Snippets From Last Week Along With a Better Plan for This One

I don’t want to write about last week — schedules, lists, progress, because I’m not feeling that great about it.

But I think it’s important for my own accountability, as well as to acknowledge that parts of it actually did go well — especially considering how busy we were with Halloween festivities.

Summary of last week

— I exercised three days. I only got up at 5:30 once and did my elliptical machine, a few weights and cooled down with yoga, but I walked two days with a friend at a nearby trail — between three and four miles both times. The sun was nice and it was a good multitasking activity — catching up with a friend while getting a workout.

— I only planned out my day once (Monday) — I need to do this daily. Putting the pen to paper or even typing it out forces me to think about my day ahead of time. I’m hesitant because my days are rarely the same and I wind up with a lot of blank space, so it has always seemed pointless if 75% of the schedule is blank. What I’m discovering is that I’m more intentional with my time when I map it all out ahead of time — even if it’s tentative; lots of time blocks are the same like when Gil and the boys leave on weekdays. Having blank space is liberating, especially since I work from home, and most of my work is self-directed. Seeing large blocks of time allows me to say — here is when I can do x, y, or z. It also helps with getting places on time. Instead of just thinking — my appointment is at 12:15, I actually factor in travel time more effectively. In order to arrive by 6:00, I need to be puling out of the driveway by 5:30. I also tend to pad the driving time better when I pre-plan — if I go by the plan in my head I tend to cut things closer and think I can leave much later, like ten til 6, when the reality is I need to pad for unexpected delays.

— It’s best for me to write out my schedule earlier the day before instead of right before I go to sleep. I had major insomnia last week. On Sunday night I wrote out my schedule for Monday and blogged from my phone. Once I turned out the light my thoughts were racing and I was too busy thinking (and stressing) about the next day. I don’t think the planning and being online before bed was the only problem. I never sleep well the week before my period. I typically don’t even feel stressed or anxious — just WIDE awake, for HOURS. It’s exasperating. This happened three different times last week, and each time I’d finally drift off a little before 5am. You better believe I didn’t get back up when the alarm sounded at 5:25.

— The other problem I have during my glorious PMS week is fatigue — as in no energy whatsoever. I go through my days feeling like I am going to tip over if I don’t get a nap (the insomnia undoubtedly makes it worse), but it’s not so much that I’m sleepy; my body does not want to move or remain upright. I started two days ago (sorry for all the oversharing, but it’s giving me insight) and I’ve already noticed a surge in energy.

— Oh, the other issue was that my plan to hire a housekeeper to tackle the heavy cleaning is no longer possible. Gil and I examined our budget more closely, and yeah, we really don’t need to shell out cash for cleaning that we can do. I’ve also had to put myself on eating out restriction. We were averaging three meals out a week August – October, so that’s had to stop. Between that and vacation and not paying attention to where our money was going in general, we’ve eaten through the cushion that we’d managed to reserve from my job and a bonus Gil got back in April. One of the items on my list very soon will be getting a grip on spending. Grrrrr. Seriously, Gil and I need a couple of life managers to come live with us. Left to our own devices…well, it’s not the most effective plan.

The upcoming week (which has already begun…)

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— I made it to Piers’ parent/teacher conference. Overall it went well, so that’s somewhat of a relief, or it would be if I weren’t chronically anxious — if I get good news I still overanalyze and obsess in my head.

— Zip and Ani, our best friends who moved over a year ago are coming to visit this weekend — hopefully this will light a fire under me and force me to clean the house. Gil thoroughly cleaned the kitchen and the “Men’s Room” over the weekend. I hate the smell of urine and I’m not the one who can’t get it in the toilet, so he’s agreed to be in charge of the boy’s bathroom — he even agreed to teach them to clean it. The feminist in me LOVES this, but the control freak is less than enthusiastic since it is not done to my standards. We had a whole discussion this morning about my disdain for certain cleaning products; Gil is partial to some apple fragrance pine sol — gag me with a toilet brush, while I prefer a more natural option that won’t make us all high from the smell.

— My main goal this week is to write out my schedule the day before.

— I’m back to getting up at 5:30 — did it this morning and plan to continue the rest of the week.

— My bedroom, bathroom and closet need some serious work — so serious that I’m not even comfortable sharing pictures; someone might call social services.

Do you schedule out your day? Does your schedule vary from day to day and if so what tricks to you employ to get your work done? I love to hear how others work/live.

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14 thoughts on “Snippets From Last Week Along With a Better Plan for This One

  1. Pingback: I’m Not Even Close — Organized Peeps Do WHAT??!! | Grief Happens

  2. Love plans and lists. Like Maggie I don’t do so well with following the plans or completing tasks on the lists.

    But I love to plan. Especially planning to go to bed early and get up early to work. Love that plan.

    Never happens. But I love it.

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    • Ha! Well, at least you love planning it. I don’t like planning and making lists AT ALL, so my theory is that because I detest it so much, once I get it down on paper (at least the schedule) I do everything in my power to stick to it — especially the morning part. Frankly, the rest of the day is downhill in regards to following the plan.

      I’m with you on getting up early to work. I’ve tried it and it’s an epic fail every time. I either can barely hold my eyes open at my desk OR I’m not alert enough to actually accomplish anything worthwhile, so I peruse Facebook or research something random that’s not related to the task at hand.

      Glad to know it’s not just me…

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  3. I tend to have a much better day if I plan it out and have it on paper for me to clearly see, because sometimes I lay here at night with all the thoughts of what I’ll do tomorrow and when tomorrow comes, I forget what it was I was going to do. I’m sick with several invisible chronic illnesses, physical and mental. ADHD is one of them. So, when I make a list, it may not get done, or it most likely won’t get done because I simply cannot do all the things I want and used to be able to do. But, there are still a lot of things I can do. I’m permanently disabled. Being ADHD, I have a very strict routine as to how I do things and if I do one thing out of order, it screws everything else up. For instance, I always shower and then brush my teeth before getting dressed. If I shower and get dressed, I’ll forget to brush my teeth. I know, weird, but that’s the way it is for me. I, also, have that all or nothing problem. Once I get started, it’s like I’m driven by a motor and I must go non-stop til I finish whatever it is that I’ve started. Then there’s the other side, nothing. I’m supposed to be working on moderation, but moderation for me is almost impossible because I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember. Oh, the joys of ADHD! Take care ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • Thanks so much for commenting! It helps me more than you know to hear this. I also struggle with moderation. A few years ago I was the other extreme — going 200 MPH and getting so much done, but eventually I got knocked on my ass — I could never keep that pace long term. Now, even the tiniest amount of progress feels like failure because I know I used to be able to get much more accomplished. Mentally, physically and emotionally, I’m doing SO much better but I get so frustrated when I can’t do the things I once could. I used to have a pretty severe eating disorder and overexercising was a big part of it. Now that I can actually exercise again, I have to be moderate and mindful that I’m not slipping back into a bad place — i’m doing okay with this, but so often I feel like I’m not exercising correctly because it feels like nothing compared to the days when I was lost to my eating disorder. So part of me feels like if I can’t do it hard and the way I feel is best, then why bother. UGH!!!!

      I dated a guy years ago who put it pretty accurately — “Viv, you have two speeds, fast and off.” That pretty much sums it up.

      Oh!!! The teeth brushing. Glad you shared that. My husband is like you in that way and I never understood it since I have some major obsessive tendencies when it comes to that — I used to brush my teeth so much that I was wearing the enamel off my teeth and my gums were receding. Anyway, Gil would shower, brush teeth, dress, then eat breakfast and drink coffee. I couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t wait to brush his teeth until he had eaten. It was because he’d never remember — like you! Now he does this strange thing, but it totally works for him — he drinks he coffee on the way to work and then brushes his teeth in the car once gets to his office. I asked him why he didn’t just go inside and do it in the office bathroom and he said — “because as soon as I walk in I get distracted and never think about it again.” Man…you are so right — the joys of ADHD. Thanks again for sharing this. Makes me feel less weird and alone. Take care. ๐Ÿ™‚

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      • Trust me, you are not alone with this lovely ADHD thing. I have 4 kids that also have it. Can you imagine the chaos in this household. It can be rather amusing at times, and others not so much. You should see it when we all try to sit down and watch a movie together. LORD! A 2 hour movie can take 5-6 hours and we usually end up not getting through the entire movie. LOL I always have something to say and if I wait til the movie is over, I’ll forget. It is very interesting to see how ADHD affects/effects (don’t feel like looking up which one is correct) everyone in different ways and some ways the same. Several months ago, I wrote a poem on my blog, I believe it is titled All Or Nothing.
        I get so angry that I cannot exercise the way I once did. I used to overdo it, just like you, and for the same reasons. Hell, I would go to aerobics in the morning and again at night. I then joined a gym and went every morning for 3 years and did no less than an hour of hardcore exercise, usually 1 1/2 – 2 hours. With all my disabilities I’m unable to do that sort of thing. People think I’m crazy because i love to exercise. My therapists try to teach me moderation, but I do it my way. They tell me to start out for like only 10-20 minutes at a time and then work my way up. It takes about that long just to get my heart rate up, as mine is quite low to start with. I don’t listen and do an hour because I feel like if you do less than an hour why waste your time because it’s not going to do any good. I then hurt myself and have to pay the price.
        Nice to know we’re not alone. They do say that most people with ADHD are very intelligent, so let’s just go with that! Oh, and creative. It’s not all bad. It can be very frustrating at times because I have a really time focusing on anything that I’m not interested in. Make me read a book or watch a movie I have no interest in and when I’m done, ask me questions and I can’t even answer one. There are a lot of people that belong to this “funny” club. I have a great sense of humor, so anytime you have something funny to share, please do because i’m sure I can relate. Oh, the joys of ADHD! There are much worse clubs out there, this I know because I belong to them. LOL
        Have a great day. I could write about this topic all day long. ๐Ÿ™‚
        Today I am not feeling well, so I’m most definitely in that NOTHING mode. I have so much I need to get done, but just can’t. Take care.
        Peace out,
        Tammy ๐Ÿ™‚

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  4. I think you’re doing great! You’re making progress – that’s all that matters. You got things done last week you wouldn’t ordinarily have gotten done…what’s wrong with that?

    Just be sure to keep each item on your list SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. Don’t make them too big or you’ll be come overwhelmed. Remember, part of this process is to build your self confidence with regard to time management – not just to manage your time. If your goals are too big and unwieldy then you’re setting yourself up to fail.

    You’ve got this thing! Feel free to email me if you need some extra encouragement – I’m happy to help.

    Sherry

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    • Thank you! OH MY GOSH, that’s revolutionary — SMART — Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely. I can tell you’re a project manager.

      You know, it’s really true — my goal IS to build my self-confidence with time management, and currently my self-esteem sucks in this department. But beating myself up isn’t helping me or anyone else. I HAVE made some progress even if it’s slow going. I just have to keep plugging away.

      Thank you again for all of your encouragement!!!! Life coach — seriously, might be your calling!! Efficiency Expert? — something along those lines. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  5. I love this post. You’re inspiring me to get my act together in terms of the list making. I’m close, but not quite there yet! Every weekday is different in terms of scheduling my work and shuttling my 2 elementary school girls around, etc.

    The one activity I don’t let *anything* mess with (except if I’m very sick with a cold) is my early evening workout. I used to be a morning exerciser for years, and I was a certified personal trainer and opened the gym daily at 5:00 a.m. (Yuck!). Now I have my home elliptical and strangely enough, I get a surge of energy to work out anytime between 4-5:30 p.m., sometimes even 6:00 p.m. I read blog posts during my workout, which I could never do before either and it’s my “reward/trick” for exercising! The time goes by fast. Although I read, I still get a great workout and I keep up-to-date with my favorite blogs. (The only downside is that I rarely comment since I’m working out and using a Kindle and don’t want to fall off the machine! ๐Ÿ˜‰ “Liking” a post is easy, though.

    You’re probably wondering, “Well, who makes dinner? Do you let your family starve?”

    My husband used to work as an assistant chef during his college years before he became a geologist, and he makes dinner for the family. He likes to cook and he swears there’s no resentment! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m taking him at his word. It’s a sweet deal, but he knows it’s to his benefit if I get my workouts in.

    I really want to get my daily lists going again. I think doing that will help me feel a lot more grounded and I’ll better able to meet my goals! I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks for the motivation! :)))))) I hope your week got off to a great start and I admire you for everything you’re doing.

    p.s. I too get so fatigued right before my period – you described *exactly* what I go through! I was really glad you wrote about that. Today is day #2 and the fatigue is much better, thank God!

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    • Thank you and I’m happy to hear I’m inspiring you — my progress just feels dreadfully slow, but I keep telling myself that at least it’s something.

      I know what you mean about afternoon/evening workouts. I’m the SAME way — I get a surge of energy anywhere from 3-6ish, but for me I have so much going on that time of day that the workouts just were not happening and not getting them in was affecting my energy levels and mood. A LOT! The morning workouts still feel pretty unnatural to me, but the payoff (easier to wake up once I get going and more energy/better mood) is worth it.

      I think it’s AWESOME that your husband makes dinner. If Gil were here in the evenings, he’d do the same thing. He’s an amazing cook and does the majority of the cooking in our family — that was a HUGE attraction when we got married. Unfortunately, he’s not here until 7-9 on weeknights so that responsibility falls on me. One of my goals with all this scheduling is to eventually have a plan in place where I can get dinner on the table quicker –this might mean lots of pre-prep on the weekends. I’m not sure yet, but I need to come up with something. The last thing I feel like doing from 3-6 is preparing healthy meals.

      I’m still working on the lists — I can pre-plan my daily schedule and stick to it fairly well, but I’m a disaster when it comes to lists. I look at it think — um, no, I don’t want to do that right now. Sometimes I think I just seriously lack discipline. It’s frustrating! Thanks for the support — always good to hear from you. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love planning and scheduling! And I’m good at it! What I’m not so good at is actually FOLLOWING the schedules I make. I don’t much like being told what to do with my time….even by myself! I’m seriously my own worst enemy.

    One thing that does seem to be working pretty well for me lately though, efficiency-wise, are apps that let me set goals and then log in each time I do something that contributes to the goal. There’s something about seeing that little bar graph get higher and higher toward a goal that is really motivating and fun for me! This is working really well for a writing project I have going right now, and for working out.

    Now I just need one for cleaning (there has to be one out there!!)

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    • Ha! I completely relate to this — “not following the schedules I make” AND “I don’t like being told what to do with my time… even by myself.” I seem to be able to follow my self-created schedule (to some degree) but not my list. I’m so bad at following my own lists that often I get to the end of the day, look at the list and realize I’ve done NONE of it, but I don’t even care — I’ll add the tasks that I DID do to the bottom of the list and cross them off. It’s ridiculous, actually, how much I rebel when it comes to things I DON’T want to do.

      I’m very curious about the app you use for goal setting. I struggle with breaking down big projects/goals into manageable step-by-step tasks. BIG TIME. Not sure the app would work for me but I’d certainly look into it. I almost need to see my project plastered up on the wall. I tend to get excited about a new app, download it and then get distracted by other things on my phone before I even open it up. This was great input, though! Thank you!!

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      • The app I’m using for writing is called Writeometer. I’m not really using it to its full capacity. It’s got some sort of reward system where you earn guavas (the fruit!) or something for work completed. I don’t really care about that! I never check that part of it. I just like the progress bars. You input your word count every day and it adjusts your graphs, telling you how many words you have to do each remaining day to meet your target date, etc. I’m working on a sizable writing project right now, and it’s helping me a lot more than I expected it to.

        As far as other productivity apps: I’ve had a little trouble finding one I like enough to stick with – but the new one I just downloaded yesterday seems really promising so far. It’s called Hanami. I’ve got all my fitness stuff inputted into it so far and I like the layout of it. (And no ads! I hate ads.)

        Both of these apps are for Android. I downloaded them from the Google Play store. I don’t know if they have them for iOS (or if you even need iOS!) But if you can use Android stuff, they’re both free – and worth checking out, I think! I seem to get a lot out of the existence of a visual record of my progress toward things. The growth of these little progress bars makes me happy!!!

        As I write this, it occurs to me that one of the things I miss about being in school is the satisfaction of actually working for a grade. Like, there was a finite goal to achieve in writing papers and studying for tests, and I had a very strong sense that everything I did contributed to those goals. These days, while I do things with the object of getting paid sometimes, it’s just not the same thing – maybe because I really need money. So it makes for a different kind of end: money-making ventures. It doesn’t feel the same at all.

        And exercise and housework and bill-paying and so on have even vaguer end results. It just isn’t the same.

        But somehow these productivity apps are giving me that feeling again of being in school and working for grades. I’m not sure exactly why! Maybe just because those graphs go up with everything I do…they provide that sense for me again that everything I do has a purpose? (Even if that purpose is just to make the graph go higher!)

        It works, whatever it is!!

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