Budgeting time

(Sent from my phone, so there aren't any font emphases...boo)

So here I am, lying in bed at 2am, having just been hit with a second wind just an hour or so ago, and my brain is still travelling at 90 mph. While 2am is better than the 3am bedtimes I was pulling last week, it's nowhere near the time I'd like to be turning in (especially when I have to get up at a semi-reasonable time for a doctor's appointment!).

Tonight I got home at 8:30, caught up on some internet shenanigans, cleaned a heckuva lot more, walked the dogs, did some random tasks, did some more internet dabbling, realized it was close to 10:30pm and I hadn't yet done the Wii workout I had to postpone last night and was looking forward to doing today but that I kept putting off until later, not anticipating when I'd get done with dinner but not seriously considering the consequences!! [Mindfully written in run-on sentence form because that's how I feel - like today was a giant run-on of unplanned tasks and events.]

My brain was fuzzy, my limbs shaky and uncoordinated from fatigue and too few calories, so I decided to postpone the workout in favor of making more progress in "chore" work (I did ingest some more calories, don't worry). I succeeded in making some blog changes, writing thank-you notes, and putting random pieces of clutter in their respective places. Overall, I got a lot accomplished today (I should take you guys on a photo journey of all the crap I have to put away/get rid of/find new homes for/etc., because I can't even wrap my brain around it all, and it sounds lame to say, day in and day out, that I have "so much cleaning to do."), but what I got done today feels like a drop in the bucket. And on top of all that, my goal this week is to move my bedroom furniture into a more efficient, traffic-flow-friendly arrangement. Le sigh.

So again, that leaves me here contemplating the wouldas, shouldas, and couldas of my day, trying to develop a gameplan for tomorrow, and I'm wondering: how do people do it? How do you budget your time at home? I'm not saying I'm completely ignorant (because I'm not) and have no idea (because I do), I just want to know how you guys personally strategize and budget your time? Are you of the "work 20 minutes on one thing then move onto the next" mentality? Do you schedule certain events (like exercising, dog-walking, meal-consuming) and follow the schedule strictly? Are you like me in that you get engrossed in one activity and let everything else fall by the wayside, only to beat yourself up over it later when it's 1:30am and you're trying to cram it all in before bed?

While 2010 still has that new car smell, I'm trying to change several areas of my everyday life that, quite frankly, need complete overhauls. Today I was in THE WORST MOOD EVER but made myself follow through with plans and tried the "fake it til you make it" strategy, and it actually worked! I felt better! So while I'm attempting to improve myself, I want to try some new strategies.
Help me out here...how do YOU budget YOUR time??


  1. I had to reduce my tv time to get anything done, the only tv I watch is morning news while getting ready and shows at 9 to 11pm.


  2. I know you talked about being obsessed with planners so I don't know if that means you actually use them but I find that if I write something down on paper, then I HAVE to do it. The fact that it is tangible to me and I am looking at it instead of thinking about it makes a world of difference for me. But I'm one of those weird people who have to finish a book even if I hate it so....

  3. I have had to start getting up earlier since I started blogging...but I realized I actually like being up early! I feel accomplished and happy, rather than rushed. It's nice. :)

  4. Usually I have 2 things a day that are "must-do's". Usually one is exercising, the other could be washing clothes, clean the living room etc. My life is super hectic especially since I work 7 days a week and have 2 kids and a bf to keep up with. Believe me somethimes things just don't get done and I have learned that I have to deal with it and eventually they will get done.

    Anytime I plan anything if it doesn't get done or go smoothly I have a horrendus attitude with everyone. I don't like to be that person so I just let things flow.

  5. I tell my fiance's family all the time to fake it til you make it-they can be so negative - good spirits to you :)

  6. I get myself in a rountine and just follow that majority of days. The weekends however are up for grabs. :)

  7. I'm a big fan of writing things down. It's so satisfying to cross it off a list, and I once read that we don't make lists to remember, we make them so we can forget. It's so freeing once it's down on paper -- you don't have to remember anymore!

  8. Hi Kat, I am a Kat too...:-) I found your blog from twitter I think and wanted to say "hi"
    I am a big fan of lists. I think because I feel good when I can cross things of of them.

  9. Thanks for sharing your tips, everybody!

    @Secretia - I'm weird about the TV - it's ALWAYS on, but I rarely sit down and *watch* it. I like having it for company...I hate silence!

    @Catherine - I'm surprised you commented on this in a thoughtful, constructive manner, especially since you always make fun of me for writing stuff down so I won't forget it!!! And you're right, the key is being obsessed with planners and actually USING them. I do agree with the tangible factor of a written event or itemized list. (Thanks for commenting!! I love you!!)

    @spicyandsweet - Duuuude, you're right! Blogging takes up SO MUCH TIME!!! Do you have to go to bed earlier to accommodate that earlier wakeup time or be stricter about how your time is spent during the day? I wish I could magically make the day 30 hours long instead of 24!! Back in the day when I would wake up at like 5am to work out (for the 2 weeks or so that I actually did this), it was so nice to come back to my apartment and take a nice hot shower, leisurely watch some news (or cartoons - ha!), have some coffee and relax before work or school, but I didn't adjust the rest of my schedule enough to be able to keep that habit up, so I just stopped altogether and haven't tried it again. :(

    @Randi - you put me to SHAME, woman! I just need to think of you when I get whiny about not having the time to do everything - "if Randi can keep her head above water, so can I!!" I do like the idea of doing triage on my to-do list, making sure a few essentials get done first and other less-important stuff can follow if I'm lucky. And I'm the same way when stuff doesn't go according to plan. I totally bitched out yesterday when I had an event scheduled but I hadn't yet finished all I wanted to ahead of time. I was Miss McGrumpypants for a little while before I talked myself into believing it wasn't the end of the world. :)

    @Candace - that "fake it till you make it" philosophy is awesome, but easier said than done! It's like when people say "if you don't want to exercise and you're trying to talk yourself out of it, just strap on your shoes" - the getting started part is definitely hardest. And like I said up there about being grumpy, I just had to put on a flight attendant smile and act like I was happy, and then eventually fake turned into real! Now if only I could translate that into the exercise thing for real...

    @Amanda - I think the biggest thing is establishing a routine and getting myself into a groove (hopefully different from a rut!). It's funny how hard it is to evaluate myself in certain ways (like I can't tell if I'm a morning person), but my mom has always insisted that I do better with routine and structure - two things I have none of at this point in my life. Aaaaarrrrgh.

    @Ashley - That's a nice way to put it...making a list to get it all un-jammed from your head and onto something you can see and physically cross off. I think what I was saying about finding a routine fits here, too. I need to not only jot things down in my blackberry or on my calendar, but actually GO BACK AND READ THEM AND DO THEM. As you said, it's out of your head once it's on paper, so I need to stop LOSING my pieces of paper and FORGETTING my planners and task lists, lest I completely forget everything I need to be doing (which sometimes ends up happening).

    @Kat - Hi, name twin!! It's true, there's something so satisfying about crossing something off a list! And something so soul-crushing about staring at a huge list of tasks you keep forgetting about! I've gotta start somewhere, though!


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