Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Resolution of the Month: Go on a Schedule Diet

(I can try to have at least one measly nugget of introspection this month, right?)

I fear that my poor day-planner is suffering from ink poisoning.  I use a good ol'-fashioned DayMinder to keep track of my life outside the office.  I don't think I could handle a BlackBerry... and besides, I might melt it.  Here is a rough sample of what my month often looks like:

(I actually kind of geeked out when I found this planner, because it had split pages for months AND weeks, so I could make to-do lists on top of my regularly-scheduled schedule!)

Lately, I've been trying to keep things bright and cheery by using a variety of colors in my planner, but when February begins to look like a Mardi Gras parade before the month has even STARTED, that's kind of an indication that there's a little too much going on:

So I thought about it, and I realized that this has become a perennial problem.  Despite my best efforts, managing my time has become a rather grim addiction.  Every so often, I mentally smack myself and say, "Stop doing this to yourself!"  I resolve to cut back to the bare minimum of activities outside of my full-time job:

- writing
- tutoring
- classes

But after about a week or so, a little voice starts whispering:

"Choir is ONLY two afternoons a week... you can fit another tutoring student in on the weekends... a cappella practice is a DE-stressor, so you can certainly make time for that... don't forget about those church events coming up... why stay in on the weekends when there are parties, game nights, and dinners-out-on-the-town to be had?..."

And like a moth to a camp lantern, like Charlie Sheen to a scarlet woman, like Oprah to macaroni, like Rush Limbaugh to Advil PM, I just get drawn right back in.  I fall into the same escalating pattern, approaching some asymptote of insanity that I have thus far miraculously avoided.  Because all of these activities are quite enjoyable, benign, or otherwise rewarding, I can't bear to pass up the opportunity, so I commit.

One of the toughest things about being an adult is time management. How am I supposed to accomplish all of the necessary tasks in one day?  Here is what the current 24-hour period looks like:
(Yes, these are all necessary tasks.  Even the make-up and TV.  But especially the make-up.  Trust me on that.)

I can't keep this up forever.  I'm starting to find white hairs, and I'm afraid my colored pens are going to run out.  Therefore, I have determined that I need to go on a schedule diet.  This month is going to be a wild ride with my pre-existing commitments, but here is my plan, to which I need YOU to hold me accountable:

I'm going to mark a block of time each week in February that will remain untouched by the outside world.  I will reserve time to eat cookie dough, crochet things, play with my dog, take a bubble bath, read a book, or maybe stare at the wall.  Here's the "diet supplement" schedule:

Saturday, February 5, 10:30am-12:30pm: read a fictional book for fun, and perhaps meditate on the origins of the spork.

Thursday, February 10, 9:15-10:45pm: do intensely girly things like manicuring nails and using new massage pillow.  Thorougly ignore Husband and Dog for 90 minutes.

Tuesday, February 15, 8:00-10:00pm: DVR "The Biggest Loser" while preparing cookie dough, then watch said show while fastforwarding through copious commercials and consuming said cookie dough.  Copiously.

Thursday, February 24, 6:00-?:00pm: dinner out with the Husband, on account of it being my birthday. :)

Wednesday, February 30, 5:45-8:15pm: research on wikipedia the rationale behind February's truncated duration.  Yes, this will take the full two-and-a-half hours.

Please, net-friends, hold me to this course!  I will update when said periods of relaxation are over, and I urge you to join me in my schedule diet this month.  What's YOUR preferred (legal, reasonable) method of relaxation?

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