Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Which way to go?

Every day I face the same dilemma: What will I do today? Part of the problem is that I refuse to acknowledge that I can't do everything in one day. If I were capable of doing *some* of everything I know I could hit every item, but therein lies the next part of the problem. I get bogged down thinking that if I can't finish a large project - be it cleaning or writing or anything else - due to time, physical, monetary, or mental constraints, why bother starting? This is fueled by the fact that many times when I do get started on something saying that I'll do it for x amount of time and then move on to something else, when x is up I don't *want* to move on.

There's also the circular argument. I want to do x, but (for whatever reason) y must be done first, but then z must be done before y, but a must be done before z...and eventually I usually get back to x must be done before where in the loop do I start? This is worst in the morning, where it's not so much circular as just having too many things that should be done "first". Laundry should start first so it can go on its merry way while I do other things. Breakfast should certainly be done first; we don't want to start on an empty stomach. Setting up for school should be first so B can get started on time. Picking up the living room should be done first so E can get down and run around since he's been awake since dawn. And so it goes.

Let's not forget the priority clash*. Of course the kids are important, and by extension then B's school is important. Cleaning the house is important, and heaven knows I have a long enough list of chores to prove it. I have online responsibilities, which are important *to me*. Chris and Mom are important, and they each come with their own list of tasks. Holidays and friends and extended family are important, and this time of year especially brings a new slew of things to do. General household maintenance is important, particularly if we want to avoid the nasty side effects of not paying bills or forgetting to buy toilet paper, and the people who live here will insist on eating regularly. Writing is important, again *to me*, and that is certainly time consuming. There are always a host of other things which are also important in their own ways.

And to round out the difficulties in time management, I am inherently lazy and selfish. :) So anything that requires the least effort and/or I particularly want to do regardless of need tends to be pushed to the forefront. Computer tasks are far less taxing than scrubbing floors. Prime time TV is far more entertaining (even in reruns) than cleaning the stovetop. I also procrastinate. Something may be important - it may even be VERY important - but it's not necessarily *urgent*, and the distinction is relevant.

So where do I go with my list, given all of the above combined with real and artificial deadlines on many tasks?

*That list of priorities is in no particular order. I have a very difficult time prioritizing priorities, hence the overall problem.


  1. As much as I hate to say it: You HAVE to go thru your poa and put them in order of importance**.

    It's easier to look at your list in the order you want items done than to have them randomly listed and trying to remember which ones to do first.

    **NOTE: Do not even attempt to write the list in one day. Start with tomorrow and test out doing x, then y, then z. If that works, then keep that order and put on your list. If not, then try y, x, z and see if that works. Maybe by January 1, you can have a list that works for you.

  2. Aw man, I like how my list is sorted. All the cleaning is together, all the food is together, all the writing...etc. I can't find anything if it's not sorted.