Archives for the month of: October, 2017

This past weekend, my best friend and I treated ourselves to a wine tasting in the city, followed by a nice, quiet dinner. I haven’t felt so refreshed after seeing a friend in I can’t remember how long. We talked about everything–work, our families and friends, what we’ve both been doing recently–and we both were able to laugh and let off steam in equal measure. I highly recommend taking a few hours to hang out with a good friend, doing whatever you want to do–it’s good for the soul.

Talking about work with someone else who doesn’t do what I do was immensely helpful to me. Sure, I complained about the little things about my job that annoy me, but I also talked about what I enjoy doing day to day. She asked thoughtful questions about different aspects of my job that made me sit and think about what I do. I also thought about what I really like or love about my job. I think that kind of introspection is important and I certainly don’t do it enough. Talking with her made me consider where I want to go in my career as well as in my life–do I want to stay in the area I’m in, both in my job and in my home? If I do want to change jobs, what else am I interested in? Do I even want to make a change like that?

These types of questions are something that everyone should ask themselves from time to time. I think it’s important to do a kind of self check-in–how am I doing? Am I happy? If not, why not? If so, why? These questions, even if they sound simple and straightforward, take a lot of thought and introspection. I hadn’t done a check-in with myself in a long time because, in general, I’m pretty happy. I do think, though, that when a person is happy it’s a good time to assess goals and ideas for the future. I’ll make this confession: one of my biggest fears is feeling complacent in any area of my life. I never want to be afraid of or reluctant to change because I know that it’s so easy for me to stay where and as I am for a long time (I am afraid of change).

So go ahead–find that good friend (or group of friends) and hang out, talk, laugh, complain, and make each other think :).

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I’m still working on a suitable schedule, but I have one that roughly works. Just as I found my footing with my schedule, I’m finding myself busy with fall appointments. (In hindsight, it may have been a bad idea to schedule all of my healthcare checkups in September, October, and November.) However, there is an upside to all of the visits to various doctors. Thanks to one appointment to take care of a minor health problem via non-invasive surgery, I found myself off from work for two days last week. The break was actually what I needed to jumpstart my motivation.

Now that I’m recovered from my minor surgery, I’m ready to take on the list of chores that I had been putting off for months. Although there wasn’t any urgency to do the chores, or consequences for not doing them immediately, the fact that they needed to be done was always at the back of my mind. Now that I have a set day to do them (this Saturday), I’m excited to finally to finally scratch them off my list. The chores mostly consist of cleaning, caulking, and resealing drafts in the house for the winter. They also include landlord work, as I have to do pest control and spray the entire duplex. (Professional DIY pest control kits are awesome and effective, but a tad expensive compared to consumer items sold at big box stores.)

Thinking about it, I never did my annual spring cleaning so a fall cleaning is badly needed. Sometime it’s nice just to sit down and literally get the house in order.

 

Have you ever been glad to get to an item on your list that you had been procrastinating on for a long time?

Tools

Tools by Dean Shareski of Flickr

I want to piggyback off Angela’s post from last week because I really like what she wrote about and I think it’s important. The two of us have very different schedules and yet I believe that budgeting our time is equally important to us both! For example, I know that I’m a little bit of a procrastinator when it comes to some things, so if I’m honest with myself and know that I will be easily distracted before or during my completion of a task, that makes me able to schedule my time more accurately. I tend to be optimistic right before leaving work or on the train home: I’m going to go home, do laundry, fold it, put it away, cook dinner from scratch, get some work done, etc. And then when I finally trudge through the door about an hour later, I’ve overwhelmed myself to the point where I don’t do anything.

It is so important to be realistic about your own expectations for yourself for the day, week, and month ahead if you plan your tasks. Am I really going to accomplish a long to-do list at work only to go home and accomplish another long to-do list? Probably not. That doesn’t mean that I can’t accomplish some of those items on my list during the week and complete the tasks over the course of a few days, though! Personally, the time that I feel the least productive and driven is the second I walk in the door from work. I don’t know if it’s because I’m finally home and I can relax or what, but I know that when I come home all I can do is make dinner and eat it. And really, that’s fair–I am allowed to feel a bit drained and to need some alone time after my day. Being honest with myself about how I know I’m going to feel will help me decide what I can accomplish later in the evening.

I’m glad that Angela wrote about her schedule, making time for her own personal projects, and how it’s okay to take the time to figure out a schedule that works best for her. It’s so true! If we can’t be honest with ourselves about we spend our time, how can we possibly plan anything?

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I’ve been working full-time for almost five months now and the biggest change is getting used to working full-time. When you’ve been working part-time for most of your adult life, not having weekdays where you can have most of the day off is a big change. Not that I mind the steady work as I am more financially secure. The second issue is finding a schedule that leaves me feeling satisfied and fulfilled. I’ve learned that if I can wake up each morning around 11, I have about six hours to do (mostly) everything I want. Unlike a 9-5, tasks are done before work instead of after. (Which isn’t too different from before, except I have fewer hours in the day now.) This routine includes exercise, chores, running errands, and getting appointments out of the way.

However, I’ve noticed in recent weeks I’ve been feeling burned out and little personal projects go by the wayside. Personal writing, personal branding, and home improvement projects are taking the biggest hit. The desire to do these projects haven’t diminished, but the will do to them has been lacking. Now that I’ve figured out what my ideal day and week should be, I’ve been slowly adding these activities back into my schedule. I’ve also included a schedule for days dedicated to free time activities (gaming) and others related to productivity. Now I just need to set my schedule to account for distractions, appointments, and events that quickly tend to eat up time.

For the most part, I’m seeing a steady decline in frustration and an uptick in productivity.

 

How do you manage your weekday free time?

Appointment Book by Suzanne Carey of Flickr

Appointment Book by Suzanne Carey of Flickr

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