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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Fitting it all together, or, why I need a 36 hour day...

I've seen a lot of posts in bloggytown lately from folks who are trying to manage some pretty epic schedules.  People are juggling working, working overtime, families, health concerns, schoolwork (I see people posting about AP classes and college applications and I can say with 100% certainty that I'm happy that those days are behind me), extracurricular activities, the upcoming holidays, special projects, other hobbies and who knows what else, and are concerned that, in the shuffle of all the other stuff, they aren't getting as much blogging done as they'd like and are wondering how other people deal with this issue.  I've commented on a couple of posts on this subject but was inspired to write a post on this subject all on its own.

When it comes to fitting things together and making sure there's time for everything, I freely admit that my efforts regarding this have, lately, sucked on toast.  I'm the first to admit that work has pretty much consumed my life and when I'm not actually prepping lessons, prepping materials, or doing paperwork, I'm fretting about one of those things and probably driving my nearest and dearest crazy.  However, I'm a big believer that the first step to solving a problem is admitting that you have one, so here's how I've gone about dealing with the imblances in how I spend my time, energy and resources lately.

Step One: Stop.

No, seriously.  Stop stressing, stop bugging out, stop worrying about things, and give yourself one hour to make a list. List everything that needs to get done, whether it be for work, school, family, extracurriculars, or whatever.  Organization is your friend.  Don't be afraid to get honest, either; I definitely had to write down cleaning the bathroom on my list, otherwise it's just not going to happen. Sorry.

Step Two: You're Fired.
The next thing I did was go through the list and cross off everything that was either a) not really my responsibility, b) was honestly never going to get done, or c) could be delegated to someone else.  I was surprised how many things disappeared off the list once I admitted that I was just not going to get to them.

4. Block off time.
From there I took my list and assigned a due date to everything. Some things are getting done this weekend. Some things are getting done on the staff day I have next Friday. Some things are getting done next weekend. Some things are getting put in the rotation of things that get done during the week.  For blogging, I've assigned holidays and Friday nights as my blogging days, and posts get scheduled in advance on my Google calendar.  Will it work all the time? Hell no, but personally I like having a little bit of time each week where I do something that is just for fun, and for me, blogging is all about fun.

5. Watch out for leeches.
Lynn Viehl, author extraordinaire and blogger over at Paperback Writer, had a really good post awhile ago about Fighting Fatigue, and I refer to it every time I start to feel suffocated by all the whatnot that I have going on.  She makes a point of commenting on how distractors like Twitter, Facebook, Google Reader, cell phone, and whatever can sap the life right out of an otherwise possibly-productive work time, and I have to admit that that part is 100% true.  I've found that if I sit myself in front of 400 things in Google reader, then that's probably going to do it for productivity for me that night.  That's not to say that doing one thing is inherently better than another; it's just saying that all these things involve choices, and choices have consequences, whether they be positive or negative.

6. Relax. It's not that hard (or important.)

Above all else, give yourself a break.  If you have time to blog, blog! But if you don't, don't. You don't have to explain yourself; we all have lives and I can't think of many folks out here who are bloggers as anything other than a hobby or a way to meet cool people.  Those cool people will be around when your life settles down a little bit.  If you lose followers, you lose followers.  Personally I'd rather read well-written, interesting posts then yucky ones that were done out of obligation or because of needling deadlines.  You, and everyone else, are doing the best job you and they possibly can, and you know what? That is awesome.  Tell yourself that the next time you start to get down on yourself.  You are awesome, and you are doing the best you can.

Repeat after me: you are awesome, and you are doing the best you can.

You are awesome, and you are doing the best you can.

You are awesome, and you are doing the best you can.

Feel better?

4 comments:

LupLun said...

You skipped number 3. :P

But, yeah. It's rough fitting in enough time for everything. I usually wind up making to-do lists when It gets overwhelming. You can't believe how much it helps get things together. The real problem, though, is that chillax time always has to be the first thing to go, and that's the time you need most of all, to make your life worth living. So, you gotta make time for down time. Get your priorities straight, amirite?

Tina said...

I am awesome and doing the best I can...

Ok feeling better, why is it that I start freaking out if I dont have a post up everyday. Balancing the job, the kids, the housework, the carpool, the hubs, the friends, the books...ahhhh sometimes I feel like popping!!

Missie said...

"You are awesome, and you are doing the best you can."

LOL! Have you seen any Dane Cook's stand up where he wails, "I did my best. I did my best." So freaking funny!

But yes, great advice. I'm a laid back person (probably because I don't have kids yet) and don't really care about things I can't control so it often perplexes me that some people put unnecessary stress on themselves over these things.

Deepali said...

EXCELLENT advice :)

I'm just going back to work after a vacation that involved a lot of travelling...so loads to do once I'm in the office.

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