Thirty Percent

Today’s post comes to us from Ben.

In class the other day, the teacher said, “Thirty percent of your life is doing things you don’t want to do. If you’re lucky.”

What do you think? I think it’s probably high for me in general. I know I am very fortunate to do what I love and have my own schedule. I’ve managed to cut a lot of the stuff I don’t like out of my life.

You may recall I’ve talked about the week of Christmas concerts in December and it all just makes me grumpy. That would be a time where 80% of my life is not what I want. But wait! There are changes afoot! New (temp) music teacher. Concert completely revamped! Not exactly sure what’s going on yet… the secretary compares it to herding chickens. But at least it will be different! (We keep reminding ourselves Change is Good!)

Is 30% high or low in your life?

33 thoughts on “Thirty Percent”

  1. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    Meetings are the bane of my existence. In Private Practice they are reduced to the bare minimum. Every other minute is used to Make Money. I can tolerate meetings if there is a purpose to them other than Just Having A Meeting So You Can Say You Addressed The Issue.

    At home the I Don Wanna is cleaning. It is not 30% That would be too high. But I still Don Wanna Do It.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You don’t want to clean, perhaps, but I assume you also don’t want to live in squalor. Parsing what it is that you don’t want to do isn’t that simple. Short term or long term? Immediate selfish impulse or ultimate greater good? Personal or familial? Trying to asign a percentage is especially meaningless.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I usually like what I do, but this week it feels like everything that takes me away from home is something i don’t want to do. I would rather be at home with my daughter, but i have to work today and tomorrow for part of the day, at least.


      1. I actually started feeling pretty punk late this morning, with a sore throat, so I cancelled my clients this afternoon and evening and went home! I can’t be sick for Thanksgiving!


        1. Oh, I hope you feel better. I got the tickle in my throat Friday afternoon. Saturday was mostly in bed. Sunday was a bit better. Monday I drank 3 mugs of hot water during the day and I’m doing much better.

          Sheer will-power will probably get you through Thanksgiving, but don’t make many plans for Friday or Saturday.

          Liked by 3 people

  3. I think 30% is about right

    I’m lucky and I get to set my own schedule but it feels like a blessing and a curse sometimes

    The stuff that needs to be done pile versus the stuff that I’d like to do pile has always been a challenge

    Back when I was a junior executive with my desk calendar and number two pencil firmly in the hand making appointments someone introduced me to the Franklin day planner

    Basically it’s just a daily calendar on a three ring spiral that you carry around with you as your link to life it has all of your notes all of your contacts all of your appointments all of your thoughts and goals. With you under your arm

    Today all the same programs are available as apps on your smart phone but the discipline is different then back when I used to wake up in the morning and review the goals that I had set up for myself on a daily ongoing basis

    A day it was divided up into three separate areas
    a is the urgent
    b is the important
    C is the stuff you want to do

    Everything that goes on that list gets done and you are aware if you’re running behind or if you are ahead of your schedule which is nice upon occasion

    You know you have the things that you don’t want to do to get out of the way before you get to the things that you do want to do and it’s a good system for training self-discipline

    I have just recently like within the last six months gone back to the Franklin day planner written system I’m not 100% there yet but I do like having that system in my life

    I hope the Christmas Gala turns out to be a better deal for you this year ben

    i can’t imagine turning Christmas into a problem with bad gala production

    Enjoy the holiday season thanks for the great post

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Calling it a “gala” is attributing too much to it. It will just be different. But I do have 3 snow machines and 12 more moving lights! Remember kids, if you can’t baffle them with brilliance, dazzle them with BS!

      Liked by 3 people

  4. As a retired person, I’m highly aware of living a privileged life unmarred by obligations. I especially enjoy the freedom from commuting. It is great to have no boss, although I was never happier than when I worked for a great boss.

    In terms of the percentage question, I probably spend less than 20 percent of my time doing things I dislike. The way things happen, you work until you are free at last, great God almighty, free at last! And then your days become clogged with medical appointments

    Liked by 4 people

  5. As one of my favorite characters says “first we have to clarify nomenclature.” I generally like my job, I don’t think I want to do anything else, but if I had the means to survive without the salary, I’d probably quit tomorrow. So does my job count as 30%? I’m not sure. If it doesn’t count then I’m probably under 30%. I’m pretty good at just doing what I want. Although if I could afford a robot that would clean for me I would certainly sign up for that.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. I contend that a high percentage of the richness in your life comes from things you, selfishly speaking, didn’t want to do. And a lot of the things you don’t want to do now are the result of things you once wanted to do. Diets, for instance.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. I think my daughter’s former job (in Human Resources) was typical. She mostly loved the work. The company she worked for was progressive and filled with people who made collaboration pleasant. My daughter excelled at giving training programs, teaching client companies how to conform to law in employment practices. It seemed like a perfect job for her.

    But she dreaded and hated terminations, those times when a company had to fire an employee. If the person being fired was difficult, he or she could throw up legal complications that were nasty to resolve. If the person being fired didn’t fight back my daughter (an empathic person) suffered as if the person being fired was a friend. Terminations were about 15 percent of the job.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think I did my 30% of what I didn’t want to do in rather large chunks when I was a kid and teen. Most of what I don’t want to do these days, I don’t do.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. It IS a tricky question, as Bill noted, meaningless perhaps, but still useful to think about. If I go with the attitude that I have chosen to take on all that is on my plate, then I suppose I am doing what I want to be doing about 60% of my waking hours. But I’m finding that I took some of these things on thinking they were TEMPORARY. As this exercise of helping Friend move, etc., continues, I’m finding more involvement for longer than I had imagined. It may be the rose colored glasses I was wearing, or it may just take longer to get a tad more freed up.


    1. Seems to me, BiR, that you learn as you go along. If you have made an open-ended commitment to do something that is proving to be more taxing than you had anticipated, you need to renegotiate. You need to define what you are capable of and willing to do without feeling resentment. Once you start feeling that, you’re no longer doing anyone any favors. I’ve been there, and done that, and it really sours your good intentions.


  10. The union slogan was 8 hours for work, 8 hours for sleep, 8 hours for what we will. If you consider sleep something you want to do, then that leaves about a third that is what you don’t want to do, which is work. But outside of work there is laundry and cleaning and a lot of other obligations we don’t really want. If you only have 30 percent of your time devoted to things you don’t want to do, you’re really pretty lucky.

    When I was working full time, I was either at work, coming or going from work, or on a lunch break, for about 55 hours a week. Many more hours per week were devoted to household tasks. That felt like a bad balance to me. It’s better now, but probably still less than ideal. Hard to put a number on it, though.


    1. The thought that your work is something you’d rather not do, distresses me. I consider myself really lucky that I have almost always loved my work. But perhaps that also explains why I typically changed jobs every six years.Six years was about as long as I found any job challenging and interesting.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve never found work that I actually wanted to do, just work that was not too terribly objectionable. It would be very nice if it was fulfilling, but it’s really just a way of earning money.


      2. i have the same job but it changes as i go
        i love what i do and i am lucky that way the stuff i dont want to do is reaching outside my comfort zone. i work hard to do it and grow my horizons. that’s my deal. keep at it and keep growing

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Late to the party as usual! My life is 95% absent things I don’t like doing. My greatest complaint is the many times each year that my laptop goes screwy. I’d so like to be more involved socially or politically, but in general, I’m ridiculously contented. In fact, I’m so content that it feels like I’m siphoning off the precious time left me rather than going out with a bang.

    Liked by 1 person

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