Friday, March 11, 2011

Time-Management Woes

I am a time-management mess. About a month ago, my husband picked me up an organizer to help me better manage my time. On those few (and by few I mean two) occasions where I actually wrote out a detailed agenda for my day, I was powerless to follow through with it. I accomplished a pitiful percentage of the tasks outlined and, all in all, felt worse than if I hadn't made the plans at all.

You know what I need, don't you? I need a person. I need a personal task-master who keeps track of all the stuff that needs doing, and tells me when to do it. Also, I need someone with the power to disappear and reappear magically. You see, in general, I work far better when left alone. For that reason, I don't want someone hanging around all the time cramping my style. But I do need to be kept on task. So my task-master has to sense when I get distracted, be able to materialize immediately, and tell me diplomatically to get back to work. I don't want a bossy person either. I don't like being told what to do. So my person has to be genuinely sweet and sociable, and have in their possession a superlative bedside manner and sense of humour. And, if my person could bake chocolate chip cookies like there's no tomorrow, that would be a great bonus too.

I'd love to hear your secrets for managing your precious time.

Until next week, I bid you good day and good weekend!


  1. LOL....I think I need a "person" too. In addition to making superlative chocolate chip cookies, mine would need to clean all my paint brushes and pick up after me when I cause utter chaos in the pursuit of art. :)

    I enjoyed reading your post.


  2. Hey, I think that's me! I'll be right over. Preheat the oven to 350 so that I can pop the cookies right in the oven. :)

  3. .. a mobile phone with alarms through the day with "to do's". Naturally formulated sweet caring and humorous. No rush ... just push the 5 min. later button...
    ..And with the ekstra efficiency, you'll have time to bake ☺

    Have a nice weekend ♥

  4. I am also in need of personal task-master! ^^

    If you find the perfect one, please share one with me :)

  5. Tell me about it! time management? what on earth is that?! I wish I could do it!

  6. Ooooh, Michele, the card is stunning! I feel thus: if, under your current disorganized existence, you are creating the beautiful art that we see here on your blog, then I for one would prefer you not change a thing. Because what if you organize yourself out of creativity? What if your uniquely crafty brain does not like regulation? Perhaps this is how you are meant to be.

    But I will allow you to give it a short trial. Let us know how it goes!

  7. Come here from Malaysia

  8. You might like the Pomodoro Technique: It's so simple and flexible - mostly a tool for keeping you focused in small increments. I'm amazed by how much I get done with I use it - but I never feel like I'm trying to cram myself into someone else's rigid system.

  9. I wish I could help you, Michele, but I am no good at it either. I need to clean my house today because my in-laws are coming, and I am finding a million other things to do instead because I don't feel like it. I have a list of things I need to get done for my blog, but I always end up doing them in the wrong order because I don't feel like doing the things at the top of the list first.

  10. As a creative person, I've always found it difficult to 'do' time management. I want to create. For me, Order from Chaos, was the answer:
    Not affiliated, just a happy to have found her system.

  11. I am picking up what you are laying down! I have the same struggles. I admire/adore/look with awe & envy the women that seem to be able to manage it all! Just keep on keepin' on!

  12. Hi modhafifi, welcome!

    Diane, thanks for the link. I've downloaded the Pomodoro Book and will take a look at it when I find the time... just kidding... i'll read it tonight!

    Anonymous, I'll be checking out "Order from Chaos". Thanks so much for the link!

  13. You just need a positive attitude.
    I roll my sleeves and dig in (into whatever I have planned) and don't stop until it's done. I try not to get distracted by other things (very difficult that one) and I usually do not over strain myself (I already have too much to juggle as is : my full time job, free-lancing and the blog) so I keep the list simple. Hope you find out the perfect method!

  14. Dear Michelle... I think most of us, with good intentions, try to do too much. And when there are stresses, and pressures, it's quite easy for the mind to get distracted, to feel overwhelmed. Certainly, that's been my experience. May I suggest - an Rx prescription of sorts - breathe deeply for a minute, and only remind yourself to do that, throughout the day, as you go about your play/work? It sounds easier than it might be for some of us :) Time is far more profound than the mundane ways we typically think about it: it doesn't have to be a commodity which is saved, spent, bought, borrowed, freed-up, invested, used or managed. There is another, more freeing way, and I hope that you find that way that's truly and uniquely yours.

  15. Baroque Clouds and Little Treasures - well said!

    Dear Michelle, my advice is to cut down on your plans for any given day and be realistic as to what you MUST accomplish (and do those first), then you can relax and sink into all those lovely things that you WANT to do. I really juggle a lot some days, so it's a good thing that I have a very good sense of how long something will take me. My favorite trick: using the clock to see if the time is on the 'good side' (meaning I have spare time) or not. For instance, I have to pick up my daughter each day at 1 p.m. from kindergarten which is a 7-minute walk from my home. If I'm on the 'good side' of 12:30, then I can squeeze in a good 20+ minutes of crafting (a rough minimum time for me to set up and accomplish something). If I'm on the 'bad side', then my time is limited so I would do some laundry, the dishes, put away clothes, send short e-mail responses and other similar menial tasks. If I'm on the 'good side' of 12:00 - what a bonus! - then I have to choose from among crafting, exercising or very thought-intensive tasks (like writing e-mails in German instead of English, which happens fairly often as I live in Germany). Good luck!

  16. Baroque Clouds, you are on to something when you say that time doesn't have to be a commodity... I guess I'm going to have to decide exactly what it means to me and find freedom from these typical ways of looking at it. You have obviously reached some sort of higher plane with respect to time. One day perhaps I'll find my way up there...

    Janice, I like your ideas, and will definitely keep those in mind when organizing my day henceforth! Being realistic is probably the best place to start eh?

  17. This is super cute card,..well time management is a poor thing for me,being a student i face tough time mostly,how to manage studies & crafty life both,ooooo

  18. I feel you there sister! I could really benefit from a task-master fairy that comes down and gently reminds me to get my butt in gear. I do have a

    I second on the tomato strategy--I'm too scattered to use it all day, but I use it for work when I have a large/cumbersome project that will take large quantities and time and braincells.

    I also use the 'sticky strategy' where I leave post-it reminders ALLLLLLL over the place. There is a note next to my front door that reads "GARBAGE?" that has been there for years. You would think I would remember to take out the garbage as I leave every morning, but, er....I appreciate the helping hand!

  19. Dear Michele - I don't think there actually is any other plane to reach. At least I hope there isn't, because I'd feel like I was falling behind that too! Being in the same boat, we all can find that time and that pace that helps us through all the little and large tasks we're assigned. A little quote that encourages me from Ralph Waldo Emerson:

    Finish every day and be done with it.
    You have done what you could.
    Some blunders and absurdities crept in.
    Forget them as soon as you can.
    Tomorrow is a new day.
    You should begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.


  20. Baroque Clouds, thank you so much for the Emerson wisdom... Just lovely.


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