In Pursuit of an Organized Life

. . . putting life in order

Quote of the Week

“A schedule defends from chaos and whim.”  Anne Dillard

I’m trying to figure out a schedule for exercise and chores.  More to come on that later.

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Due Dates

I decided that I love due dates.  It helps me prioritize and get things done versus waiting until some random time in the future.  The proximity of a due date gives me an added boost to get the job done.  I hate being late and missing deadlines even if they were soft deadlines.  If someone says they will be here at 5 and it’s 5:15, it bugs me.  Rationally, I know 90% of the time it will be fine, but  there is a part of me that just goes crazy.  If they say they will be here between 5 and 6.  I am cool with them coming at 5:15.

I’ve had about 5 different people at work say some variation of me being detail oriented and rule bound.  I never necessarily saw myself that way, but the odds of that many people commenting on it and ALL OF THEM being wrong are slim.  I told my husband that and he was surprised.  At home, I don’t have the same sense of productivity and drive that I do at work.  It got me thinking about the difference and how to make myself more productive at work.  The chores that I like the best are the ones with some sort of natural cause and effect.  No laundry—-no clothes.  No cooking—-no eating.  No grocery shopping—no food.

So I’m trying to thinking of ways to make my housework more structured.  I do well with trying to get a certain task done before X happens.  I’ve tried setting up a schedule like Mondays I clean bathrooms, but I know it’s contrived and so it’s easy to make an excuse (kids, tired, etc).   I’m off to tidy the kitchen and start sorting through either kids books while their sleeping or start on sorting through summer clothes to see what I need.  Let me know if you have any ideas or suggestions.

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Peek at My Snowy Sunday

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I decided to keep track of how I spent my day today. The weather is predicted to be a “wintery mix” all day so I’m camping out at home with my girls. Hopefully it will motivate me to get a few more things done or at least see where my time went.

5:30-7 am Brain woke me up and wouldn’t let me go back to bed. Came downstairs watched MY shows and folded laundry.

7-8 Visited with husband while he got ready to head to work on a project.

8-11 Desperately searched for some scrap of coffee. I found 2 scoops of decaf and 2 scoops of REALLY old ground coffee. Drank coffee while relaxing with kids and serving cereal. Followed by kids helping to make double batch of banana bread.

11-12 Drafted this post 🙂 Eat chili  and banana bread. Put away load of laundry and put in a new load.

12-1 Not actually sure what I did. Debating if I should take a nap.  Wandering.  Unload and load dishwasher

1-2:20 Put away clothes and bibs that are too small for my youngest daughter, tidied the upstairs, vacuumed the upstairs.

2:20-3:30  Folding clothes and watching tv.

Hope you had a great Sunday!

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Self Care is not the Enemy

I’m starting to realize that self-care is not in opposition to productivity.  I say I’m too busy to exercise or socialize or meditate, but giving up those things does not guarantee that I will get more done.  Usually if I say I’m too busy,  I spend more time stressed out or dreading tasks than actually getting stuff done.  So I’d be giving up some of that time rather than productive time.

Now timing plays a role.  I’m not going to go out to a movie and dinner with friends the night before some huge day at work.  I may have to miniaturize the task to fit the current scenario.

  • Workout at home instead of hour-long class at the gym
  • Calling a friend instead of visiting
  • 3 minute meditation instead of following the program as written
  • Weekend getaway instead of week long cruise

It’s like Tim Gunn—-“Make it work.”

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Hijacked Evening

I had visions of what I would do tonight (fold laundry and tidy the house). I got into creating therapy materials (noun/verb sorting by sound). While I was planning on using it for the next day, what should have taken 5 minutes ended up taking much longer. Part of it was my poor estimating skills as far as how long it would take. The other part was that I was that I was enjoying it and it was still productive.

I still am getting some tidying done, but the pile of laundry will wait until tomorrow. There are some bugs going around so I want to make sure I’m getting my sleep as well. Quick burst and then sleep!

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Night time Cramming

I’ve been catching myself trying to fit in everything I wanted to get done in the last half hour before going to bed. The kids are in bed. I have the work things that are done for the next day. I’ve relaxed. Then I decide its time to go to bed, but I wanted to get the dishwasher unloaded, clean the main level, exercise, and put away clothes. So I stay up an hour past when I wanted to go to bed cramming that stuff in. Loosing sleep in the process. Ideally, I would have done all those things earlier in the evening instead of watching tv or spending time on the internet. It’s finding that balance of is it more important to get it done or to sleep. There is always “just one more thing” to do. 5 minutes becomes 45 minutes really fast.

I’m trying to put sleep higher on my priority list, but I also want exercise, REALLy playing with my kids, and cleaning also higher on my priority list. If everything is a priority, nothing becomes a priority. So for now I’m trying to inch back my bed time. Try for half hour earlier and go from there. I want the days to be shorter because I get tired, but I want the days to be longer so I can get more done.

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No Goals to Baby Goals

I survived the first few weeks and am now trying to re-intergrate what I want to fit in. This week, I am trying to pick one priority task and plan the evening around that and whatever else happens happens. I’ve been picking the goals the night before so it’s flexible. They aren’t big goals, but a start in the right direction.

Monday—-Clean Toliets (not the whole bathroom, just toliets) (2/4 toliets cleaned)
Tuesday—-Go to the gym (went to gym, set up personal training appointment, LIGHT workout)
Tommorrow—–Find the kitchen counters 😛

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Adaptability vs Routine

I have transitioned past the point where I feel like I can survive  returning back to work.  I’m still trying to figure out how I can get everything I want to get done at home and at work, but it doesn’t seem like some un-achievable task anymore.

I’m trying to find the balance between planning and routine and flexibility and adaptability.   On one hand,  I know that if I don’t plan when I will get tasks done, the tasks won’t get done.   The other part of me says that I have to take it day by day and be gentle with myself and do what I can.  I want to make a commitment to exercise, get the house clean, and spend quality time with the girls and my husband.  I also know that there are days when I need to focus on self care.

I haven’t found a system  to get that balance.  I know I like having the house at a basic level of cleanliness.  I can relax better if I don’t have to see a pile of clutter and a list of chores I should do.  I know I feel better when I work out.  I know I want to spend quality time with my girls.  I know I will have to take some work home since I can’t stay late or arrive early.

It’s just how to plan and schedule.  Do I do a task from each category daily?  Do I schedule vertically and have Mondays be workout, Tuesdays family, etc?
Do I not schedule and just let the mood and situations of the day guide my actions?  How do I not place pressure on myself while still head in the direction I want to go?  Having a schedule can make you feel accountable and takes out some decision making, but it also can lead to rigidity of doing something even if it doesn’t make sense for that day.  I could plan and then life happens and I have to real plan.  Or I can not plan and regret choices I made because they are the easiest, but not necessarily the best long term decision.   Ah, life.  If you have the answer, let me know.

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Errands!!

I had a wonderful and productive morning. No kids. Just me, the car, and to do/buy list. It felt great to be able to cross all the stuff off my list at one time rather than doing random little stops throughout the week or month.  It felt so efficient and purposeful than either dragging the kids and spending more time hurding than shopping (tripling the time).  I think it also helped me to buy less since all the spending was in one morning rather than $10 here and $50 here.  I wouldn’t buy something that was just okay at one store when I knew another store would probably have more options.

  • Hair Cut—I wanted to get a new hair cut before I started my new job.  I want to make a good first impression as well as easier to maintain my hair with my busier schedule.  I was in the habit of wearing my hair in a pony tail most of the time which makes me look younger than I am.  (I had someone this summer ask if my parents were home.  Needless to say my parents were not at my home, but my two children were napping upstairs).  I have new layers and it looks good down with minimal effort.  I can still put it into a ponytail for working out.
  • Library/Borders—picked up books and DVDs I reserved at the library and browsed the going out of buisness sale at Borders.  While I had fun browsing at Borders, the library was a much better stop—picked up books on reserve check out and go home with free materials.  I ended up spending about 45 minutes at Borders and coming out with 2 magazines and a running log book.  Everything was 50%-70% off, but most of the stuff I could get from the library for free, couldn’t find what I wanted, or was still more than I was willing to spend for the item.  There are so many “sales” now days that I forgot how high some of the suggested retail prices are.
  • Tea shop—So excited to have a tea shop near my house.  I got a drink to sip while I run errands and enough loose leaf tea to make about 30 cups of tea for $8.  Life’s little luxturies.

I also got basic groceries, deposited checks, and purchased a planner for work.  I am planning on making a list of items and errands to keep on the fridge.  Then I can schedule days like these as needed.  I already have a couple of ideas.

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