Since I crossed off many items off my 2012 list, I figure I’ll do another one to keep myself accountable. Hopefully this time, it won’t take 2 years to check things off.
Donate that bag of clothes and other random stuff again. This is cyclical.
Recycle batteries and electronics. This is also cyclical.
Download film/TV I purchased to the iPad. If I can figure how to do this.
Look into life insurance.
Write a will. I suspect that I will have to get around to this one!
Frame some pictures. This would require actually getting prints.
Stretch out shoes that are way too small. Working on it…
Get copies of Advanced Directive to doctors and family. Not sure how to bring this up…
Learn how to tie a scarf.
Sell some clothes on Ebay.
Figure out how to clean filter from wall unit A/C. I think I need a screwdriver.
Hire someone to clean Dryer connector. This is a fire hazard!
Back in June 2012, I wrote down things I should do. Here’s an update.
Find a way to access a book I downloaded to my tablet. NOPE
Plant those tomatoes. They are dead!!!
Donate that bag of clothes and other random stuff. DONE! But more crap is accumulating….
Finish those blog posts about work/life balance. DONE, I think…
Various Tech Stuff, like backing up pictures to the hard drive and setting up a wireless modem. NOPE.
Go through all my magazine clippings and actually do something about it. I think I threw a lot away..
Now I have new things to add…
Look into life insurance.
Write a will. (I suspect that I will have to get around to this one!)
Create a Shutterfly album.
Recycle batteries and electronics.
Put away winter clothing and blankets.
Get heel taps for new pumps.
Time management expert and author Laura Vanderkam has a new e-book called “What The Most Successful People Do On Weekends” (read review from House of Peanut here). I haven’ t read it yet but the gist of it seems to be how to be more productive on weekends. I tend to emulate or strive for simplicity and personal happiness even if it’s not the same as what “successful” people do. I believe successful people are defined by the author as typically Type A high-powered & career-minded people who are successful in their fields. Therefore, I’m not the target audience!
However, that doesn’t mean I can’t get good advice from books like these (and I’m sure I will once I read it..). One of the tips from the author’s blog at least is to plan an Anchor event on the weekends. This anchor event should be something fun that gets you and/or your family out of the house so that weekends are more memorable and not all about chores and puttering around.
For several weekends, we’ve accidentally followed this advice. The first weekend was very simple and not super planned-out but it was a Saturday morning excursion to a nearby park. The next weekend was a music concert for kids at the library on a Saturday morning. The third weekend included a date night on Saturday. I admit that doing something fun on Saturdays, when I normally would be puttering around the house, was a good change for our family. We tend to put off the fun stuff; if we don’t do it on Saturday or plan something, nothing fun gets done.
At the same time, those weekends felt harried, too. The music concert took out a good chunk of morning. We still had a lot of stuff that needed to get done. On top of regular stuff like meal prep, cooking, putting dishes away, multiple diaper changes, and more, I managed to do some gardening and a quick wipe-down of the kitchen and bathroom, including the dreaded chore of cleaning the tub. My husband was busy, too, but we were too busy to notice each other’s chore duties!
After all these memorable, fun weekends, I need a chill-out weekend to decompress and do nothing!
How do you manage your weekends? Are you on board with the idea of planning fun or do you prefer to have unscheduled time, or a little of both?
As a result of our move, I’ve gain about an extra hour per day — half an hour in the mornings and half an hour in the evenings. Even though we moved over a month ago, I haven’t done anything concrete with that extra time, other than unpacking and decorating, but I would love some advice.
I know that some super-motivated time management gurus would suggest exercising or tackling a major project in the mornings. After all, sleeping in isn’t really taking advantage of that extra time. However, I’m going to say now that sleeping in is my plan for the extra morning half hour.
What I am asking for is advice on what to do with the other half hour, after work. I really don’t want to waste it on watching TV or surfing the web.
Here are my ideas:
Nurture Relationships: Having more time and energy for kids and husband is always a plus. I want to really enjoy this extra time. I promised my husband I would be less grumpy..now that can be a hard resolution to keep…
Career management: I can update my C.V., browse websites for job opportunities, update my Linked In profile, read career-related materials (which can also be done at lunch), attend networking functions. I would love specific action items / tips. BTW, here are some great career-building tips from Cloud/Wandering Scientist.
Exercise: At least once per weekday, I plan to take a class. I’m also taking walks around neighborhood and can go to the park more often. Now I can get home and take a nice walk with the kids in the time it used to take me to drive all the way home!
Cook and Plan Meals: I’ve slacked off in this area and would love to start planning healthier meals on weeknights, rather than relying on Trader Joe’s.
Chores…Ugh: I want to do some smaller chores on weeknights rather than saving them up for weekends. With a long commute, I was tired and short on time. Now I guess I could pick up a mop once in a while. There are two almost opposing challenges to this idea. I hate chores YET I also worry that I’ll use my valuable “extra” time to doing chores.
What would you do with an extra half hour per night?
Posted in Advice, Children, Family, random thoughts, simple living
Tagged career capital, chores, commuting, exercise, happiness, moving, time, time management, tv, wandering scientist
“168 Hours” is a time management book by Laura Vanderkam. The basic premise of the book is that we all have 168 hours in the week and most people don’t manage that time very well. From some reviews on Amazon, I gathered that many of the “solutions” for managing time better require money and a lot of flexibility. While I doubt the author blithely assumes that everyone can afford cleaning help or good daycare, the media does tend to focus on high-powered women when addressing the issue of time and work/life balance. See Atlantic’s recent “Women Can’t Have It All” article or any issue of Working Women magazine.
The focus on high-powered executives and especially on successful women makes sense on some level. Women are still expected to deal more with the juggling of household chores, childcare and work. Even if the chore and/or childcare split is 50/50, it seems that women devote more time thinking and managing these chores. The assumption is that if CEOs university professors and magazine editors can make it work, the average women can certainly learn time management tricks from them.
The problem is that this trickle-down theory is often not applicable to those lower in the ranks. For example, a magazine’s Editor-In-Chief has to answer to the publisher and certainly has high demands placed upon her. However, it’s unlikely that she has to ask permission for leaving early or for vacation time. She has more influence over company culture than those beneath her. She can work after the kids are in bed. If the average employee wanted to do that, he/she would have to convince the boss that they are actually working after work hours. Good luck with that…
My normal tendency is to write a short post and include a list of tips geared toward people in the middle-class. However, I wanted to explain the origins for this post and also acknowledge my own privilege. While I can’t really set my own schedule, work from home or easily pay for cleaning help, I am a white-collar professional working in an office setting and I do enjoy more flexibility than the average retail store or restaurant employee. For this, I’m lucky. Before you say that it’s also your ability, education and hard work, I know many who work just as hard with just as much ability who just happen to have less understanding bosses or a more nose-to-the-grind corporate culture to contend with.
How can you carve out valuable time if you’re not the 1% (or top 10%) with money and flexibility? How can you manage if you really don’t have the resources to outsource? I’ll try to answer this in Part 2 (coming soon).