Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Time Management

Even though I spent a lot of time last year dreaming of how wonderful my days would be once all three of my kids were in full day school, I'm having a little bit of a tough time with it. Now, don't get me wrong, having all three of my children out of the house for six hours a day is more wonderful than I can possibly express, but figuring out those six hours has been a little bit of a challenge.
Requisite blah-blah-blah for any mom who says she delights in being without her children: I love my children dearly and truly enjoy spending time with them. I am happy every day when they come home. But day-um, it is nice to have time to get shit done when they aren't around.

Before all of my kids were in school, I had all these mental snapshots of me getting shit done. I would exercise every morning, followed by housecleaning and a daily shower. At that point I would do my part-time job and possibly market and do videography projects. With my leftover time, I would write and do all the the little home/me/blog/decluttering/career betterment tasks I had in mind.

I assumed that my to-do list would be nonexistent by this point in the year.

Well. Nuts to that. In addition to my two-page long, single spaced to-do list, I add the following:

You know what I've done? I made a daily schedule and then failed to follow through on it. I went to a weekly schedule, which also didn't work. I jealously guarded my time and resented things that took me away from the possibility of getting work done. Then I had weeks where it seemed like I had plans or appointments or sick kids four days out of five. Instead of going big with my videography business, I decided to go home, shutting it down instead.

I've also learned that you can dither away six entire hours trying to empty an email inbox, while getting lost in link trails that start with an innocent click on something that scrolls through my Tweetdeck.

I managed to start exercising daily. Twice daily even. Then I stopped. I managed to declutter a couple of things, but right now, even my desk is piled high with papers and lists and schedules. It's possible that I clean less than I used to because while I could turn cleaning and decluttering into an interactive activity with Quinn (not to mention that I wouldn't spend my days sitting at my computer), now it seems like a waste of time to do things like that when I could be working.

My dreams of not working at night or on weekends have not come to fruition.

The only thing I've been really successful at it is instituting a 2-3 p.m. daily nap.

Now, I know the nap thing kind of brands me as an asshole, but I've determined that I need more sleep than the six to seven hours I get at night (I know. Asshole.)  but that I won't get more then, so I supplement it during the day (Yes. Absolutely. I am a complete jackass.).

The nap thing has honestly really improved how things go after school. If I'm not tired, I'm not as cranky and I'm more patient with the munchkins. I'm more likely to cook dinner. (Oh, yeah. Dinner cooking. Another failure from this year that I was sure was going to improve after last September.) Homework goes more smoothly. Sometimes I'll even play with my kids. I know. PLAY with my kids. How's that for parenting? Mother of the year, right here.

I have to figure out another way. I've already curtailed my email interaction during the day and I shut down my Tweetdeck more and more often so that I don't get derailed by those links trails, but the fact of the matter is, I don't know how to organize my time.

I need to find a way to fit housecleaning, exercise, my job, writing, some relaxation time, and my nap all into one day. Or figure out a way to weave it through my week so I can get things done.

It's a lot to think about, and I would do so, but I really need to go take my nap now, so I'll have to revisit this tomorrow.

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