How I (try to) manage my time


One of the suggestions for new post topics I got for my Lush giveaway was as follows:

how you allocate your time! It seems like you're someone who has a lot of "systems" (tracking what you've read and watched, for example) and I wonder how you keep track of all of them, what sort of records you keep on a daily basis, and just generally what your days look like.

This cracked me up. I am definitely someone who has a lot of systems. Many of my systems don't work, or get used, but I love attempting them. And a few of them stick along the way. Still, I have a lot more theoretical record keeping than I do real life record keeping. Though I strive towards being an organized and systematic person, in reality, I'm just not.

My life has undergone a lot of changes recently, particularly in terms of time management. As I've mentioned, I transitioned in January from part-time work-from-home status to full-time work-at-an-office status. That was really only part of the transition, though. I am also still doing two part-time freelance work-from-home jobs, as well as spending more and more time each week on outside writing projects. Things are busy in my world. And all this busyness is requiring a few changes to my "systems" and a little more coordination. Which is a work in progress.

At present, my days/weeks look vaguely like this:

7:45: Get out of bed.
7:45-8:30: Teeth brushing, makeup, get dressed, make coffee, feed animals, take, upload, and edit pictures for 30for30, if possible, write 30for30 post
8:30-8:50: Drive to work.
9-5: Work (I generally eat lunch at my desk and don't leave the premises during the day)
5-5:30: Drive to the gym, change clothes
5:30-6:45: Workout
6:45-7: Drive home
7-10: Play with the dog, eat dinner (possibly make dinner), work on freelance jobs, read blogs, blog, read
10-11:30: Watch TV with Mark (currently The X-Files), no computers allowed!
11:30-11:45: Shower
11:45: Go to sleep.

Now, I only go the gym 2 days in a row, then I take one off. So I always have 1-2 non-gym weekdays. On those days, the 7-10 time frame activities just start earlier. And Mark and I don't watch TV together every night, either (though we do most nights)--sometimes the 7-10 activities go right up to bedtime.

On weekends, the schedule is a lot less rigid. I always go to the gym at least one weekend day, and usually spend about 1.5 hours there. Sometimes I go both days. We spend many weekend hours watching football (soccer). I quite often go thrifting on one weekend day, which can take 4-6 hours easily. We tend to cook more elaborate meals on weekends. We do nearly all of our household chores (laundry, any type of real cleaning, etc.) on weekends. We take the dog for long walks on weekends. And we try to go to the movies at least once every few weeks. Recently, I've also been needing to spend at least a good chunk of one weekend day working on freelance work or writing.

In all honesty, life is busier right now than I'd like it to be. I'm weeks behind on the TV shows I like to watch without Mark (Bones and American Idol). I never have as much time as I'd like to write. I'm barely reading (usually just for a few minutes before bed). I have a constant running list of things I want to get done and I never see the bottom. It's hard to complain too much about it, though--I'm too happy to be employed, and I get too much enjoyment from the time consuming hobbies (like blogging!) that take up so much of my time.

As far as my systems go, the ones I really use take up hardly any time at all. Whenever I finish a book or a movie, I take a quick minute and log it on GoodReads or AllConsuming (I have iPhone apps for both, but I am usually close to my laptop). I log my workouts using FitLinxx, which is provided at my gym. I use an Outlook calendar for my day job and a Google calendar to keep track of everything else (deadlines for freelance jobs, birthdays, when the dog needs his flea medication, everything). I've attempted various housekeeping systems and calendars, but failed spectacularly at all of them, and recently realized that I'm just not all that concerned about the cleanliness of my house. I automate whatever I can (bill paying, prescription ordering). And I am trying, more and more, to cut things that are neither profitable nor enjoyable out of my life altogether.

This is actually a subject that I'm really interested in reading more about--does anybody have any links to good blogs or posts about scheduling and time management?


Yay, thanks for answering my question! Sounds like life is a whirlwind! I can relate to that (despite my obvious mid-day blog reading. ;) ).

I guess when I think about it, I've got a few systems too - goodreads is one inspired by you, and by my goal of reading more this year! It really is simple to keep updated, and fits in so easily to my blog reading time.

Found your blog after Caryn Garner started hers... If you'd do a post about what you do with your hair before you go to sleep (blow dry it, add product, etc.), I'd love to hear about it.

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April 2012

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