Monday, 28 September 2009

Not enough time in the day

I spent a lot of today trying to fit in all the chores and responsibilities I have to do into a coherent and workable schedule, one in which I can get what I need to get done done but also not go absolutely bonkers with no time for myself, my kids, or the unknown.

I THOUGHT I had achieved a rock solid schedule but of course, it has cracked in a few key places already: forgot to include my daughter's new homework club time that started today, dinner took longer than expected to prepare particularly because the kids helped out, and important phone calls interfered. All perfectly expected unexpected things to happen and I'm glad they happened today... it will help me work out the kinks of the "time layout".

But it does bring into sharp relief the fact that, no matter what you're doing or what your priorities are, you can't get everything done. There is not enough time to fit everything in. You have to pick and choose and some things will have to fall by the wayside. I'm not sure what I'll have to drop but it will have to be something.

What has helped me is that I've taken the advice of almost every productivity-related website and actually written down my goals. I've even put them in order of importance:
  1. My health (Exercise and eating right, as well as my comfort and entertainment. If I'm not happy and well, what's the point?);
  2. My family (Both immediate and extended, my being with them and their welfare.);
  3. My money (Not only making it but keeping it and saving it. Kind of important in this world.);
  4. My learning (This includes self-imposed challenges, much of my non-fiction reading, things I would like to learn as well as things I really should learn for my career.);
  5. My friends (Just as with my family, this in about connecting to them as well as supporting them. And it also includes other social efforts, making new friends, chatting up strangers meeting new people and the like.);
  6. My profession (Librarianship of course, but can include related efforts such as anything else academic. This involves both working on my own professionalism and librarianship skills but also supporting the profession itself, with getting published and presenting at conferences.);
  7. My "goodness" (Lacking a better single word for this, it refers to my efforts at making the work a better place, ethical goals, and helping people, however that manifests itself.); and
  8. My administrative matters (Checking email, filing, organizing, communicating, etc. Holding a lot of the previous 7 together.).
Although I've created this list, and tag all my activities in my to do list (RTM) with them as appropriate, I don't feel as though I've fully integrated them (and it) into my routine and efforts. But I guess, what it should come down to is that activities furthering goals near the bottom of the list must be sacrificed for those nearer to the top. Thinking of it this way, I'm not sure I can, although I quite sure I should. I can't really stop checking email or the going through the bills as they come it. Perhaps for things like that, they need to be filtered and focused on how they support what is higher on the list of priorities. That sounds better. Still, some things I'm trying to do, must be canceled. Don't know what of course, and all that rambling above means that it's not going to be a simple matter to determine what or how.

Any ideas? Anyone out there in this situation with any part of the solution?

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