Time for Change

Posted by on August 14, 2006

Ever since I came home from attending a blogging conference where I partied like a rockstar with tons of amazing women and a great guy learned many valuable, useful and important things about blogging and got my photo taken with the always impressive Arianna Huffington, I have been feeling kind of…blah.

I’m not sure if it’s because this event that I looked forward to for months has come to pass or what but my blah-ness has manifested itself in a number of ways that are really bothering me. Chaos seems to reign supreme around here lately.

I’m turning into ADD-Mom, leaving a wake of unfinished stuff everywhere I go because I’m so easily distracted or tired from staying up so late. Things just aren’t getting done. My social commitments have been faced with reluctance. I have all sorts of personal appointments (that’s code for PAP smear, dental cleaning etc.) I need to make and go to but somehow, I just can’t find it within myself to care about any of it. I’ve come to the conclusion that this kind of thing feeds on itself and that I really need to do something.

So…today is the day. It’s just baby steps but I am going to do every item on my crap-I-HAVE-to-do list, I’m not going to get sucked into time-wasting activities online (much), I’m going to do my design work tonight but quit at a reasonable hour, I’m also going to give myself some down time (I can’t remember the last time I watched TV or read a book at night) and finally, I am going to bed early, which for me would be no later than 1:30am.

You might have noticed that I don’t even discuss cooking or cleaning. I can’t bear to. I loathe cooking dinner SO much lately that I get itchy just thinking about it. And cleaning? Hmmph. If I can just address the clutter created daily by my children, I would consider myself successful.

This is really more of a recipe for getting my life back on track. Staying up way too late (is 3am late?) and then having to nap every morning to make up for it, not having any down time and wasting a lot of time online (not including reading blogs, of course) are three things that need to change for good. I just realized that time management seems to be the common thread here.

Why doesn’t that surprise me?

So, friends and passersby, please tell me…do you have issues with time management? Do you find all your time getting sucked down the proverbial rabbit hole?

How do you deal with it?


72 Comments

  • Chase says:

    I’m seriously beginning to think there is a post-blogher depression. It’s much like the women who go through depressions right after getting married. Like, so much time was spent leading up to the conference and so much hype put into it that it’s all we thought/talked about for months.

    Then, the actual conference was THE BEST TIME. We were queens. We lived it up for a whole weekend…just us…and then we had to return to ‘real life’.

    Now that it’s over, we’re all crashing. (Like my recent breakdown!)

    They should offer counseling after the conferences, don’t you think? Kind of a debriefing/depressurizing/pro-real-life session?? We all certainly need it!

    *big hugs*

    Oh, and to answer your question? I SUCK at time management, so I can’t help you there. (I say, sitting in my jammies, supposed to be working…aaaack!)

  • miah says:

    i am a time binger. i don’t do anything i am supposed to, at all, for several weeks and then in one day i freak out and accomplish about everything on the list. if i have been really bad for a really long time, my binge might last several days. every since i saw a psychic on montel, while catsitting another’s cat, i haven’t been upset about it. some woman who never stayed on one “path” long was complaining, and the woman said, in a “duh” voice: what am i supposed to tell you? you’re an experiencer? you experience! that’s your purpose! i’m supposed to tell you to be something else? i don’t think so.

    so: i’m a time binger! what else would i be?

  • Jenny says:

    I have waves where I can’t cook anything but eggos and the house gets dirtier and dirtier.

    The only way I can pull myself out is to start exercising. For some reason it clears my head and helps me reprioritize.

  • Susanne says:

    Well, right now I’m reading blogs instead of singing, practice guitar, declutter the basement, or help my husband with his computer problems …

    I find some activities naturally time-sucking. Watching TV or doing anything with computers for instance. I’ve used y timer to keep computer time at bay, and I’m just starting to limit access, like a “no computer in the evenings” rule.

    Sleeping enough and exercise helps. And standing up from time to time.

  • Chantal says:

    I rush around and yell at everyone. Not very effective, eh?

    I should be cleaning the kitchen right now, but I’m sitting here reading blogs and catching up. I suck at time management, yet I still get it all done somehow!

  • Pattie says:

    I never had issues with time management until I started blogging…seriously. The days I do not turn on my computer are the days I actually get stuff done. Of course, it isn’t as exciting or interesting as reading blogs! I hate when real life gets in the way!

  • I have to say I’ve kind of been the opposite. Taking it easy with the blogs and actually getting stuff done.

    However, I’m going to have to kick it into high gear with the move.

    Perhaps it’s a little of the something to look forward to – now kind of a letdown thing.

    Pace yourself – and if I lived closer, I’d make you dinner. Or at least take you out :)

  • bubandpie says:

    Oh, the cooking of the dinner. It kills me. Everyday it just makes me want to die. And I know the solution (menu planning), but I just can’t seem to implement it. Sigh.

  • dennis says:

    Yes we do have issues with time management. To deal, we drink coffee. Lots and lots of coffee…

  • Kathryn says:

    I have/had serious time management issues.

    My solution: getting to bed early, lists, and limiting computer time.

    Seriously. I never would have thought that going to bed at 11pm would actually make me feel like I had more time, but it does. Waking up at 7 is not just waking up at 7. If I’ve had eight hours of sleep, I feel like I’m actually awake at 7am instead of being a zombie for three hours until the caffeine kicks in. Besides, I rarely get things done past 9pm anyway.

    The lists just keep me on top of things. If something has been on the list for more than three days or so, I start getting hyper-aware that I haven’t done it everytime I cross something else off. For instance, I have had “do laundry” on my list for a week now, and every time I walk by the list I groan and I’ve started sorting because it’s less painful than seeing the “do laundry” still on the list above a dozen crossed-off things.

    The computer. Sometimes I just turn the wireless card off so I am rudely confronted with “page will not load” if I mindlessly decide to search amazon for the perfect coffee table while I am writing a paper. That way, I get the jolt that says “No, get back to that paper!” and have not been sucked into another silly internet search for something I don’t need.

    Okay, that’s my solution. I don’t know if it works for everyone, but I have few complaints. (Except the cat, who wakes me up because even though I now go to bed at 11, he’s still up until 3am).

    Kathryn

  • I do have to admit that ever since I found this blogging world, my life has been busier than ever personally. And everything else, i.e. houseworks, cooking etc…, just take the backseat. But don’t tell the hubbbie that though!

    My solution for not noticing the dirty house? I don’t put my needed glasses on. Hee hee.

  • Angst in August. I think it’s a terrorist plot. I’ve got it too.

  • krista says:

    Dear Izzy, for me- the rabbit hole IS reading blogs.

    I love everyone, but sometimes I need to say, blogs begone, I need to clean.

  • Suebob says:

    The 100 blogs in my bloglines are my biggest time sucker. I want to read them all and respond to them all, and it is getting ridiculous. I also want to write my 3 blogs and to make all the posts fabulous. I have tried to simplify my life as much as possible, but I still feel like I am treading water.

    The thing I want to spend more time on is exercise and gardening. Maybe I can thin my bloglines down to 50??

  • Amy says:

    I sit down at the computer for “one second” and don’t emerge until 2 hours later. Which means I spend absolutely NO time with my husband. I run around all day–where? the grocery store, the bank, I don’t know–and then Lance comes home from work and the house is still a mess and I havent found us an apartment or made my Isaac’s surgery appt. and I honestly cannot answer the question what did you do all day? It’s driving me crazy.
    I’m glad I’m not alone.

  • Carmen says:

    Angst in August as a terrorist plot. I LOVE this!

    You know I’m feeling the same way, my dear Izzy. I’m frequently found refreshing my gmail page, waiting and waiting for new email to pop up and distract me from the minutia that is my life.

  • tori says:

    I’ve been feeling the same way! Extremely unmotivated and like I never have time to do anything. I was thinking about making a doctor appoitnment to see if finally all the cancer crap has hit me and made me depressed like everyone said it would. I don’t really think that is it, but I guess I’ll never know until I get my butt to the doctor. I am actually thinking it is the back to routine stuff since my kids are going back to school next week that is making me have feelings that seem to mimic depression. That and maybe my really bad cold and lack of sleep from being up with a sick 2 year old. I’m the opposite of you in that I go to bed by 10 at the latest and am up at 5 am, but even then I don’t feel like there is enough time in the day. No answers ehre I guess, just happy thoughts for you.

  • Mom101 says:

    Can’t there just be 34 hour days? How about just a couple times a week? That would fix everything for me I think.

  • Janet says:

    Goodness. The lists are all over the house. Sticky notes, scratch pads, my computer task list…everywhere. I drown in them…And never complete a one.

  • Dude, don’t ask me. I’m horrified by what surrounds me and what remains undone, and yet here I sit.

  • Kristen says:

    This time of year just seems to bring on the stress – even when my kids weren’t in school. Maybe it’s because it’s my husband’s busy season, maybe it’s just the pressure of the heat…I don’t know. But I feel pulled in too many directions with nothing actually getting done, too. Sigh. Good luck…I think we all need it!

  • Just when I think I’ve got a grip on time management it slips away. A quick peek at my e-mail turns into a brief cruise of some sites which then leads to my blog favorites list so I can just check out a few and then one links something cool on someone else’s site that I have never visited so I must check it out and then I look at the clock and realize I’m sitting in the dark and everyone is in bed…did I miss dinner?

  • Pendullum says:

    I get caught up in the vortex of not getting much done…
    But I can not punish myself for it…
    There are not enough hours in the day…
    But a day doing what we want is not wasted…

    And by the way…Thank you!!!!!! thank you !!!!!!!!!!!thank you!!!!!

    For posting all those terrific pics from blogher… They were great…
    andyou look absolutely stunning with your new lid…
    You gals looked as though you were having a great time…
    and glad that I could be there through the pics…
    The fanny pics were priceless!!!!

  • chris says:

    Oh yes, and the biggest time suck for me is blog reading. Which is ironic because it also gives me so much pleasure and makes me feel connected.

    I second…third, fifth?… the post blogher depression thing. can’t my family realize how special I am? ;-)

    Seriously though, this past weekend my husband was away and I wrote out a huge list of stuff to do, make dental appts, ortho appts, signing up for various classes, decluttering, etc. I made the list realistic but told my husband that next Monday if I haven’t finished my list to bring my laptop to work with him and not give it back unitl I am done.

    So if you never ever hear from me again… you’ll know what happened.

  • Karl says:

    I’m with ya. PBD, I call it. Post BlogHer Depression. I’m the worst person on the planet about time management. Like others here, reading blogs take up a huge portion of my time.

    Speaking of time, when are we going to hook up for coffee and laughter? I’ll bring some Bailey’s.

  • Time management? What is this time management you speak of?

    Are we all having Post BlogHer depression? I think (for me anyway) it was the last time I can remember being “Sarah” and not “Mommy”.

  • Well, I think you read, and commented on, if I remember correctly, my post about just not wanting to do anything. I think it happens from time to time when our lives grow stagnant and uninteresting. For me, the solution is giving myself some direction and purpose. I guess we’ll see! ;?)

  • Kristi says:

    Oh yes, time management issues. Deal with them? Yes, for example, by THINKING about making dinner about 20 minutes before we should be eating.

  • I would suck at time management if I had time to manage. Unfortunately with four-soon-to-be-five people to take care of, my dance card is pretty much filled by them each day.

    That said, I hate to clean, but love to cook and I have this fantasy where I find a neighbor that’s just the opposite and we trade duties. She cleans my house in exchange for me cooking all her dinners for the week. Sounds good to me…

  • Fellow sucker here (oh, that didn’t come out right). That’s fellow TIME sucker, of course. I have been having a terrible time finding spare minutes to do anything lately but work and blog. And that’s not good. My next post will have more of my thoughts on what I’m going to do about it.

  • Elizabeth says:

    I can’t sleep, either. The blogosphere IS a rabbit hole. I think I’m going to just check Bloglines one more time, or just check my email, and next thing I know I’ve been up all night. Last night (this morning?) it was 2:30 am. And I’m having DREAMS about being at BlogHer!

    I’m barely keeping my head above water here at home. The dishes get done, the floor gets vacuumed, and I buy two or three days worth of food at a time. That’s the best I can do right now.

  • kittenpie says:

    My solution to forcing myself to clean is to invite people over. Now THAT kicks my sorry ass into gear. Aside from that? Scheduled stuff. The fact that I have to leave the house to go to work forces me to get off that same lazy ass in the morning and get going, or I’d be so damn lazy. Not saying you are, but I’m a terrible procrastinator. Working from home would be deadly for me, and yeah, I’m a night owl by nature too, so I’d be up all night. As it is, I don’t even have that excuse and find it hard to go to bed by 12 or 1, which is frankly stupid when, as I say, I need to go to work the next day!

  • Keri says:

    Get thee to Christina’s blog and participate in her experiment with the ‘Seven Principles of the Mommy Guilt-Free Philosophy.’ She needs volunteers! =)

    http://amommystory.blogspot.com/

  • Mrs. Chicky says:

    Yeah, sorry. I’m still struggling with the time management/motivation thing myself. I’m failing miserably. I’m hoping you’ll get some decent comments that I can steal, uh borrow. :)

  • wordgirl says:

    I think there’s even a post-BlogHer depression for those of us who didn’t go but who lived vicariously through the posts we read. I’m completely serious. I was reading people I had never read before…if only to see their Flickr pictures and read their accounts of the BlogHer conference as it unfolded. I was a total whore about it. And now, things have died down and school has started and I feel like I want to take a nap all of the time. There’s this huge letdown that I can’t explain, and like I said, I wasn’t even there. I can’t imagine what it’s like for you.

  • jennster says:

    i tried to comment earlier, but you were broken. lol
    i go nuts if i don’t accomplish what i need too. like honestly, i turn into a total bitch. my brain is way too organized to not get shit done. i will freak out and feel stressed until all is well again. it’s the psycho virgo in me.

  • Stephanie A. says:

    If I’m not careful I really have time management issues. I tend to live my life in a very “subconscious flow” sort of way and I often end up distracted, but doing something totally rad because I clicked on an ad or looked out the window instead. Redirecting back to the original plan has been a major problem for me and I’ve been trying, but it’s hard.

  • Heather says:

    If you “issues with time management” you mean my house is messy and dinner’s not made and there aren’t enough hours in the day, the hell yeah.

  • Anne says:

    I stay up late, move really fast…but there is never enough time in a day. However, have you ever had a mummys helper? A little kid, about 11 years old to come in and play for a few hours several times a week? Its great…Anne

  • Anne says:

    No….not THAT kind of Mummy’s Helper…….Anne

  • petite mommy says:

    I have serious issues with time management and I’m disorganized! But somehow I seem to get what I need done but that doesn’t mean I like it. I dont mind making dinner but I really dont want to do it everyday. That’s probably why we end up eating out twice per week and after that I need money management…LOL.

  • Heather says:

    I completely sympathize. I have had no desire to cook for the last couple weeks, and I like cooking. I certainly don’t like cleaning so I’m kind of screwed there. I think it’s the heat. I’m sooo ready for fall.

  • I don’t have time to be doing THIS, that’s for sure. And that depresses me, even though THIS is the thing that most cheers me.

    Um, fuck…

  • Christina says:

    Do I have time management issues? I wrote an entire post last week on my problems with too much to do and no time to do it. Of course, had I not spent so much time on that post, I might have been able to get more done. Ah well.

  • Lisa says:

    This could have been me writing it. Except for the cool part about going to Blogher. Wah. Anyway, yes yes yes, I am the most disorganized person and having a kid made it soooooooo much harder to get anything done. I’m the same way you are, I stay up very late to finally get the time alone to do the stuff I want and then I pay the next day. Will I learn? No.

    Lisa

  • chris says:

    PLease come be my neighbor. Please????

  • shpprgrl says:

    My weekends get sucked down the rat-hole. But my weeks are busy with gig#1 & gig#2. I need more time. I don’t feel like cooking and I sure don’t feel like cleaning.

  • I’m right there with you.

    I’m sinking deeper and deeper and it feels like quicksand. The more I avoid, the more I feel the heavy pressure on my shoulders and the less I can bring myself to do. I have to get motivated with at least some of those baby steps you speak of.

    Plus half the time I rationalize that it is just as expensive to go to the grocery store for fresh produce especially since I am horrible about eating leftovers. Now if only the take away options were a little healthier.

  • Lisa B says:

    ADD mom. Put on a cape and some tights and you’ve got yourself a costume idea for Halloween!

  • Melissa says:

    I have an awful time some times and usually thoes times correspond with times that I slip into depression. I never go very deep but I can tell that it is affecting my home life so I try and get on top of it befire it gets too bad. One way I try and keep organized is by taking one room at a time and tidy up as much as I can. Something that has helped me with my cooking is that I found a bunch of online recipe websites. I have found that trying new recipes makes me more excited to cook dinner.

  • Izzy says:

    You’re so right. I get overwhelmed and it depresses me or I get depressed and become overwhelmed. Thanks for the recipe idea. My recipes are SO tired, I can’t stand the thought of cooking one more roast or one more meatloaf. Blechhh.

  • Mary Tsao says:

    Oh yes. But you’re on the right track. I find that a ToDo list that includes a few easy items, too, is crucial for feeling in control of one’s time. I like the easy items because you get the satisfying “Check!” without a lot of effort.

    I need to do the dental cleaning big time. Today I did remember to get my BC pills re-filled. Hey, I might be bad at time management, but I’m not insane!

  • Chrissy says:

    I used to have that problem alot. Check out http://www.flylady.net It’s completely free! I’ve had to adjust her ways to fit me better but it’s working. It helps you get things in order: life, home, finances, etc. everything.

  • I am an arteest. I do not do this “time management” thing you speak of. Come to my house and you will see.

  • Mayberry says:

    wow it feels good to read all these comments! Every day I say to myself “today I’m really going to buckle down and work” instead of constantly checking bloglines and other timesuckers. Maybe today really WILL be the day!

  • ghandi rules says:

    first off how does someone get 55 comments?! Christ what a readership. Envy..
    Izzy just as I was reading your post I wrote a small list of shit I’ve neglected for two months. I’m usually on top of things but I’ve got a few important dreaded situations I HAVE to deal with and I’m prrroooocrastinnnnatinggggg like a M. Fcker…I feel your avoidance, laziness and pain sister.

  • metro mama says:

    What works for me is to set my priorities and budget time accordingly. This month, my priority is to read, so if I have two hours free, I read for the first hour, then whatever’s left can be used on other things. Good luck!

  • Mama C-ta says:

    Oh man, to say the least. I am the exact same way, depressed so I get overwhelmed and vice versa. It doesn’t help that my one year old still wakes up about 6 times a night so when I do actually get to bed I’d hardly call it sleep.

    And my blog has been pretty broken lately and the other night I was forced to watch TV…with my husband! And you know what? It was quite nice. I’m wondering if my hosting company is trying to tell me I need a break. I even get depressed since I can only read about 2 blogs a day max, I feel like I’m missing out on so much but I am half-assing life as it is, I can’t add reading 100 blogs to my list.

  • dorothy says:

    I don’t know. I’m secretly reading your blog instead of doing Very Important Work. Time management problems? Me?

  • lildb says:

    ain’t it a bitch? I despise the routine my life has become. I avoid the nastiest bits for as long as I possibly can. I feel like Bill Murray’s character in Groundhog Day when he wakes each morning to that doomed clock radio with the flippy numbers and Sonny-and-Cher’s tinny voices issuing forth, all slow-motion, when I come around the corner of the kitchen each morning, greeting the dishwasher balefully expecting to be emptied, and the dishes already piled in the sink, infuriatingly arrogant in their wait to be washed, and the clean clothes sitting pompously in the dryer, laughing at me, knowing how I’ll grumble and swear softly as I fold them, and I sometimes feel something in my insides breaking apart, breaking down, when I round the kitchen corner and sense the impending repeptitious nightmare. daymare.

    yap. I’m crispy and blackened around the edges.

    let’s all go to Vegas to rejuvenate. :p

  • stefanierj says:

    Oh, my, I have to say that I fell off the FlyLady wagon, but dood, http://www.flylady.com is THE WAY TO GO. She can sometimes come across kind of goofy or sentimental, but man, she got my shit together. And she does it for FREE. Give it a try–it’s like having a nice friend to remind you of shit you need to get done, but in a really nice, productive and supportive way. Trust me.

    Also? The book “Saving Dinner” by LeeAn Ely=AWESOME. She gives you menus for the week, plus shopping lists, and the food in the low-card cookbook she has is the bomb (I don’t eat low-carb, it’s just that the recipes looked (and tasted) awesome). I haven’t touched the cookbook since the move, and dinner is once again The Hellish Abyss About Which We Shall Not Speak. Time to crack that bitch open again, methinks.

  • Nila says:

    What mother doesn’t have time management issues? Other than those with nannys, cooks, housekeepers. I have 4 days worth of mail to open. I’ll stop there, because I might embarass myself with how much crap I’ve neglected lately. I blame it on the heat.

    I hear ya on the dinner thing. I hate cooking dinner. That is where Coscto saves me. The have terrific frozen, family size dinners. On a really bad day, a roasted chicken and spinach salad from there, and I feel like a super hero.

  • Speed. With a chaser of crack. That’s what I recommend.

  • I have time management issues, so I don’t know how much help I will be. At first it was mainly due to spending too much time on the internet, but then I began limiting myself and it helped. There’s just a lot to do, and I look around and become overwhelmed, not knowing what to do first.

    Lately, I’ve decided that if I decide upon a few things to accomplish and then I can focus. One thing I do now is to do something as soon as I get up, something easy like start a load of clothes in the washer. I realize I’m not going to get everything done, so I decide what I want to work on and focus. Then, it’s easier to see what I’ve done and less of what didn’t get done.

    Oh god, look at me: It’s 10:15, I’m in my jammies and still on the internet!

  • Plunky(Deb) says:

    Ok, so funny because I just emailed Karl back about this. I was feeling really energized after the conference and then this week happened. My energy is GONE. GONE. I, too, am on a weird ass sleeping schedule. I have been so involved with Jason for so long, like a lot of Moms on here, I feel like I was just “Deb” for a weekend and now I am back to Deb and Jason.

    Hmm, oh was this about you? I have no time managment skills although I am getting better at narrowing down blog time. I don’t read blogs on weekend and I rarely do posts on weekends. I also don’t look at my blog or anyone’s for that matter after 10pm unless I have brilliant idea for a post(which is almost never).

  • Karen Rani says:

    I guess I’m the opposite. I had a week away right after BlogHer that was all about R&R and hanging with Dylan. By the time I got home, I MISSED home, missed my job and actually missed cooking…plus I bought Chatelaine and it was full of tomato recipes, something my garden was full of when I got home. Sweet. So I’ve been boiling down tomatoes and making spag sauce for days, designing while the little one naps and getting shit done.

    Sometimes I find it helps to write down everything that needs to be done, and once you start crossing it off and getting that sense of accomplishment, you start to feel better. I’ve been where you’re at, and that’s the only way out.

    That or get drunk. Whichever. I’ll send you my address and you can come and hang on my back deck – Bailey’s and coffee all ’round.

    :)
    Take care dollface, and don’t work to hard.
    Love Karen

  • mamaholler says:

    I think I just wrote the same post, yet not as eloquently. Do you think you could just start writing them for me?

  • Jazzy says:

    Not sure if someone already suggested it, but http://www.flylady.net is a great help to me.

  • theotherbear says:

    Lists. Lists are your friend.

    Our Saturday mornings start with the week’s worth of lists – first the week’s menu, which leads onto the shopping list, then from that a list of other things to do/take care of. If I am planning a party I write down exactly what I need to do and when, way before the event.

    Apparently my family all think I am mad but things get done!

  • Nancy says:

    I think you know I read this already since I linked to it from my own post, but I’ve just now gotten over to comment.

    And this goes to show me + time management = not happening.

  • Ed Bacchus says:

    I make a daily priority list and try to stick to it. Start with things I must do and things that can wait until tomorrow or the weekend.

    Ed Bacchus’s last blog post..Weekly Rant 1/30/08

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