Last week I had a heavy week at work which combined with a lovely but busy weekend catching up with friends meant I ended up reading a measly six chapters of a counselling book. (To put this in context, one summer I read 88 books. I was ten. I am not a slow reader is what I am saying.) I ate junk food, the flat was a tip and all week I felt completely stressed and overwhelmed.
I knew that working and studying would be tough. But it wasn’t until I actually started doing it that I realised how tough. This is compounded by my essential laziness. If given a choice between doing anything or relaxing on the sofa with the latest Pratchett book, I’d choose Terry every time. I don’t know how working mum’s do it. But simply adding my university commitments into my life without expecting anything to give was a mistake. Like or not my life was going to have to change.
So I started looking at my life and prioritising the things that needed to be done and dropping those that didn’t. I divided my activities into Essential vs Lovely but not compulsory and started to work out a schedule, complete with colour coding of what do when.
So here is my plan for making the most with the time I do have.
Sleep – like with eating and exercise, the better I sleep the more prepared I feel for life in general. It’s lights off by 11.30pm from now on.
Work – despite my hints to HWSNBN he refuses to keep me in the manner to which I have become accustomed. (Where is my home Library HWSNBN?) So at work I’m abiding by the old To Do list. If it’s not on the list, it doesn’t get done. Plus I’m reintroducing the timer to encourage me to take regular screen breaks.
University – one day a week I’m a student again and I love it.
Reading for University – I have a choice, either I read at lunchtime or I read when I get home but I aim to read at least a chapter or article a day (except Thursdays when I’m at University). I’ll let you know how I get on!
Counselling – there’s something so indulgent about having a weekly 50 minute space to talk about whatever you want sans interruptions.
Placement – I’m meeting with my supervisor tomorrow and somehow I’m going to have to fit five hours of placement time in. Eek!
Osteopath appointment – the pain in my hip is preventing me from sleeping, which has effects my energy levels. So I need to put the time in sort my body out.
Lovely but not compulsory
Spending time with friends, family and HWSNBN – I love seeing people but I need to manage my commitments to still allow time for study. That means one day of the weekend is set aside for reading the other for fun. I will probably trying to do more group activities (hard for this introvert) so I get see a lot of people at once. Or combine exercise and friends or tv series and friends.
Tidying – our flat is small, but perfectly formed. However due to HWSNBN ebaying and my towering mountain of books last week it descended into chaos. So I’m be employing some happiness projects guidelines (everything has it’s place, the one minute rule) to keep on top of things and stop my stress levels rising.
Watching TV series about vampires and the girl that loves them – I spent the weekend deleting things I thought I should watch, saving a small but significant time for the shows I want to watch.
Reading for pleasure – ditto TV above. Also less TV will give me more time to read book series about vampires and the girl that loves them 🙂
Exercise – if I take care of myself I have energy to devote to others things. Simple, right? But the hip limiting the exercise I can to swimming and water aerobics plus counselling meaning I can’t go to water aerobics I’m at a bit of a impasse. Any ideas?
Cooking – I love cooking, I find it really relaxing and it helps keep me healthy. But there simply aren’t enough hours in the evening to cook, do my University reading, exercise and relax. So Uni wins this one. The plan is I’ll pre-cook and freeze some staple meals (veggie chilli, tarka dahl and soups) and mix these up during the week with easy to cook meals (stir frys, omelettes and that staple cheese on toast) and the dreaded ready meals.
Blogging, tweeting, and my personal journal – Yes I am fully aware of the irony of blogging about having no time. But I find blogging very therapeutic, I like having a record of how I felt when and I also feel like it helps me keep in touch with friends near and far. But, passing my degree much more important. Expect less frequent more concise posts in future.
Poodling about on the internet – the biggest time suck in my life. I’m not naive enough to believe I’ll be able to stop completely looking at weird and wonderful things on the internet. But I’m digging out the timer so I don’t disappear down the rabbit hole. Bu-bye internet.
Planning my wedding – at the moment we’re in wedding limbo but as we get closer I’m going to need to start making decisions. Maybe I’ll never be a DIY goddess but our wedding will still be awesome, and that’s what counts.
So here it is my life streamlined. Or the plan at least? Any time savings tips, let me know if the comments.