Monday, February 13, 2012

Time Management

So I started this year with big, big goals: tracking my writing production, 5000 words a week, regular blog posts.  God at that rate, I could have my novel done in a year and blog readership would be through the roof!  Well, like most of us who set goals in the beginning of the year, reality walked up and smacked me in the face and not six weeks later, I am already off track.  I knew this was the case because not only have I not tracked my writing in a couple weeks, but I am crabby. If I don't get enough writing in I get stressed and moody, and you pretty much don't want to be around me. So I called a meeting with my time management mentor to get me back on the right path.

My husband is the most efficient time manager of anyone I know.  He sets his schedule in his blackberry and when it beeps to remind him of some appointment or task he does it.  I, on the other hand, am like that at work, but resist all scheduling attempts at home.  This frustrates my time management guru to no end, mostly because he has to listen to me bitch and complain about how much I have to do and how stressed I am.  So once again, we sat at the dining room table over coffee and he explained to me, again, why setting and keeping to a schedule at home would free me to do the things I want to do.

And I listened and nodded and understood.  I do, I really do, understand.  I kept a good schedule for three days once, in a row.  Quite a feat for me because even as I sit here writing I can feel the claustrophobic feeling of cramming my life into those neat little color coded boxes on my iPhone rising like a tide inside me. Maybe it's the fact that I have three people's schedules on my calendar or that my schedule is entitled "Mom" instead of "Jeanne."  Maybe I think I shouldn't have to work so hard to fit my bright pink boxes into the space left by the purple and green boxes of daughter and husband or the big grey box of working for someone else.  Maybe I think that my schedule should just be magically respected and I shouldn't have to fence it off to protect it from marauding friends and family and cats walking across my keyboard.

After all that thinking I've realized that no one is going to respect my schedule if I don't have one.  Other people will take it as seriously as I do. So when I put my writing time in, I have to go write.  My husband and daughter know not to disturb me unless fire or an ambulance is involved.  I need to not disturb me too.  But life is messy and I also realize that the boxes are a goal, if I don't hit it today, I'll hit it tomorrow.  The key is to keep trying to get back to the box.  So today is my first attempt at getting back to the schedule and goals I set at the beginning of the year.   So I was successful today, got some "black on white" and I am happy about that.  I'll try again tomorrow, and then the day after that.  Who knows?  Maybe I'll break my three day streak.