Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Time Experiment

Can I admit that, for someone who has a reputation for being organized, that I am a terrible manager of my time?

Can I admit that even for someone who acknowledges being unorganized, I would be a terrible manager of my time?

Okay, I admit - I am a terrible manager of my time.

I find time to play on the computer.
I find time to grocery shop and prepare meals.
I find time to homeschool my kids....though not the way I'd like to, and not the way I planned to, and I DEFINITELY don't keep up with the paperwork end of it like I should.
I find time to read novels and fun books.
I find some time to study my Bible, but nothing like what I should.
I find time to pray, but not even close to what it needs to be.
I find time to send fun cards and notes, but not thank you cards.
I find time to do quick pickup cleaning, but not big cleaning and organizing.
I find time to pay the bills and do basic invoicing/design work at the shop, but have 6 months worth of "data entry" stuff in a pile to be done.  And I have a pile of filing, too.
I find time to go out to lunch once a week or so.
I find time to get my hair done every 5-6 weeks. 
I don't find time to exercise.

I admit that I have a lot going on - I really do.  I have a home, I have four sons and a husband.  We homeschool.  I am active with my homeschool group and do a lot of activities and planning for that.  We go to church and while our commitments right now are pretty minimal compared to in the past, we still enjoy worship, fellowship and study both on Sunday and Wednesday.  We have chickens, cats and a guinea pig.  You get the picture.

I am also disorganized, distracted and slightly compulsive in my mind.  I have lots and lots and LOTS of interests - from Bible to Church history to doctrine to cooking to Ancient history to U.S. History to making jewelry to reading murder mysteries to biographies to homeschooling them as well as me....

There have been days when I have been on my feet all day, am dog tired at 8:30 p.m. and still feel like nothing has been done to completion - a bazillion things, all started, all in mid-process, all well along the way - but none of them done.

Thank goodness my meal planning has still been kept up, at least we get to EAT through all this disorganization!

I know the obvious things - you can't miss it this time of year, when we review the year past, and plan how we are going to do it DIFFERENTLY next year, by golly!

I need to make a list of priorities.  Have a homeschool vision statement.  Get back to my housekeeping schedule that I used to have. 

But before I devote a full day to making all these lists and plans that will go nowhere (see, I've done this before!), I think I need to make a budget for my time.  Just like money. 

Okay, I don't have a budget for our money, either, but I do write everything down.

It came to me while I was on the treadmill, wondering what has brought me to this state.  I need to track my time, find the places it is being wasted. 

Blogging is not a waste, by the way.

But just like I track my food in a food journal each day, and can see where I am eating healthy and when I am slipping into bad habits, and just like I have a checkbook register where I can see how our money is being spent, I need to track my time, and see what jumps out at me.  Where am I spending my time?

When you begin a financial budget, the experts say to write down all your expenses for a month and see where your money is really going - you will probably be surprised. I am going to do this for a week, and see where my time is going.

I know what one answer is going to be, and it is not pretty. 

So, starting tomorrow, upon awakening - for one week, I am going to log my time.  Truthfully.  How much of my time in the morning was in Bible study - how much in Facebook? 

We'll re-visit that next week.

So, upon the morrow, we shall let the experiment begin!

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