Tuesday, September 8, 2009

It's about Time...

By Jeanne Adams

Hey ya'll! Me again! You know, I've been thinking....right I hear the groans. Yes, me thinking is often a dangerous thing. It's about time. You know that thing we don't have enough of? That thing they aren't making any more of?

How come some people seem to get SO much done in the same allotted 24 hours? Is is because they don't sleep? (I secretly think this is it. They're all part of Vampire Nation and don't need....sleep.) Or do they take some obscure Ginko-ginseng-bulbofruit-mussel-vitamin of which I'm unaware to give them the strength of ten Grinches, plus two?

Where do people GET this Energizer Bunny energy?

I know where my kids get it. They steal it from me. Ha! I'm not sure about my husband. He's not tireless, but he has this kind of battleship ability - he just keeps plowing through the water at a steady, even pace - that makes me insane. He gets a lot done by just not stopping. Of course, the difficulty with that is, when he does stop, (all engines, full stop!) it's off to the doctor/pulmonologist/specialist because he usually gets sick. If he relaxes and lets his body catch up? Oh, he's in trouble. Its really a shame because I think it's terribly hard on his system.

People ask me how I get so much done. I look around me to see who it is that they are REALLY talking to. I feel like such a slacker. My house looks like a perpetual battlefied of small robots, Ninja Turtles, Decepticons, and a huge submarine, in an uneasy truce with 8 miniature baseball bats, three to four baseball gloves (all needing some kind of repair from day to day), batting gloves, footballs, whiffleball bats...Yes. I have boys and I daily wish I had a housekeeper.

I live by my calendar. If it gets written in/on my calendar, it stands a good chance of getting DONE. If it doesn't get written down....hmmmmm.....face it. It's lost.

So, what about you?
Are you a do-er?
Do you plow through the to-do list as a mark of pride?
Do you even MAKE a to-do list, or do you just get 'er done?

I've finally gotten a system, but it's taken me a looooooonnnnng time to figure out one that works for me.
Do you use a Covey Time Management System?
DayTimer?
Your Blackberry?
Outlook?

Tell, tell. I'm always looking for ways to shoehorn more "got it done's" into my list than "gotta do-es" Grins.

(BTW, anyone remember the schoolyard rhyme that goes with: "It's about time, it's about...."

59 comments:

Anna Sugden said...

Here chookie, chookie!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Heehee! Hi Anna! Are you a time management gal?

Anna Sugden said...

Ah Jeanne - you have picked on one of my favourite moans in life.

I swear, if I didn't have to sleep so much I could get so much more done! My hubby is like yours. Me, I'm more a fits and starts kind of gal. Intense energy for short, usually desperate, last minute, projects. I make lists and try to be efficient, but sadly, I'm of the school of what is most urgent gets done.

I blame my marketing background and the need to multi-task and work to ridiculous deadlines.

For things like birthdays and events, it has to be on my calendar - or you can forget it!

I'm trying to do a daily list, like Eloisa suggested and put it up on my Outlook calendar (like hubby does) to remind me of what needs to be done. Of course, I need a calendar note to remind me to do that too! LOL

Basically, I think we should petition the people at Greenwich to add some more hours into each day!

Anna Sugden said...

Time management? (rolls of floor laughing hysterically!)

Actually, when I was in Marketing and when I was a teacher, I had an oldfashioned paper diary system that worked well. Maybe I need to go back to that.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Anna said: I blame my marketing background and the need to multi-task and work to ridiculous deadlines.

Maybe this is it. We share that marketing thing...maybe it scrambles the brain to multitask for a marketing job.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Anna said: I had an oldfashioned paper diary system that worked well. Maybe I need to go back to that.

I had to go back to this too. The computer is so "easy" and "simple" and then it crashes or your internet goes awry and you can't access it. I'm lost w/o my calendar. So...paper it remains. Ha!

Joan said...

Yawn....did ya'll say something about time?

{Looks at bedsheets that need to be laundered...and the kitchen floor that needs sweeping..and the couch that needs a nap}

I'm not "officially" organized. I can line it up pretty good at work but at home? The most I have to go by are a bunch of post it notes and a dry erase on my fridge.

Picture this:

11:30 Feet
9/13 Hair
9/24 facial

It came as quite a shock to see that all I have up there are BODY PARTS!!!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Joan said: It came as quite a shock to see that all I have up there are BODY PARTS!!!

ROFLMAO!!! Okay, so that makes you good at taking care of YOU - Hurrah!!! and well deserved - or you're a serial killer.

So? Which is it?

AvonLadyJerrica said...

I love getting things done! Even if it's something small, and it's already been done, I mark it on my to-do list and check it off, just for the sense of accomplishment.

As for an actual system...it depends on the day. Sometimes I grab a piece of scrap paper and hand write my list; sometimes I open up iCal and pop it all in there for the day. Just depends on if I'm in a writing or typing mood :)

I find that getting things done, and sticking to my to-do list, removes any guilt from having fun (or napping) later in the day. Of course, I don't have kids, yet. My first is due in a few months, so we'll see what happens then!

Great post!
Jerrica :)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Jerrica said: I mark it on my to-do list and check it off, just for the sense of accomplishment.

Grins. Yep. Me too. Usually I justify this by thinking, hey, I might need to REMEMBER that I already did that...mostly tho' it's so I can check at least ONE blasted thing off my list. Ha!

Congrats on the new little one, Jerrica! I wouldn't trade my two for anything, despite my comment about toys and the sporting goods store that has taken up residence in my mudroom. Grins.

I'll warn you though. The To-Do list gets muuuuuccccchhhh more important when you have kids. One, they kill your brain cells so you have to write EVERYTHING down if you want to remember it. Two, there's a lot more to do for them that has to go on the list! Ha!

Do you know if you're having a boy or a girl?

Donna MacMeans said...

Congratulations Jerrica! Your life is about turn upside down - but in a good way (smile).

Congratulations Anna! The GR should make your life easier - right?

Congratulations Jeanne because I haven't a clue how you get it all done - but you do! You're the most efficient person I know.

I'm definitely a paper organizer. I have a "month at a glance" type calendar in a fancy-schmanzy tapestry cover that has all my commitments written in. Plus each month has post-it notes tacked in for reminders (like who I'm hosting for blogging - two this month). I keep a daily to-do list because I like to scratch off the accomplishments - just wish I could scratch off more of them (grin). Plus I have the big family calendar downstairs which has the major events, appointments, etc. for the whole family.

I think I'll panic if I ever flip the month on the calendar and see nothing written in.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Donna said: You're the most efficient person I know.


*looking around to see if there's another person here*

Really? Wow. I've got everyone fooled. Bwah-ha-ha-ha!!!

I too would panic if there were nothing in the calendar. Actually, they might have to get the straight jacket if I ever lost "The Book" - this would be my daybook, but it takes on a whole different order of magnitude for me. It is The BOOK That Must Be Followed.

Snork.

Joan said...

Hurrah!!! and well deserved - or you're a serial killer.

Well, I CAN polish off a box of CEREAL pretty fast :-)

And you can tell you're a RS author....serial killer making a list... (shudder)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Bwah-ha-ha! Joanie, I can't help it. It's just the way the mind works...which is a good thing since I have a book due 11/1! Hahaha!

Nancy said...

Anna--congrats on taking home the chook!

Jeanne, I MAKE a to-do list. Always. And then I lose it. Almost always. I was much more efficient and less distractable when I worked full-time. I stop and smell the roses, and then I'm behind in mowing the lawn. So to speak.

The boy is a compulsive planner, always ahead of schedule in anything he sets out to do, and the dh and I are not sure where he gets that. We both tend to be very deadline-oriented. Best we can determine, he reached into some obscure corner of the gene pool and pulled that out.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Miss Anna, looks like the chook will be drinking tea and having baps for lunch! Congratulations!

Jeanne, you do yourself a disservice. I think you're amazing! And I've lived in your house and seen how you marshall those young men (including the DH!) so I'm speaking from a position of knowledge. Jeanne was kind enough to take in a poor homeless Aussie a couple of months ago when the RWA D.C. hotel had the hide to tell me I didn't have a booking (which didn't stop them from charging me as a no show - clearly my favorite hotel ever, NOT!).

I've started living and dying by lists. And I get great satisfaction when I can cross something off. An increasingly complicated life added to memory loss and I've learnt I WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN!!! I also have a diary - I would die if I lost my diary.

Really interesting topic, Jeanne!

Deb Marlowe said...

Congrats VA! Feed the chookie something yummy he can't get over here!

Oh, Jeanne, we are SO in the same boat. A calendar is a MUST when you are not just in charge of your schedule, but everyone's!

When I got a mac laptop, I started using ical, which is great--especially since my dh bought an ipod touch and whenever either one of us inputs anything, it automatically updates them all. Ahh! Makes my life easier!

Janga said...

I'm great at long-term organization and really bad at the daily stuff. Like Nancy, I make to-do lists and lose them. I even took a time-management course once. Taking it merely threw me further behind than usual on grading papers.

I'm most puzzled by the fact that now that I'm no longer teaching, I get less done than when I was in the classroom or office or on the road ten hours every week day plus grading another couple of hours. Maybe someone's stealing my time.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Nancy said: Almost always. I was much more efficient and less distractable when I worked full-time. I stop and smell the roses, and then I'm behind in mowing the lawn. So to speak.


Heehee. I love that about the lawn. That's a crack up. I was SO much more efficient when I worked full time. This would be why I went back to the calendar to control my life when I got The Call. I knew deadlines would make me insane - and they did - if I didn't get SOME kind of handle on the schedule.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

*blush* Why thank you Anna! You were a wonderful guest!

Anna: I've started living and dying by lists. And I get great satisfaction when I can cross something off.

Same here!

Helen said...

Congrats Anna have fun with him

Jeanne I do wish I had the energy to keep going but alas I don't at work I am so organised I put post it notes on the PC if there is something that I must do. I work to a plan at work and get everything done but at home no way my house is always untidy and there are only 3 adults living here although the grandkids drop in lots (but I do love that).

My Hubby is pretty lay back so there is not much help with encouragemnt from that front, but in the end everything that needs to be done gets done but with no organisational skills at all LOL.

Have Fun
Helen

Beth said...

Hey, Jeanne! I remember those days of small kids and their toys very well. Now we have two guitars in the living room, a volleyball (even though she's not supposed to play with it in the house)an empty laundry basket (at least it's empty *g*) a pair of sunglasses and a year's supply of Modern Drummer magazine the boy needs to go through :-)

As for time management, I just sort of go with the flow (story of my life). I use Eloisa's idea of putting To Do items on a post it note. If it doesn't fit, it doesn't get done *g* Sometimes items don't get done anyway so I just float them onto the next day's list ;-)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Deb!

You said: I started using ical, which is great--especially since my dh bought an ipod touch and whenever either one of us inputs anything, it automatically updates them all

Now if I could have all this, I'd probably DO it on computer!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Janga said: Maybe someone's stealing my time.

That's IT!!! It's a conspiracy!

Snork.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Helen said: I work to a plan at work and get everything done but at home, no way.

I know what you mean, Helen! :>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Beth said: I use Eloisa's idea of putting To Do items on a post it note. If it doesn't fit, it doesn't get done *g* Sometimes items don't get done anyway so I just float them onto the next day's list ;-)

Always a list!! I love me some lists. :>

Jane said...

Congrats on the GR, Anna.

Hi Jeanne,
I do like to set a schedule in my head and on paper. I figure out what needs to be done the next day and try to stick to the schedule. There are some days where you can't get any thing done, but mostly I manage to do most of what's on the list.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Jeanne,

Sorry to be of no help here, but I have crappy time management issues except at work. Medications, fetal monitoring tests, treatments...those I can keep organized and on time! I can't alway predict exactly when a baby is going to deliver, but I'm usually close, so I can plan ahead on those. I can tell you when a baby is AGF (a Suz-ism for Ain't Gonna Fit), and can predict when a c-section is going to take place.

But time management at home? Some days I'm like that viral e-mail about how you start out doing one thing, wander from room to room, stop to do something, move on to something else and at the end of the day you're exhausted, but you can't always tell what you achieved?

Other days, I have a plan! Those days I manage to get house work done and pages written! HA-LE-LU-JAH!! Those days I wish I could chanel every day!!!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Joanie said:It came as quite a shock to see that all I have up there are BODY PARTS!!!..

ROFLMAO!!

Girl, there is something just not right here!! LOL

Nancy said...

Janga wrote: Maybe someone's stealing my time.

Y'know, there's probably a science fiction novel in that line, Janga!

And it's so reassuring to know others lose those pesky lists.

Nancy said...

Actually, DragonCon gives out a grid program showing everything that's going on in every hour of the day. It's truly an awesome document. But it's so comprehensive, with so much going on, that I get confused.

Lois McMaster Bujold read from the forthcoming Miles Vorkosigan (one of my favorite EVER series, which I may have to hurt Trish if she doesn't read soon) novel, and I missed it! I got distracted, looked at my watch, and realized it was over. Aaagh!

So even when I have the list, it's no guarantee.

Nancy said...

Joan wrote: It came as quite a shock to see that all I have up there are BODY PARTS!!!

But think how awesome they'll be. And you could always schedule a Chico's run in there.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Oooooooooooooo Post it notes!

One thing I do, that almost always works is before I go to bed, if I have people I need to call the next day, (i.e. the accountant, the hair dresser, the OB/GYN doc, etc...), I put them on the note in order of which to do first. Then I slap the note on my computer monitor screen after I turn it off for the night. It's the first thing I see when I enter my office, and therefore actually gets done!!!

Chef Di said...

Hi Sweet! OK! Here's what I do (and don't roll your eyes!) ... First thing every morning, I get my list from my daily dialog with that Spirit source, you know the One, they told me to call you that day I said, "Hey, I'm working on this new blog series...whatdya think?" And look where THAT got us!!

Seriously, I gave up on to-do lists 1000 yrs ago. Now I call that sort of thing "Considerations for today" and ya know, since it comes from a higher place what goes on there, I actually almost always get everything done. Sometimes in less time than I thought I would so ... I can sneak in beach session, which allows for some of the most interesting "downloads" the next day.

Here's what I recommend - let go of having to do it all yourself. Let Something bigger than you help out. For me, it makes all the difference in the world.

Um, did I open a Twilight Zone-esque can of worms here??

Virginia said...

Congrats Anna on nabbing that rooster today!

Well I don't make list, I just try to get-er-done and if I don't I do it the next day. If I plan something it never works out anyways so I just take one day at a time.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Jane, you are a better woman than I am!! :> That's so cool that you get stuff done

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Suz...Snork...AGF...SNORK!!! Love that. :>

I'm like you on the days. I just ADORE it when I get motivated, have that list and ROCK it! :> Wish I did it every day. I'm getting better at it, though, thank goodness.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

You know, Nancy, its just not a picture that forms for me. You just don't SEEM disorganized. :> Had to LOL about the DragonCon list.

TOTAL bummer about missing Lois's reading though.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Suz said: Then I slap the note on my computer monitor screen after I turn it off for the night. It's the first thing I see when I enter my office, and therefore actually gets done!!!


How Cool! I do this sometimes too, but mostly I rely on the calendar. I look at it before I go to bed and usually check it in the morning too. If I forget to do this, I'm usually VERY sorry. Sigh.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Chef Diane said: "Hey, I'm working on this new blog series...whatdya think?" And look where THAT got us!!


hahaha! So True!! Chef Di writes a blog called SportsBites in which she creates the most AWESOME recipes around a sports star. It always starts with: "If I were his/her Chef...." And ends with me heading for the grocery store for fresh ingredients for some really awesome food. :>

As to the Twilight Zone, this group can handle a few existential improbable. After all, we go to DragonCon, write about vampires and create our own amazing futures. Grins. What's not to love about that? And that's pretty much every day here in the Lair.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Virginia, I think that's a good way to do it sometimes. Especially if you already have that "get'er'done" ethic. Somehow, you seem to get it done, right? Sigh. I really do get stuff done, don't get me wrong. I just want to get MORE done! hahah!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

(pant! pant!) Aunty rushes in, LATE as per usual...

GREAT post, Jeanne, but I do NOT buy for a minute that you are unorganized. Okay... maybe compared to Tawny Depp, but that woman is INHUMANLY organized!

I'm with VA! We need to petition Greenwich for a few more hours in the day. I could definitely use 2 or 3, even if it would make it that much longer before I leave on my cruise. I have TOO MUCH to do before then!

AC

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

AC Said: I do NOT buy for a minute that you are unorganized. Okay... maybe compared to Tawny Depp, but that woman is INHUMANLY organized!


hahah! Yes, you're right. Perhaps I'm comparing myself unfairly to the Goddess of Organization and Lists. I wonder what kind of offering I'd have to give in supplication to get some of her magic?

Nancy said...

Jeanne wrote: You know, Nancy, its just not a picture that forms for me. You just don't SEEM disorganized. :> Had to LOL about the DragonCon list.

TOTAL bummer about missing Lois's reading though.

Yes, alas, it was. And she read from the Miles book! Yeah, I know I said that already, but those are my favorites of hers.

As to the not seeming disorganized: I fake authority well.

Nancy said...

Deb Marlowe--iCal? That's probably on here. Maybe it would remind me of things. Probably worth investigating. Can't lose it unless I lose the laptop, and let's don't EVEN go there!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Nancy said: As to the not seeming disorganized: I fake authority well.

hahah!!! Well, maybe THAT's why everyone seems to think I'm actually organized. Heehee. Fake it till you make it!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Nancy said: Can't lose it unless I lose the laptop, and let's don't EVEN go there!

Ohhhhhhh, no. Do NOT go THERE. I shudder to think...

Nancy said...

Jeanne, I do actually have a calendar, a master calendar, in the kitchen. The problem is that I frequently forget to check it. Like you, if I don't check it at night, I may well miss something during the day. Not a morning person, as the saying goes. I don't always bring the calendar into focus while zapping coffee.

Nancy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jo robertson said...

What a great topic, Jeanne! Everyone seems to need more time in the day. I remember once telling my husband that I need a 26-hour day. His reply, was "Why? You'll just work harder." Uh, yeah, why DO I want a longer day?

When I was a young mother, time management was like triaging. If I didn't have a system and two back-up systems, I was in deep doo-doo.

I'm like your husband, Jeanne, I'm either full-throttle ahead or STOP. Two speeds, that's it. I envy people who know how to relax and do the easy-peasy thing.

Nancy said...

Beth, I sort of like this going with the flow notion. It's more or less what I end up doing anyway; I just cling to the illusion (delusion?) that I might do something differently.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Nancy said: I don't always bring the calendar into focus while zapping coffee.


Me either, Nancy. Hence the "Check it at night" otherwise you screw up. hahah!

Like now. I just looked at my calendar. I have two VERY important things tomorrow. I'm still messed up about what day of the week it is (hence the late post this a.m.!) and I thought, Oh, look, two things on Wed. It's only...oh, yeah. It's Tues already! That stuff's TOMORROW!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Jo said: If I didn't have a system and two back-up systems, I was in deep doo-doo.

Jo, I can only imagine. I feel this way with TWO kids. Ha! And you're right, my DH is full out or stop. I'm hoping he learns to moderate that a bit before he retires in three years or there'll be ructions around here!

Nancy said...

Jo, I admire your ability to stick to a system with several young children to tend. We once allowed the boy to have five friends for a sleepover (I think it was five; it felt like a brigade) and agreed that we didn't know how anyone fed that many kids day in and day out on a schedule. And just toting him around nearly made us crazy one fall. I can't imagine doing it for multiple kids.

Nancy said...

Jeanne, I get confused as to days of the week after holidays, too. This feels like Monday. And the boy has something important tomorrow that did not make it to the master calendar. Urk! Good thing I asked the dh about it, in a vague sort of way.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

See? That's what I mean, Nancy. I am so bamfoozled by the holiday that I'm checking and double-checking the calendar. Grrrr. How annoying. :> Ironically, I'll be taking my 9 year old to the doctor at 9:00 on 09/09/09 Pretty weird, eh?

Cassondra said...

Oh, Lord how mercy.

(That's actually Lord HAVE Mercy, most likely, but when I was little and my grandmother said it, it sounded like LordHowMercy!)

If it's not written in my daytimer, it doesn't happen.

And even then, sometimes I forget to check my daytimer.

Anything that is truly important has either a listing or a scrap of paper stuck into my daytimer.

I cannot use a computerized version of this. I must physically write it down. And have room to scibble notes over to the side.

You can't scribble on a computer.

You just can't.

Can't draw doodles either, while you're suffering through inane conversations on the phone.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Cassondra said: I cannot use a computerized version of this. I must physically write it down. And have room to scibble notes over to the side.

See? This is it. Can 't do it either. Hello Evil Twin! Hahah! And the thing about notes ? Yep that's me too.

Becke Davis said...

How did I miss this? I'm too buried in work, I'm missing stuff here.