As I sat down to write this post, I thought "I don't have time to write this week!" Which is exactly what I will write about....
I use to-do lists. I use one calendar for all my appointments and reminders. I'm a professional organizer, for goodness' sake! And, I still find it difficult to get all the things I plan on doing done in the amount of time I've got.
In other words, you're not alone.
Sure, my calendar and to-do list are huge helps. For example: today. I knew that I had an "office" day, meaning I'm not working with clients today. So, I look to my to-do list (a running, ever-changing list that sits atop my desk..and sometimes travels in my bag with me). Today's tasks:
- Answer emails/phone calls
- Write blog post
- Holiday baking
Doesn't seem too bad for one day, right? Considering I'm not even leaving the house?
The laundry is the easiest to tackle. I can toss a load in and out and fold while things are baking or cooling. No worries there. And, I've clearly made myself take a break from whatever else I've been doing all day to write the blog post....albeit at 4:50PM. Just barely making it into my official work day. It's getting done, though; I won't worry about that one.
I'll exercise tonight... I swear....
(read: I struggle with this one like everyone else)
Now, here's the kicker: baking and catching up with communications are the last two things. I've been jumping in between the two since about 11 this morning, when I decided it was time to start doing something productive (although I had already cleaned my place, so the time wasn't totally wasted).
I have 4 things to make for the holidays. I have a handful of emails and calls to respond to. I'm attempting the stagger approach. Oscillating back and forth when one is wearing me out. How am I doing?
It's now 4:54PM. Cookie batch #1 has dough chilling in the fridge, which will be ready in a couple hours. Cookie batch: #2 cooling. Cookie batch #3: done! Cookie batch #4: cooling. So, the two that are cooling will need to be cut later and batch #1 will need to be made. I've got three emails left to respond to.
So, why do I feel like I don't have any time left? Part of it is because I know I have to have all my baking done today; I have a deadline. What I could have done is started baking over the weekend and made one batch a day, spacing it out. I would have small pieces to do daily, but be finished by the same deadline. Applicable to any project. Slow and steady wins the race, right?
Another thing I could have done was to concentrate on one task at a time, not flip-flop between my computer and my oven. Perhaps if I sat down and did all the administrative tasks at one time, I'd get through them before noon. Then, I'd have the entire day to spend baking. I wouldn't have that voice in the back of my head saying, "Hurry! You still have X, Y and Z to do today!"
So, next time I'm going to try it differently. And, perhaps next time you're feeling pressure to get so many things done with only minutes to spare during the day, perhaps you'll try a different approach, too?