March 7th, 2011
by Heather · Filed Under: Ramblings
We post about time management with a fair degree of frequency. I think it serves two purposes: 1. We speak to our audience. I don’t know many healthy lifestyle oriented folks who also work FT who don’t struggle with this; 2. It reinforces the fact that the Jodiojo.com Team has the same issues as everyone else. So, even as coaches, it’s not like we don’t get it.
Case in point: Last Monday. Mondays I work from home. Not for the company for which I’m contracted to do a wellness and fitness program onsite—they get me Tuesday through Friday. Mondays are for other stuff—Jodiojo.com, Therapeutic Bodyworx (that’s me!), and overall move-yourself-forward type stuff that just doesn’t get done once Tuesday at 4:15a hits and I’m on like Donkey Kong for my client. The peril of the open-endedness of Mondays is that it also ends up being the day I can most easily plug in the extras, such as doctor appointments, housework that didn’t get done on Saturday or Sunday, meetups with friends, etc. That actually is just not cool as it creates an inherent lack of structure and unpredictability on that day, no matter how mapped out it is beforehand.
While many abhor Mondays, if there were any way for me to buy an entire calendar just of these, I’d do it!
For example, the mapped out version:
-Up early (5:30a latest), write and post blogpost for following Monday
-Catch up on emails and what not
-Start cooking (having picked up groceries over the weekend)
-While laundry and food are going, do some work-work
The actual version:
-Slept in until 6:45a due to very sick husband coughing all night
-No blogpost written, had to meet with builder of new house at 8:00
-Meet with girlfriend in crisis, 9:00-10:45a and head home
-Wait, no—didn’t get the groceries over the weekend, stop on way home and hit up the store
-Get home, walk dogs (check!), get ready to start some food cooking only to get call from very-sick hubs who went to work part of the day anyhow: “I need to go to the minute clinic, I’m dying. But first can we take my car to get serviced then you take me to the clinic?”
-Don’t start food, can’t leave it on burner/in oven. Take hubs’ car to get serviced, then take him to clinic, head to Costco to buy giant tub of cookie dough to make cookies for home building crew (sucking up—need that house up a couple of weeks early if possible), wait and wait and wait at clinic (he must really be sick), get hubs who has walking pneumonia and go back to Costco for air purifier I saw there to park next to him in the house.
-Back home. For 2 minutes. Get call that husband’s car is ready. Back out to pick up his car and return home in rush hour traffic.
At this point I was close to imploding. It was closing in on 6:00p, and my Monday had gotten overtaken big time. Worse—I try to get to bed early on Mondays because I get up very early on Tuesdays. Where was the workout, cooking, blogpost, other-work going to fit in before then? I was one hot second from having a counterproductive meltdown about that, which intellectually I knew would serve me in no way, shape, or form. The only thing I could think to do was take inventory of what DID get done that day, in hopes it would change my ‘tude. So…
-Didn’t get up super early due to lack of sleep during the night. Good for me making that decision!
-Met with builder. Yes! We feel much better now about how he’s going to re-grade the overly steep slope in the backyard.
-Spend some quality time with a very dear friend who lives hours away and will be in town. Good stuff!
-Grocery shopping done on way home. I’m so efficient!
-Walked dogs. They love me.
-Got husband taken care of, husband’s car taken care of, got air purifier so husband can breathe, got cookie stuff for the crew working hard on my new home.
The “What got done?” List helped me improve this dramatically.
Implosion averted. I cooked enough food to get us through Tuesday. And last night (Tuesday), I cooked up a storm, including the “thank you cookies”, which I’ll deliver today, making some folks very happy, I hope. My husband is feeling a lot better and he loves that air purifier. I noticed him carrying it downstairs this morning to have next to him in the living room while he attempted a workout. Cute. I missed my Monday workout, but I killed it Tuesday so I’m okay with it. And now I can check “blogpost” off my list, and it’s only Wednesday. Even better, I can check off “prevent mental –emotional disaster”. You see, while it seems as though I went on a needless sharing (rant) of a day gone awry, what I’m REALLY sharing with you is the fact that I KNOW some of you gitterdun gals like a neat and tidy itinerary of things happening when and as they should in your day. So many of us are perfectionists, whether we like it or not. I find this quality to be very prevalent in nearly all folks I know who budget time for meal-planning and training around an already-packed day of work, errands, sleep, and life-having. Time management is essential, we pride ourselves in getting more stuff done than the Average Josephine does, and we are intolerant of other people or events taking control of our days. I also know this personality type is prone to pulling a nutty when the day’s plan gets discombobulated (one of my fave words). What I know more is how my own default trip straight to Anxietyville does nothing to fix the situation. And, honestly, I’m still working on not defaulting there. Fortunately, I U-turn back to Sanity Town much more quickly these days. Age really does = wisdom.
Since we’re a tracking and journaling crowd, the next time your day gets a little out your control, or “off plan”, as we say, stop for just a minute and quickly list what DID get done that day. It doesn’t have to be anything that was in the original plan. But I know you guys, and more than likely SOMETHING got done up to that point that you can feel good about. And while we’re discussing tracking and journaling, consider adding a “‘Tude Tracker” section to your diet and training. What I mean is, track your attitude, making notes of days/weeks where you either can’t buy a good mood or clear thought, or days/weeks where you just seem sharper and more “on” than usual. Look for patterns in your menstrual cycle, nutrition, training, sleep, work, etc. that may coincide with highs and lows in your attitude. I’m just starting to try this out. I think it could really help if I’m losing it a little, or just can’t seem to gain clarity, if I can look back objectively and see “Oh, I just ovulated, I’ll be a constipated spazz for a day or three. No major decisions to be made until at least Day 22.” That sort of thing. Hey, it’s worth a try.