’s because I take on too many things), but I can’t really put my finger on why it seems to affect me more in the autumn than it does during any other stretch of time throughout the calendar year.

So stay with me, if you will, while I work through this…

During every point in the year, I have one son, one wife and one full-time, 40-hour-a-week job.

I also have a side business taking family or wedding photos, another where I paint large custom-made colourful abstract art and another where I make fancy wooden things for people’s kitchen or home decor.

All year long I also have band practice every Thursday night. Well, okay, it’s more like three Thursdays a month, on average, and it’s more like a few friends who hang out and make noise for a couple hours than it is a “band,” but it’s still important to me and we have fun. So shut up.

So we’ve established why I’m busy. So now let’s look at this time of year, specifically, and see if we can figure out why I’m more sensitive to it now than, say, the middle of summer.

After all, you’d think that the July and August would be much more stressful with this many things on the go. My wife has a seasonal job where she works full-time from about April to October and then takes a layoff over the winter, and my son isn’t in school from the end of June to the start of September, so I actually have much more “running around” to do over the summer than I do these days.

So what’s the deal? Why do I suddenly feel the weight of all of my self-inflicted responsibilities in October/November?

Is it because I’m also busy getting ready for Christmas?


Yeah, that’s not a thing. I’ve discussed more than once in this very space how I never start Christmas preparations far enough in advance. I mean, I may be starting to make a few gifts in my workshop, but I’m pretty much just replacing the time I spend on the custom-order, commissioned stuff I usually do with time spent making gifts for friends and family. There may be one additional cutting board, coaster set, charcuterie board, spatula or key rack in the mix than usual, but nothing that should add too much emotional weight.

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Sure, I also added a new painting to my workload over the past week or so, because I told the Campbell River Hospital Foundation I’d give them one to auction off at their upcoming Timebenders Dinner/Dance being held Nov 17 to help them raise money for medical equipment. But I hadn’t actually painted anything new for a few months, so this one wasn’t adding anything to my overall time pressures for the year. In fact, last year I think I created an average of a painting per month, whereas this one was maybe my third or fourth of 2018.

I also recently took on the role of coordinating the Carihi Mirror – a bi-weekly section we produce every other Friday where students from Carihi create newspaper articles about things they care about – and I am adding a few workshops and training seminars for them to help improve their skills. But that time comes out of my 40-hour-weeks at the Mirror, so that can’t be it either.

Alright. I’m out of ideas.

I’m going to blame the weather, I guess. It’s raining more these days, and it’s making me sluggish. Yeah. Guess that’s it.

Sorry to have wasted your time if you were hoping I was going to come to some kind of profound conclusion where I suddenly become better organized and come up with some tips to help you manage your own time better, too.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go have a nap.