It’s interesting that I’ve received more comments this week than any week ever. As I wrote these long posts I wondered who could possibly be interested in my boring life, but then I realized how much I enjoyed reading all the other posts. So while our own lives may seem boring and uninteresting there is pleasure in being a virtual fly on the wall in someone else’s world.
I’ve received a few comments and emails asking me how I do it all. So I thought I’d share my secret with you. I don’t!
I’ve prioritized my life: family, career, education. I try to only be in the office 8-hours a day. When I’m not at work and my kids are awake I’m with them–physically and mentally. I maximize the precious time I have with them and do not multi-task. They get my undivided attention. Once they go to bed it’s time to focus on left over work from the day, career-related tasks, and school.
That sounds like a lot, but here’s what doesn’t get done. I don’t have as much time to hang out with my friends. We don’t watch TV. We don’t even have cable. I don’t cook or clean. My husband does the shopping and cooking (we eat a lot of take out). He does the yard work and some of the house cleaning. But seriously, the house is a mess, the yard is full of weeds, and even though Bree Van De Camp is my hero (I used to watch TV), I’ve accepted the fact that my house will not look like that for another 17 years.
I’ve found that the more I do the more energy I have and the more I am able to do. The law of inertia.
I’ve also found ways to maximize my time. I listen to audiobooks when I am in the car. During the school year when traffic gets bad I work 7-4 to avoid rush hour and wasted time in traffic. This also allows me to spend more time with my kids. I count my blessings that I work for a library that allows a flexible schedule like this. I have great child care which lets me to focus on work at work and home at home. I try to plan ahead so I can group tasks by time and proximity. For instance if I need to vacuum and do a load of laundry, I start the laundry first and vacuum while the laundry is going. It sounds simple but it really helps to save time when you plan all your tasks this way.
Speaking of tasks, I use Outlook to remember everything. Any random thought that has an action goes into Outlook Tasks, so I don’t have to keep thinking about it. Then tasks are categorized by how the action gets done (@work, @home, @computer, errand, someday maybe, waiting). I can then sort the tasks and get all the @computer ones done in one sitting, all the errands done together, and so on.
When I plan my day, I drag the highest priority tasks from the task list to the calendar so that time is allotted for each task. It sounds like a lot of work, but once you get accustomed to this way of doing things and see how much time you are saving you will wish you had been doing this for years.
I highly recommend the book Take Back Your Life. This book was life changing for me in managing my time. If you’ve been reading my posts this week, you already know that I am taking this to the next level with TROG (Total Relaxed Organization Guru). Kevin Crenshaw sent me a copy of the book and software to review so I’ll be blogging about that over the next month.
It has been a pleasure sharing my week with you. It’s 2am. Both kids now have fevers and have been waking up crying every 15 minutes. The saga never ends. But in the end that’s what the journey is all about!