I have 10 things on my To Do list for the day, and another 75 things on my total to do list.
Every morning, I look at the things I didn’t finish the day before, the many things I’d already scheduled to accomplish today, the appointments I’ve overbooked for myself, and prioritize and put off until I have a new 10-thing To Do list. Why 10? Because I read somewhere that you really can’t hope to accomplish more than 10 things in a day.
Experience tells me, it’s more like 5-6. But that doesn’t stop me from flogging myself by aiming for 10.
Overbooking is one reason that many weeks pass between visits with my sister, Carrie, or with my friends. I had tea last night with my sis. I adore my sister. It’s been more than 8 weeks since I’ve seen her, though I drive within 1 mile of her house every day. That’s crazy, isn’t it?
Yeah, it really is.
Her schedule is just as crammed as mine. And so that’s what we discussed last night. Why are we so busy? What’s the difference between us and people we know who aren’t? Carrie’s theory is that we’re busy BECAUSE we keep dayplanners and To Do lists.
That is, we might be naturally active, involved people (no, we’re introverts by nature), or we might have become steadily more busy and active because of those slots in our day planners that give the illusion of having more capacity than humans actually have.
That is, in the same way that having a clock onhand changes your perception of time, having a planner, a palm pilot, Outlook Express, changes your perception of your capacity to produce.
Carrie thinks we see empty boxes stretching from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and feel they need to be or could be filled with things to do. So we start booking hours and half hours and quarter hours. Rather than thinking about the experience of a whole day or week, we think slots. We schedule our kids, our jobs, our social lives, our social responsibilities. We tend to schedule everything but the time we need to take care of ourselves.
Ah. there’s our topic.
Okay, it’s an interesting theory. I aspire to the day when I keep nothing but a pretty monthy calendar with one clean box per day, with maybe two appointments per week written in it, and a to do list I can carry between my ears rather than on a spreadsheet. But that option isn’t open to me at the moment.
What is open to me is using my present method to prioritize and schedule the things I need to do each week to keep my health on track, my brain from freezing up, my soul from drying out. That means each week I must schedule:
Aerobics, weights, Pilates or Yoga classes
Grocery Shopping (not at night, when I’m too cranky to pore over pretty produce or think clearly about the week’s meals coming up.)
Long hot baths (x2)
Seeing my Sister
Visiting with Friends
Calling my Dad and Mom
Sitting and Staring Time
House Care Time
Paper Management Time
I do actually slot these things right into my schedule. For now, I must. Meantime, I’m going to think about weaning myself to a more human rhythm, somehow. Some day. Seriously.
I’ll schedule some time to think about that. oh, maybe Junish?
Anybody want to sell everything an buy an airstream as much as I do?
So today, just think about how you manage your time. Are you prioritizing your health, or booking yourself out of getting fit and eating well? Spend some time with your dayplanner, calendar, PDA, and book the time you need to make your body work better. It’s time well spent, sweet peas,