Tuesday, January 24

It’s a Time Management Thing @NanReinhardt




...Or is it? I’m working on a project for a client right now that is a RUSH job. Those don’t happen often, but every once in a while one comes along, and when they do, pretty much everything else in my life gets put on the back burner, including my own writing.

I try hard not to suffer too much guilt over that fact because, frankly, I have to earn a living and right now, writing isn’t doing that for me, but editing is. I know I committed to getting up early every morning and writing for an hour before I do anything else. I’ve been pretty true to that, but that’s not happening while I do this project. I’ve been lucky to fit in church on Sunday, a quick walk in the unusual warm weather with Husband, and gym time. 

Sometimes I wonder if I’m just a crummy time manager—I’ve actually wondered that pretty frequently in the past ten years or so, and if you saw my house, you’d wonder the same thing. I know I can be a great time manager because once upon a time, I was. When we first built this house, I had every day carefully planned. Seriously. I did. Stop giggling, Liz! 

I cleaned the entire house on Monday, starting with the bathrooms, then going on to the kitchen (because my mom, who as it happened, was a terrible housekeeper, told me to always start with the worst jobs first), then vacuuming all the carpet, dusting every surface, scrubbing every floor, and changing the beds.
 
Tuesday was laundry day—and ironing day. I was hell at ironing back then. I really like to iron too, but I don’t do it very often anymore, mostly because denim and flannel and yoga pants and sweatshirts and swimwear really don’t need ironing.

Wednesday was the day I spent weeding and tending to my portion of the yard work and Thursday, I went to the grocery store because the grocery store was rarely crowded on Thursdays. Fridays were for meal-planning for the next week, Saturday was time spent with Husband and Son, and Sunday was for church. In between, I did part-time work for a friend who owned a business communications company, wrote articles for a local magazine, was a room mother and a Cub Scout den leader, helped Son with homework, went to church meetings, had the occasional lunch with friends, and read voraciously. I even had time to watch afternoon soap operas and overeat—a lot. Yeah, I know, I’m sure Freud would have something to say about that. Shut up, Sigmund.

I’m not exactly sure when that system broke down . . . I think around the time I got serious about publishing my stories, started my own website, and picked up more clients for my editing business. Or maybe it was after I went to Paris—I dunno. Whenever it was, I gradually discovered that lightning does not strike if I don’t dust every single week or if Husband and I eat peanut butter and apples for supper instead of a carefully planned meal. And it seems that the guy loves me, even if I don’t iron his shirts to perfection or weed the gardens every week.

I sorta forgot where I was going with this, except to say that living on a schedule no longer works at my house. I don’t worry so much about when stuff gets done because eventually it does and even if it doesn’t, well, who really gives a damn? Even without a schedule, Husband and I work pretty well together—he’s learned that if I’m in the midst of big project for a client or trying to finish a particularly tough scene in my own book, we’ll probably end up with soup or apples for supper. I still cook—and when I do, sometimes there’s wine and candlelight and a couple of hours of conversation to go along with the meal . . . or I sometimes, I just get it on the board, chew fast, and head back up to my little garret to get back to work. Life is good.

How about you? Are you a great time manager? Does your home run like a well-oiled machine?Or like me, have you gotten to the point where whatever happens happens and we're all just fine with that?

13 comments:

  1. I like to think I am a great time manager just because my life is so full right now. I have learned, as you did, that the world will not end if my house is not dusted and swept. The one thing I do is prepare meals for the week on Sunday. It is really nice, when I don't feel like cooking, to pull home made soup, or a pre-made casserole, out of the refrigerator and warm it up for dinner.

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    1. You get points for making meals for the week on Sunday--that's a terrific idea! Thanks for stopping by, Carolyn!

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  2. Nan, I think your life still sounds like a well-oiled machine... it's just leas structured and more forgiving in the piddly details. Don't worry and don't change!

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    1. Thanks, Ava--appreciate your support. Hugs, baby!

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  3. How your life sounds like mine used to be. Perfect housewife scheduling the work . But once I started working full time the schedules collapsed. Dinner was what we felt like or what I had time to cook. Once the kids started school. Dishes were pushed aside for help with homework. Sports, choir, band added more to the disruption of meals. Laundry and shopping.
    I finally gave myself permission to let housework go. We got stuff done when. We had time but it wasn't so bad to not make beds or whatever my vision had been. I aqueduct the time comping daughters hair to rushing around straitening house up. You sound like u manage quite well with all u do .

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    1. Funny how bound up we were back then by the stuff that probably doesn't matter, except that many of us were grounded by the structure and that doesn't have to be a bad thing. Glad you came by, Patrice!

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  4. I am a terrible time-manager...when is why I shut off phone notifications for games, social media and email...and why I turn them off on my computer when I'm close to deadline. Because a single email can send me down a three-hour Interwebz hole!

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    1. Yeah, Kristi--I had to take FB off my phone...it was too dang distracting. ;-)

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  5. I'm terrible, too, and am old enough that I mostly don't care anymore. Just one of those things I wish I'd been better at (like dusting) but...oh, well...

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    1. But you are so good at so many things, who really cares about dusting and time management? Love ya just like you are!

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  6. I think my mom visually shudders whenever you enters my house because housework is not on the top of my list--maybe she's just afraid of my dustbunnies. LOL

    And I am a terrible time manager once I get home. I use all those vibes when I'm working and once I'm home, it's total couch-surfing, baby.

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    1. You manage time when it matters, Margie, so good on you!

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  7. I've never been what you'd call a terrific housekeeper, but things really got out of hand when I started to take my writing seriously, and especially after I was published. There's just so many things to do - I'm going to whine about them on Saturday. These days I hardly ever iron; when my husband was working I ironed his dress shirts, sometimes. But now that he's retired, who cares? Fortunately, he does most of the cooking now so we don't starve, but I still get to clean. It usually happens when even I can't stand the mess anymore!

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